FMCSA Finalizes Favorable HOS Changes
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) finalized changes to the current Hours of Service (HOS) regulations overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The announcement has been long awaited, and is both welcomed and applauded by the ready mixed concrete industry. While the changes being finalized are not broad in nature, they do offer what NRMCA has been advocating for many years; flexibility, consistency and a departure from a one-size-fits-all approach. These new changes not only meet these goals, but will apply to both concrete mixer truck drivers and drivers of other commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) utilized within the industry and to support it. The changes finalized today include:
1. Increasing the driving window for short-haul operators taking advantage of the 100 air-mile logging exemption from 12 hours to 14 hours and increases the 100 air-mile radius of the exemption to 150 air-miles;
2. Expanding by 2 hours the driving window under adverse driving conditions;
3. Only requiring a 30-minute break be taken after 8 hours of driving time instead of on-duty time, but allowing that on-duty/non-driving time of 30-minutes or more can suffice for the break; and
4. Expansions of sleeper-berth use flexibilities.
Noticeably absent from the final rule are two provisions NRMCA and its HOS coalition partners had advocated for: allowing the 14-hour driving window to be expanded by up to 3 hours and not having to return to the same location at the end of a driver’s work day as where he or she started. The final rule changes will become effective 120 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected this week. NRMCA will continue to examine the final rule and release guidance to the industry as necessary. NRMCA also plans to continue to advocate for greater HOS flexibilities for the industry.
Click here to review DOT’s announcement on the changes and here to review the prepublication of the final rule’s Federal Register notice. For more information, contact Gary Mullings at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kevin Walgenbach at email@example.com.