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The FMCSA announced their Hours of Service final rule this morning, allowing for increased flexibility for truckers. 

The changes, which were announced Thursday, May 14th, have been in the works for almost two years. 

“America’s truckers are doing a heroic job keeping our supply chains open during this unprecedented time and these rules will provide them greater flexibility to keep America moving,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The Final Rule has made four main changes according to CDLLife:

  • The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 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.
  • The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial 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.

The Agency did not change the current 11-hour-a-day drive-time limit and decided against the option to “pause” the 14 hour clock. The FMCSA also claims that the new HOS rules will save US consumers and the US economy as much as $274 million a year, which will stem from the flexibility the new 30 minute break rule will lend drivers, reported WJAC News.

“The Department of Transportation and the Trump Administration listened directly to the concerns of truckers seeking rules that are safer and have more flexibility—and we have acted,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen. 

“These updated hours of service rules are based on the thousands of comments we received from the American people. These reforms will improve safety on America’s roadways and strengthen the nation’s motor carrier industry.”

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