FMSCA seeking public comment on revising HOS

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FMSCA seeking public comment on revising HOS

WASHINGTON – The  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Tuesday said that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on the nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days, stated FMCSA in a news release announcing the ANPRM.

The ANPRM goes out in the form of questions taken from listening sessions with stakeholders, including petitions asking for more HOS flexibility by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the United States Transportation Alliance, the United Drivers Alliance and others, with Raymond P. Martinez, FMCSA’s sixth administrator, commenting that the ANPRM “basically opens the floor” to these groups and other trucking stakeholders to comment on how they want to see the HOS changed.

He noted that HOS changes haven’t been addressed for the last 15 years and that many things have changed in the way commerce operates during that period, including more congestion and more vehicles on the road, along with “real-time delivery” created by internet shoppers who order something in the morning and want it delivered by that afternoon.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour, on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8 hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by OOIDA) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

“So this is a good opportunity to step forward if you have thoughts on these specific points or something that might be related to them,” Martinez told members of the trucking news media during a briefing on the ANPRM. “We keep hearing flexibility, flexibility, flexibility. Of course, we’re a safety agency so we look at everything through the lens of safety,” he added.

Now that ELDs are in place and generating information, “that allows us to pivot and say, now where is the flexibility in that [HOS regulation],” Martinez said. FMCSA is trying to be “agile” in listening to stakeholders and then acting on what they’ve heard in the past several months. The ANPRM is a “step forward” he said, in seeing what HOS changes should look like.

But he cautioned that the kind of feedback that the agency receives on the ANPRM will determine on how FMCSA will move forward, or not, with any HOS changes.

Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, added that the ANPRM is “deliberately very nonspecific” because the agency wants it to “provide a framework for the kind of information that we would need in order to make a decision going forward.”

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry (according to FMCSA), it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available at

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time during the Great American Trucking Show being held there.  Further information is available at

There will also be a listening session September 14 in Washington, D.C. at the DOT headquarters and two additional sessions “geographically dispersed across the United States,” Martinez said, adding that those locations have yet to be determined.

Information on current HOS regulations is available at

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available at

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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Take the eld out of the trucks put driver’s back on paper logs and fix the 14 hour clock so if a driver stops during their 11 hour drive time so does the 14 hour clock stop then the hwy will be safer period that helps a driver to be safe on the road and keeps America Safe if you think about it and let it sink in also drivers won’t have to kill there self are anyone to get some miles in. Thank you for listening to me.also take all computers out of trucks..

After 27 of driving both local and long haul (cost to cost) with no Citations, Violations or Accidents in a CMV.
I am all in on ELD’s. I’ve used them for the last 10 years and because of experience with them and my Safety Record. The company I now work for asked me to come into the Safety Department last year to help with the transition. The 40 plus drivers that I now manage and help at first complained but, now tell me that they are getting more rest for the same pay. So the only thing that I can see that needs to be addressed is Driver’s Pay first and fore most, Then Detention Time and poor planing by dispatch.
Shippers and Receivers Still don’t care how long they hold a driver for and then Dispatch still make promises that their load will be there Yesterday! Then Driver’s are told to get it done or lose your job!
With the Driver shortage growing. Drivers have to understand that they now have control.
Demand Higher Pay for a 14 hour day. Work smarter not harder. Driver should be paid for every mile they drive and every minuet they wait Period!
Keep the ELD’s the days of lying on paper are over. I know I will get a lot of sh!t for this from older drivers, which I am one of but, to them I say Look at your Drivers License. Does your Company’s name appear on it.
That is the only true resume you have so protect it. Your name is always first to appear on a Citation and your personal CSA score takes a hit. Think about it! DRIVERS ARE IN CONTROL, DRIVERS ARE IN CONTROL, DRIVERS ARE IN CONTROL.
Thanks for letting me vent.

My humble suggestion would be Keep the ELD’s, we have a 14 hour work day so keep the 1/2 hour break before 8 hours of on-duty/drive time but the other 2 and a half hours remaining on the work day can be either used for on-duty time, pre/post PTI’s, or driving time. It will be up to the driver and company’s to better utilize the on-duty time. Some day’s I pick up a preloaded trailer and go…..not much on-duty time lost, other day’s the loaders and loading company just suck and keep me there for one, two, or three hours (Wal.-Mart comes to mind). But on many day’s I have more on-duty time remaining vice driving time. So just shift any left over on-duty time to driving time. I could really use it and it won’t take me beyond the 14 hour work day. Either that or just call us intern’s like at a hospital and work us 28 hours a day because fatigue is not a factor at hospitals and apparently human life is cheap there.

It would be very helpful to have an extra 2 hours for the work day in case of adverse conditions, for many truck drivers 14 hours is barely enough to get the job done. I used to be fine with the 30 min mandatory break but sometimes it makes it harder to stop and take a quick break because I don’t want to wait so long to stop for lunch, or some other delay causes me to take a 30 min break too early and then I can’t stop until I get to my destination, or I’ll need another 30 min break and then my 14 will run out and I can’t make it to my destination, which is very frustrating and not healthy.