Posted on September 27, 2016
It’s important for every commercial operator to understand the Hours of Service rules. But knowing when you’re exempt from these rules can also prove very useful. A brief review of the core rules:
- 30 Minute Break: A non-passenger-carrying commercial operator must take a break of at least 30 minutes from driving after an 8 hour period of driving. Non-driving work related activities can be performed during this time.
- 14 Hour Rule: A non-passenger-carrying commercial operator must stop driving after being on-duty for 14 consecutive hours.
- 11 Hour Rule: Within the aforementioned 14 hour window, a commercial operator may drive a maximum of 11 hours.
So now let’s take a look at some of the exemptions:
- Providing Emergency Assistance: Providing direct assistance to an emergency as defined by the FMCSA suspends all Hours of Service regulations.
- 16 Hour Extension: The 14 Hour Rule is extended to 16 hours for those who qualify for the 100 air mile provision or 150 air mile provision as defined by the FMCSA.
- Adverse Driving Conditions: Unanticipated adverse weather conditions extend the 11 Hour Rule to a 13 hour limit.
- 3o Minute Break Exemption: All drivers who qualify for 100 air mile provision status are exempt from the 30 minute break rule.
Understand when and how these exemptions apply can make you safer and more efficient as an owner operator or as a large fleet. To learn more about transportation news, compliance, and coverages, contact us.
Posted on May 23, 2016
The United States senate has passed a fiscal 2017 transportation funding bill that could redefine some important aspects of Hours of Service and equipment regulations. These include weekly hours worked prior to required rest breaks, DOT rules on implementing speed limiters nationwide, and revised government spending on transportation infrastructure.
In addition, the bill prevents state governments from modifying break and rest periods related to Hours of Service regulations for the upcoming year, and upholds the delay of safety fitness determinations by the FMCSA. The House Appropriations Committee has shut down an amendment proposed by Representative David Price (D-N.C.). The vote to pass the bill into law is expected shortly after the Memorial Day recess. Highlights of the bill include:
- Weekly hours allowed prior to required rest break: 73
- DOT to issue speed limiter final rule within six months
- Extended prohibition of modifications to the 34-hour restart
- New infrastructure development and improvement grants
- Pipeline network funding and Amtrak funding
To learn more about transportation compliance, coverages, and best practices, contact us.
Posted on February 11, 2016
Safety is a primary concern for any commercial driver. The Hours of Service regulations exist to promote and enforce uniform safety practices. Understanding and complying with these rules helps to ensure safe vehicle operation while avoiding fines and penalties. So let’s review the latest round of regulatory changes.
An interstate property-carrying driver is allowed to drive their truck up to 11 hours. All their time spent behind the wheel of the CMV in operation is considered “driving time.” After 11 hours of driving time, the driver must have at least 10 consecutive hours “off duty” before they can drive again. In order for time to be considered off duty, the driver must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. Also, the driver must be able to leave the place where their vehicle is parked.
The 14-hour rule is known as the 14 hour “driving window” limit. A driver is allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which they may drive up to 11 hours of those 14 hours on duty. Under the 14-hour rule, a driver may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
The 14-hour window begins the moment the driver starts any kind of work. “On duty” time includes all the time a driver is working or is required to be ready to work. Examples include time spent at a terminal or facility of a motor carrier or shipper, time inspecting and servicing the truck, time loading and unloading and all driving time. Once the driver reaches the end of the 14th hour on duty period, they cannot drive again until they have been off for 10 hours.
The window is limited to 14 consecutive hours, even if you have some off-duty time such as a 30-minute lunch break or nap during those 14 hours. Your 30-minute break will not extend this 14-hour period, rather the 30-minute meal break will count against the 14-hour driving window. An exception to this rule would be with drivers in the 100 air-mile radius of their work reporting location who are not required to take the minimum 30-minute breaks.
A driver may only drive if 8 hours or less has passed since end of driver’s last off duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Meal breaks or other off duty time of at least 30 minutes qualifies as a break. Within the 14-hour window and 11-hour driving rule, a driver may drive a total of 11 hours during their 14-hour driving period; but, driving will not be permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last 30-minute break. Of note, the FMCSA has exceptions to the required rest break, such as the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). Further, if a driver is working but not driving after 8 hours, no break is required.
To learn more, contact the transportation experts at Interstate.