A Summary of the new US Hours of Service Rules Changes – As Approved by the DC Court of Appeals

Aug 26, 2013 | Industry News

  1. “On-Duty” definition is changed to exclude any time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle. This change permits a day-cab driver to take a break in the cab without having to log the time as “on-duty”. If the driver is doing any work, he/she must still log it “on duty” as before.This change permits sleeper team drivers to spend up to 2 hours in the passenger seat logged off duty – if immediately before or after an 8 hour sleeper berth period.Loading and unloading can still be logged as off duty if the driver is relieved from all duties and responsibilities of the vehicle and its cargo.We recommend that off duty breaks, whether at a loading facility, unloading facility, or break stop, be clearly identified as such and made a part of the driver’s route instructions.
  2. Required Break after 8 hours on-duty. A driver must take a break of at least 30 minutes after 8 consecutive hours on-duty – not just 8 hours of driving. Thus, the 14 hours work window in a tour of duty contains 13.5 hours of actual work time. This does not apply to drivers who are not required to complete a Record of Duty Status, local drivers operating within a 100 mile radius.
  3. The 34 hour restart is kept, but in a different form and with limitations. A 34 hour restart may be taken once every 168 hours.The 34 hours off must include 2 period between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. If a driver starts a restart at 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday, he/she would not be credited with completing it until 5:00 a.m. on Monday – 47 hours later. You must start your 34 hours by 7:00 p.m. to reset in 34 hours.
  4. The current 14 hour work window is unchanged. The mandated 30 minute break reduces the time on-duty or driving to a maximum 13.5 hours during the work day.
  5. Sleeper team drivers can continue using the 8 hour “sleeper berth provision”. A co-driver can now spend two of his/her 10 hours required sleeper berth time in the passenger seat, immediately before or after an 8 hour sleeper berth break.
  6. Driving 3 hours or more beyond any limits is considered an egregious violation, and subject to maximum penalties.

The complete Hours of Service rule can be found here.

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Doug Marcello The LEAD: Ignoring your data, fearing discovery in litigation, can be fatal to your company. The data is there. Plaintiffs will get it. You must proactively cumulate and analyze it to promote safety and proactively prepare to defend any potential suit....

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