Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Alexandria, Va.; CP staff
A final U.S. DOT rule updating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service (HOS) terms increases flexibility for the 30-minute break provision by requiring a work pause after eight hours of consecutive driving and allowing it to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status. Effective in August, the rule also changes the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening their maximum on duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which they can operate from 100 to 150 air miles.
Rule changes are broad in nature, but offer what National Ready Mixed Concrete Association members and staff have been advocating for years: flexibility, consistency and a departure from a one-size-fits-all approach. The changes apply to concrete mixer truck drivers and operators of other commercial motor vehicles used within the industry and to support it.
FMCSA is also modifying two exceptions to the current HOS guidelines: a) adverse driving conditions, extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted; and, b) sleeper berth, allowing drivers to divide their required 10 hours of duty into 8/2 or 7/3 splits, with neither period counting against their 14-hour driving window. The rule changes do not increase driving time and will continue to prevent commercial motor vehicle operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute break.
“These reforms will improve safety on America’s roadways and strengthen the motor carrier industry,” notes FMCSA Acting Administrator. “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.”