FMCSA proposes more flexibility on truck driver hour limits

FMCSA proposes more flexibility on truck driver hour limits

No New Construction Exemption

On Aug. 14, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced proposed changes in the hours of service restrictions for truck drivers. The proposed rule changes do not impact current, similar short haul exemptions for concrete and asphalt deliveries that allow the 30-minute break to be met by the driver’s waiting time for product pick-up and delivery. AGC had recommended a more extensive exclusion from hours of service limits on construction industry drivers that was not addressed in this proposal.

The proposed changes in the hours of service restrictions for truck drivers include:

  • The current short-haul exception distance limit for drivers is expanded from 100 air miles to 150 air

    miles and the drivers’ maximum on-duty period is lengthened from 12 to 14 hours.

  • Increased flexibility in the 30-minute break requirement by allowing it to be satisfied by an on-duty

    break from driving, rather than requiring an off-duty break.

  • Allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a

    truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the

    end of the work shift.

  • Modify the sleeper berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: One period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off-duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.
  • Modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

    Comments will be accepted on the proposal for 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register. AGC will submit comments. Contact shill@agcnys.org for more information, or to turn in comments.

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