Mark your calendar: hours regs change Sept. 29


Changes to federal regulations outlining truckers’ hours of service are yet another step closer to being finalized.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration today published in the Federal Register changes to the regulations it says provide “greater flexibility” while not undermining highway safety. The changes go into effect Sept. 29.

The changes had been announced in the middle of May. Publication in the Federal Register was required to make them official.

The changes include:

  • drivers will be allowed to use their 30-minute break in an on-duty, not-driving status and requiring it within their first eight hours of drive time, rather than their first eight hours on-duty
  • modifies the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their 10-hour off-duty period into windows of seven hours and three hours, in addition to the existing eight-hour, two-hour option. It also adds the shorter period in any split off-duty will pause the rolling on-duty clock
  • allows drivers to extend their drive-time limit and their on-duty window by two hours if they encounter adverse weather conditions or traffic congestion
  • changes the short-haul exception available to some commercial drivers by lengthening their 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

Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be submitted to the FMCSA Administrator no later than July 1.