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By: Traci Lacock

Electronic logging has led to more accurate tracking of hours of service for truckers.  Due to this change, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is considering significant changes to several of its rules.  Pursuant to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRN), the Agency requested comments on the following proposed changes:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, to maintain consistency with long-haul operations.
  • Extending the current 14-hour duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving.
  • Reinstating the option to split up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers with a sleeper-berth compartment.

The FMSCA also asked for comments on the following petitions:

  • An Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) petition requesting that drivers be allowed to take up to a three hour off-duty rest break during a 14-hour day period and the elimination of the 30-minute rest break.
  • A Trucker Nation petition that would amend driving after the 14th hour of the beginning of the work shift, allowing drivers to use multiple off-duty periods of three hours or longer in lieu of having 10 consecutive hours off-duty, and eliminating the 30-minute rest break.

To date, the FMSCA has received 5,267 comments on these proposed rule changes.  Now the Agency will determine whether to move forward with proposed rule changes.  To check the status of these potential rule changes, go to:  http://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FMSCA-2018-0248