The House of Representatives on Saturday night passed a spending bill already passed by the Senate – and the President has promised his quick signature. This broad spending bill includes a rollback of the 34 hour restart provision in the commercial drivers’ Hours of Service regulations.
The current restart provision allows drivers to restart their weekly cumulative limits of either 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days if; 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 budget bill passed by congress states;
“Section 133 temporarily suspends enforcement of the hours-of-service regulation related to the restart provisions that went into effect on July 1, 2013 and directs the Secretary to conduct a study of the operational, safety, health and fatigue aspects of the restart provisions in effect before and after July 1, 2013. The Inspector General is directed to review the study plan and report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations whether it meets the requirements under this provision.” You can read the bill in its entirety here.
This temporarily lifts the two new restrictions on the use of the 34-hour restart, the 0100 – 0500 provision and the 168-hour (7 day) rule. Drivers will be permitted to restart their weekly hours by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty, regardless of whether or not it includes two periods of time between 0100 and 0500. Drivers can utilize the restart more than one time per week if necessary.
This change takes effect as soon as the President signs the legislation. The FMCSA has not announced their plans to implement the rule. This new rule rolls back the restart regulation through September 30, 2015. The law requires the FMCSA make a Federal Register notice as soon as possible once the law is signed.
The law requires the FMCSA perform a study to determine the impacts of this rule on safe, 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.
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”.