Hours of Service Changes Effective July 1

Beginning July 1, 2013, changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) requirements that were initially published December 27, 2011, become effective.  The changes will affect mainly long-haul drivers.
Among the most significant revisions to the HOS requirements are those pertaining to the 34-hour restart rules.  Beginning July 1, 2013, any period of 8 consecutive days may only end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.  The new rules also limit the 34-hour restart to once a week (168 hours).
Note that there were no changes to the maximum daily drive time or on-duty time.  The maximum daily driving time remains at 11 hours and the maximum on-duty time remains at 14 consecutive hours.  However, the new rules do require at least a 30 minute off-duty break if more than 8 consecutive hours of on-duty time has passed since the last off-duty period.
This off-duty period does count, though, toward the overall 14 hour consecutive hour rule.  The 30 minute break also applies to drivers operating using the 100 air-mile radius, but because such drivers are not required to maintain logbooks, they are not required to record the break periods.
These changes remain tied up in litigation between FMCSA, the American Trucking Association, and the consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen.  If no decision is granted by the court before July 1, 2013, the new rules take effect.
To learn more about the new HOS requirements visit FMCSA's webpage on HOS at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/index.htm
For further information, please contact NPGA's Director of Regulatory Affairs, Robert F. Helminiak at [email protected] or 202.355.1321.