The President signed a broad spending bill that includes a temporary rollback of the July 2013 “34 hour restart” provision in the commercial drivers’ Hours of Service regulations. Effective today, drivers will be permitted to restart their weekly hours by simply logging at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. This change is effective until further notice, which we anticipate will be 1 year.
This temporarily lifts the two new restrictions on the use of the 2013 version of the 34-hour restart rule, the 0100 – 0500 provision and the 168-hour (7 day) provision.
The 2013 restart provision allows drivers to restart their weekly cumulative limits of either 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days if all of the following occurs; drivers take 34 consecutive hours off, this time includes two periods of time from 0100 to 0500, and can only be used once per 7 days.
Until July of 2013, the restart provision was simpler. Drivers could reset their weekly cumulative limits by simply taking 34 hours off.
The law requires the FMCSA perform a study to determine the impacts of this rule on safety, health, and carrier operations. The study must be overseen by the DOT Inspector General, and the rule requires the Agency prove a positive net impact of this new restart rule. Within 60 days, the FMCSA must submit to the DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) a report outlining how it intends to execute the study. The OIG must report back any changes to the FMCSA’s plan within 30 days. Within 210 days of receiving clearance from the OIG, the FMCSA must produce its report. The OIG then has 60 days to report back to Congress. We anticipate this process to take the entire 360 days as defined above. If the DOT can prove that the restart rule as written in 2013 is beneficial or at least not detrimental – the 2013 version of the restart rule again becomes effective. If not, the pre-2013 rule remains in place.
If you are on electronic logs, contact your provider immediately regarding any needed updates or changes. If you are on paper logs, you need to immediately contact your drivers and explain the new 34 hour rule and its temporary status.
LoadTrek users do not need to worry about software or firmware updates. Your company’s LoadTrek administrator can simply change your HOS settings. From the LoadTrek Web Portal, go to Setup / HOS Profiles. Uncheck the box “Enable Reset Window” and select “Save”.