FMCSA Publishes Proposed HOS Rule Changes

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DaveW's Comment
member avatar

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finally published its long-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking on changes to hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • CSA:

    Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

    The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

    FMCSA:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

    What Does The FMCSA Do?

    • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
    • Data and Analysis
    • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
    • Research and Technology
    • Safety Assistance
    • Support and Information Sharing

    Dm:

    Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

    The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

    Fm:

    Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

    The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

    HOS:

    Hours Of Service

    HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm still genuinely not seeing the advantage of these changes?

WHY would you want to take a 30 minute break ON DUTY? It may not hit your 14 (under the proposed rule) but does hit your 70? It looks like the only advantage to staying ON DUTY - would be for drivers who are paid HOURLY.

Adding a 7/3 split to the 8/2 split would give a little more flexibility to folks that get stuck at a shipper for extended periods of time (by not having to wait the additional hour to complete the split), but it still has to be made up on the "back end".

I'm unsure of how these changes actually HELP THE DRIVER. Most people think the 30 minute break rule is BS - but if you've been behind the wheel for 8 hours straight - I don't care WHO YOU ARE - you need to stop and stretch your legs for a bit.

I also don't see how these new rules are going to "allow coercion". They really don't change a whole lot - except for the short haul exception.

Rick

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

One small advantage I see from the new 30min break rule is it will allow us to satisfy the break requirement even while remaining on duty.

In the flatbed world specifically, we really should log 30 mins or so on-duty for an average strap/tarp load. Upon inspection, a savvy LEO will pick us apart if we don't. He/she will know we couldn't have done it in the 5-15 obligatory minutes we normally log for check-in. Ahem, I'll neither confirm nor deny that I do that...

Under the new rules, I can run 3 hours to a shipper , spend 30 minutes on duty prepping the load while at the same time satisfying the 30min break requirement, allowing me to boogie another 8 hours once I'm done.

I see the changes making it a bit easier to remain in compliance, while effectively changing little.

My opinion remains that they should do away with the 14 hour rule altogether, and simply let us take our 10hr break in either 1 or 2 segments in a 24hr period.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Does fueling need to be on duty?

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Does fueling need to be on duty?

Yes, On Duty, Not Driving.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

As with most things government, they make a rule, then make the rule impotent (e.g. the 30 minute break).

Just get rid of the 14-hour clock.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Just get rid of the 14-hour clock.

That's the problem right there. I literally remember the day they announced that rule. I thought it would never last. I figured they would almost immediately see what a catastrophe it was. Unfortunately, a combination of ego and ignorance will prevent them from ever going back to the best rule set, which was the way the rules were for like 50 years:

  • 10 on, 8 off
  • Split sleeper berth option
  • 70 hour rule, same as today
  • No 14 hour rule

Those rules were as good as it gets. They gave plenty of flexibility but still limited you to about 3,200 miles per week on average. It's a shame they've screwed it all up. Now they're just becoming ever more convoluted.

One of the toughest things to recognize as a manager or rule-maker is when you have a good thing going and you should just let it be. We have this constant desire to improve things all the time, which is a good thing, but sometimes leads to change for the sake of change. Ego often prevents people from admitting things were better the way they were, so going back never becomes a viable option.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

I'm still genuinely not seeing the advantage of these changes?

WHY would you want to take a 30 minute break ON DUTY? It may not hit your 14 (under the proposed rule) but does hit your 70? It looks like the only advantage to staying ON DUTY - would be for drivers who are paid HOURLY.

Adding a 7/3 split to the 8/2 split would give a little more flexibility to folks that get stuck at a shipper for extended periods of time (by not having to wait the additional hour to complete the split), but it still has to be made up on the "back end".

I'm unsure of how these changes actually HELP THE DRIVER. Most people think the 30 minute break rule is BS - but if you've been behind the wheel for 8 hours straight - I don't care WHO YOU ARE - you need to stop and stretch your legs for a bit.

I also don't see how these new rules are going to "allow coercion". They really don't change a whole lot - except for the short haul exception.

Rick

Sounds good to me. I can spend my MANDATORY break as I’d like rather than how the government forces me to.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I believe the rule changes will help as it will allow the flexibility to use my fueling, scaling, drop and hook time as part of my 30 minute break instead of sitting an extra 30 minutes. It will also be helpful, in my opinion, to be able to pause your 14 hour clock for up to 3 hours, to nap, avoid rush hour, or whatever, where as the 8/2 split... that 2 hour segment didn't pause anything.

I honestly believe it's a step forward in allowing more flexibility and will be good for drivers who are savvy enough to use it to their advantage.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar
I believe the rule changes will help as it will allow the flexibility to use my fueling, scaling, drop and hook time as part of my 30 minute break instead of sitting an extra 30 minutes

Unless i am mistaken you have to be "on duty not driving" so it really limits what you can do.

I would to have my time spent hooking and dropping a set in the yard count toward the 30 min break but as I read it I will not be able too.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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