2020 Advocacy Victory

Hours-of-Service Regulations Provide More Flexibility for 30-Minute Rest Break Rule

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published the final rule on changes to hours-of-service regulations. The changes reflect some of the sentiments of SC&RA both in formal comments submitted last fall, and in a private meeting between SC&RA leadership and FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen in February 2020. SC&RA submitted comments to FMCSA in the Fall of 2019 and asked for more flexibility on the split sleeper berth. The new changes did improve to 7+3 (SC&RA sought 6+4). Of interest to specialized transportation and crane and rigging companies are the following points:

  • Allows more flexibility for the 30-minute rest break rule by requiring a break after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using “on-duty, not driving” status, rather than “off-duty” status.
  • Modifies the split sleeper berth exception to allow drivers to divide their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split or a 7/3 split. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
  • Modifies the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • Changes the short haul exception available to certain drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.


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