Posted: Jul, 30th 2019

July 31, 2019 will be a significant date for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) carriers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be releasing the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding possible changes in the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for drivers.  The changes the FMCSA are looking at include:

  1. Expanding the current 100 air-mile shorthaul exemption from 12 hours to 14 hours on duty. The reason for this possible change is to be consistent with the workday rules for longhaul truck drivers.
  2. They are looking at the exception for adverse driving conditions to see if clarification needs to be made.
  3. Industry leaders want to modify the 30-minute break requirement.
  4. Current split sleeper berth requirements will be addressed to determine if going back to the old way is a better way.   

FMCSA is advising that once the NPRM is released they are looking at a 90-day comment period prior to releasing the final rule.

While two of the changes might not change a lot, the other two could have a significant effect on many CMV drivers. The ones with the most impact include modification of the 30-minute break and the change in the sleeper berth provision. While drivers generally take a break, they don’t necessarily like to be told when to take it.  Also the current sleeper berth provision does not make it a desirable way to manage HOS. If the provision changes back to the previous sleeper berth provision, it will give drivers a much better way to manage their HOS, depending on the way it is rewritten.

Another point to consider will be the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) industry. The changes may impact many changes in the ELD programing.  When the 34-hour restart was modified, it took many ELD companies a long time to reprogram their systems.  This will probably happen again.

Once the NPRM is published, ITI Consultants will review and send out an update as to exactly what it contains. Updated information can be found: https://www.itihq.com/blogs


James M. Addison, DOT Consultant

ITI, Indiana Testing, Inc.

881 S. Girls School Road

Indianapolis, IN  46231