Changes to the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations are set to go into effect September 29, 2020. With many drivers already struggling to understand or comply with the HOS regulations, these upcoming changes pose yet another challenge.
The changes include:
Revisions to the 30-minute break rule for truck drivers so they remain "on duty" for their breaks and not have to take a break until completing eight hours of driving time, rather than consecutive time.
Revisions to the 100-air-mile short-haul exception to lengthen the maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extend the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
Revisions to the sleeper-berth provisions to allow truck drivers to split their required 10 hours off into two periods, one being at least 7 hours in a sleeper berth and the other being at least 2 hours off (e.g., a 7/3 or 8/2 split). In addition, neither rest period will count against the driver's 14-hour driving window.
Changes to the "adverse driving conditions" exception to extend by two hours the maximum window of time during which driving is allowed after a driver encounters unexpected weather or traffic conditions.
To prepare for these changes, now is the time to update your HOS training and related policies and procedures. In addition to providing clear communication to drivers about how the changes will impact their workday.