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Hours of Service (HOS)


“Hours of service” refers to the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty including driving time, and specifies number and length of rest periods, to help ensure that drivers stay awake and alert. In general, all carriers and drivers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must comply with HOS regulations found in 49 CFR 395.

View a summary of the HOS regulations for property- and passenger-carrying drivers.

HOS Final Rule

On June 1, 2020, FMCSA revised four provisions of the hours of service regulations to provide greater flexibility for drivers without adversely affecting safety. Motor carriers are required to comply with the new HOS regulations starting on September 29, 2020.

What has changed?

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Short-haul Exception

Expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception.

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Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

Expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours.

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30-Minute Break Requirement

Requires break of at least 30 consecutive minutes after 8 cumulative hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.

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Sleeper Berth Provision

Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7 hours of that period in the berth combined with a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours. When used together as specified, neither qualify period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

Educational Tool for Hours of Service (ETHOS)

FMCSA launched a new online tool that allows users to enter driver records of duty status to see if there are potential violations with the new hours of service regulations.

Learn More About The HOS Final Rule

Questions?

If you still have questions after reviewing the materials provided above, please submit your questions for consideration in future HOS webinars.

Who Must Comply?

Most commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must comply. In general, a CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

 

Last updated: Thursday, October 1, 2020