SC&RA Mostly Happy with New HOS Regulations

- SC&RA has announced that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has 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.

“When we submitted comments to FMCSA in the Fall of 2019, we asked for more flexibility on the split sleeper berth in particular,” said SC&RA Vice President of Transportation Steven Todd. “In the new changes they did improve to 7+3, but we were seeking 6+4,” he explained.

The new rule is scheduled to become effective September of 2020, barring any appeals.

“Overall, we are pleased with how FMCSA has listened to our requests and comments,” Todd said. 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.
To view FMCSA’s easy-to-read chart comparing the old and new HOS regulations, click here.

“FMCSA has taken an active role in receiving input from all stakeholders to craft flexible regulations for the industry while still improving safety,” said Todd. “We appreciate their expediting this rule change to provide maximum benefit.”

For more information on SC&RA’s submitted comments, click here. For more information, visit http://www.scranet.org/HOS.

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