Hours of Service Suspended
FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended
The US federal government suspended the FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) rules in 2020. This took place due to the results of the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 8, 2020, the FMCSA extended its emergency rule. That rule suspends Hours of Service terms.
These terms limit how many hours most truck drivers can drive on roads.
This was the first time in history that Hours of Service rules became suspended. (At least, a national level.) The suspension reflects the need to keep interstate commerce working. This way, essential health care and home supplies can get replenished. What Is IRP or Apportioned Registration?
FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) Rules
Let’s go over the basics of FMCSA Hours of Service rules. They enforce truck drivers to drive eleven hours. But this only applies to any fourteen hour work period. Truckers then have to log at least ten hours of off duty time. That must happen before they can get behind the wheel again. These FMCSA and DOT rules play a crucial role in interstate trucking safety. Visit Motor Carrier Authority .
The rules reduce a risk of truck drivers getting exhausted while driving on highways. But that’s not the only effect that HOS rules have. They also position the government to suspend mandates for emergency situations.
This applies to both state and federal governments.
That’s one key reason why the FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration went into effect. 2020 was the first time that HOS rules became suspended on a national level. Must visit Starting a Trucking Company Correctly .
The FMCSA Emergency Declaration
On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA released an Emergency Declaration. It states that a national emergency (COVID-19) has led to an exemption. That exemption applies to HOS (Hours of Service) FMCSA rules. It also refers to official FMCSRs Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. This declaration led to some relief for commercial motor vehicle organizations. Many could continue moving interstate vehicles across the US. Also read about MCS-150 Update.
As of now, the FMCSA Emergency Declaration is still in effect.
Of course, you should check the official FMCSA website to make sure. Or, you can contact our organization and we can provide the latest information. The FMCSA has released a series of new declarations since 2020. They expand the original list of approved transportation services. This relates to the first emergency rule that the FMCSA put in place.
The new list features many broad categories of interstate transportation.
Medical equipment and supplies can get transported. So can many health supplies, needed personnel, and essential workers. Please refer to the FMCSA for a complete list of critical infrastructure. Their website features lists of equipment, supplies, raw materials, and more. Check DOT authority .
More About the Emergency Declaration & Suspended Hours of Service
The US government’s suspension of regulations matters. It has had a big impact on transportation companies. The suspension affected how companies transport critical items and goods across state borders. Many industry experts say the Emergency Declaration has helped trucking businesses. It’s now easier for them to respond to the urgent shipment needs of customers. Plus, there’s an improved ability to address critical issues within a supply chain. Check out BOC-3 Filing .
Keep in mind that the FMCSA emergency rule is not permanent.
Plus, there is no across-the-board suspension of Hours of Service rules. The suspension focuses on truck drivers that respond to the COVID-10 pandemic. The HOS suspension doesn’t affect routine commercial deliveries. This can apply even when some deliveries contain certain emergency items. The Hours of Service suspension also doesn’t affect state laws. Here is an example. An HOS suspension has no impact on state-specific meal and rest break provisions. Check out FMCSA Registration Regulations Service .
HOS Exemptions of the US Federal Government
Let’s now go over how HOS regulations affect truck drivers. Drivers that haul the types of loads written below have an HOS exemption. But say a driver delivers these items or goods. That driver has to go off duty for ten hours. That’s before the driver can resume his or her work. This is an official FMCSA rule. How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit ?
An exemption exists for delivering medical supplies and equipment.
This relates to treatment and testing for COVID-19. There’s also an exemption for supplies related to preventing COVID-19 from spreading. These include masks, gloves, soap, and more. An HOS exemption even exists for food and groceries. This applies to restocking distribution stores and centers. The exception also affects transporting materials like alcohol, paper, and plastic. An HOS exemption even allows truckers to transport medical/emergency service people. Driver Qualification Files .
More About HOS: Hours of Service
“Hours of Service” focuses on the time frame that truck drivers can operate. This applies to driving time and the duration (and also number) of rest periods. HOS rules exist to ensure drivers stay alert and awake. All carriers and CMV drivers must adhere to HOS regulations. You can find them in 49 CFR 395 of the FMCSA’s official rules. Please let our organization know if you need a summary of HOS regulations. Our mission is to help every property and passenger carrying driver succeed. Read about MCS 150 .
Who Must Follow FMCSA & DOT Hours of Service Suspended Policies?
Almost all CMV (commercial motor vehicle) drivers must adhere to HOS policies. So, how does the government define a CMV? It’s any vehicle that’s involved in interstate commerce. The vehicle must weigh over 10,001 pounds. Or, it’s gross vehicle weight rating must exceed 10,001 pounds. The vehicle could get used to transport at least nine passengers. Does your vehicle transport hazardous materials and use a placard? If so, your business is also subject to Hours of Service suspended policies.Visit also DOT Compliant Drug and Alcohol Program .
HOS Rule Changes
In 2002, the FMCSA revised some of its provisions. These refer to hours of service regulations. The rule revisions give drivers and trucking companies more flexibility. (Without sacrificing any safety measures.) Let’s go over which HOS policies changed. Must visit Trucking Operating Authority Packages .
There is expansion of the short-haul exception.
The exception now can reach 150 air miles. It allows a 14 hour shift to take place for qualified drivers. The FMCSA also created an Adverse Driving Conditions Exception. This exception expanded the driving window during adverse weather conditions. There are now two extra hours for driving in adverse conditions. Visit MC Number . How to get TEXAS Dot number .
The FMCSA also adjusted the 30-Minute Break Requirement in 2020.
A driver has to take a 30 minute (consecutive) break after driving 8 hours. This replaces on-duty time. The rule change positions the on-duty/not driving period to function as a required break. Terms within the Sleeper Berth Provision also changed. The exception positions a driver to meet a 10 hour minimum off-duty requirement. The driver can do so by spending at least 7 period hours in the berth. A driver can combine that with 2 hours spent inside (or outside) a berth. Thus, two periods can total at least ten hours. Say that a driver uses two periods together. Neither period goes against the standard fourteen hour driving window. Checkout FMCSA Registration Trucking . Check out tips DOT Week 2021
Do You Have Questions About HOS (Hours of Service Suspended)? Please Contact Us Now
Our trucking experts understand how difficult it is to keep up with FMCSA and DOT rules. After all, many of the rules get adjusted every single year. But do not despair. Our organization exists to empower trucking companies toward success. All you've got to do is contact us with your HOS suspension questions. You can do so through a phone call or email to us. Or, you can message us on our website. Then, our experts will use up-to-date information to assist you. It’s that simple and it’s that easy. We look forward to helping your trucking business succeed. What is UCR filing?