Just when you thought you finally had all the ELD standards figured out, they make more changes.  But, you’ll be happy to know that the most recent FMCSA update is to help CMV drivers have more flexibility regarding their HOS. The new rules will also improve highway safety and strengthen America’s commercial motor carrier industry.

This new regulation is not directly related to the physical electronic logging device itself.  However, drivers need to be aware of these changes because HOS is a significant aspect of the ELD mandate.  

According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Chao: 

“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. 

So, what are the changes, and how will they affect you as a driver, owner/operator, or fleet manager?

Latest Revisions to Existing HOS Rules

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that the new HOS changes will result in about $274 million savings over a ten year period.  The savings will be evidenced by reduced compliance costs and violations.  Furthermore, motor carriers will enjoy greater flexibility and efficiency.  

Here is a simplified version of the new HOS regulations that will impact everyone in the commercial motor carrier industry:

  1. 30-Minute Break – Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break after 8 uninterrupted hours of driving.
  2. Split-Sleeper Berth – Allows drivers to split the required 10 hours off-duty into two periods.  For instance, an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split.  This would not count against the 14-hour driving window.
  3. Adverse Driving Conditions – Extends the maximum adverse driving conditions window by two hours.
  4. CMV Short-Haul Exemption – Lengthens the on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours for short-haul drivers and extends the distance a driver may operate from 100 to 150 air miles.

When Does the New HOS Rule Become Effective?

The FMCSA’s HOS Final Rule was scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on June 1, 2020. It will take effect within 120 days following the publication. That means it will be effective beginning Monday, September 29, 2020.

How are ELDs Affected by the New Rule?

ELD providers had a 3-month window before the new rule became effective to update their technology to accommodate these changes.  However, that window is quickly closing. According to the FMCSA, your ELD must be updated to comply with the new rules by September 11, 2020.

Are There Any Exemptions to the New HOS Rule?

The new HOS rules allow drivers some flexibility with a few exceptions to the rules.  The exceptions or exemptions are based on input from several public and industry sectors.  Here’s how the changes affect some drivers.

  1. Short-haul exception:  Drivers using the short-haul exception do not have to take the required 30-minute break.  These drivers can drive a larger air-mile radius.  For instance, they can drive 150 air-miles rather than the previous 100 air-miles allowed. But, they are not to exceed a 14-hour-period on duty.
  2. Adverse driving conditions exception:  Gives drivers a 2-hour extension for both driving limit and on-duty limit.  When using this exception, property carriers may drive 13 hours within a 16-hour window. Passenger carriers can drive 12 hours within a 17-hour on-duty period.  
  3. Non-business related transportation of personal property:  Applies to transportation of personal property.  The driver cannot receive compensation.  Also, he cannot be in business related to transporting the property.

When it comes to HOS and all the other rules and regulations truckers must follow, it’s a wonder they can remember it all.  The good news is that an ELD will help with hours of service compliance. 

HOS and ELD Compliance is Easier With TruckingOffice

At TruckingOffice we understand your confusion and frustration when it comes to the many rules and regulations.  It seems everybody wants a piece of the action including the IFTA, IRP, DOT, FMCSA, and so many more.  But, there is an easy way to keep track of all aspects of your trucking operation.  

Our TruckingOffice ELD and TMS systems are easy to use and can ensure that you are compliant across the board.  If you’re concerned about ELD standards, ELD exemptions, or ELD products, stop worrying.  We stay on top of the latest changes that affect the trucking industry and make sure that our products are up-to-date at all times.  

Here’s what our software can do for you.  It’ll get you organized by managing invoices, expenses, and dispatches. Plus, your IFTA quarterly reports are always on time.  It also helps you keep up with mileage, fuel use, and truck maintenance.  Of course, there’s more.  But, you get the idea, right?  

So, all you need to do to make your job easier is to sign up for our free trial today.  You’ll learn first-hand that we know truckers and understand what they need to run a successful operation. Order our TruckingOffice ELD device today to make your job easier.  That’s our goal and we work hard to make it happen.

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