FMCSA HOS Final Rule Changes and What You Need to Know

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rolled out new Hours of Service (HOS) rules, effective September 29, 2020. These new changes will allow for greater flexibility for drivers without affecting safety measures. HOS refers to the amount of time drivers are allowed to drive by regulating hours and resting periods to enhance safety while on the road by preventing driver fatigue. In addition, HOS rules implement specific regulations on rest breaks, consecutive hours driving, off-duty time, meals, and sleeping.

What Are the Changes?

Motor carriers are required to comply with the new HOS rule changes and are outlined by the FMCSA. Here’s what’s changing:

1. 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

2. Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

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

3. 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.

4. Sleeper Birth 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.

Who Is Required to Comply?

The majority of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are required to comply with the new HOS rule changes if they fit any of the following descriptions as outlined by the FMCSA:

  • 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

How Can DISA Help?

DISA’s industry experts can assist you with remaining compliant and well-informed of any changes or updates in the transportation industry. Our professionals offer assistance with all DOT agencies, including FAA, FRA, FTA, FMCSA, PHMSA, and USCG. Whether your company utilizes an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) or traditional paper logging, DISA’s Transportation Compliance (DTC) offers log auditing services to help reduce your risk of fines, OOS orders, HOS driver violations, and high CSA scores. Our staff of professionals can help assist you with the following value-added features:

  • 24-48 turnaround time, custom reporting, and a dedicated account rep
  • Paper and ELD log auditing available
  • Support in the event of an audit
  • Visibility of your entire fleet
  • Log falsification checks with registered data, such as GPS, tolls, inspections, etc.
  • Customized log falsifications for pre and post-trip inspections, securement checks, DVIR’s, border crossings, bill of lading checks, accidents, roadside inspections, fuel stops, and duty status changes
  • Timecard audits (100-mile radius drivers)
  • Individualized DVIR audits
  • Enabling or limiting access via logins and passwords
  • Automated Driver Violation and Congratulatory Letters

Helpful Links:

· FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) Changes

· FMCSA Educational Tool For Hours Of Service (ETHOS)

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Founded in 1986, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background check, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.