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A Better Partnership

Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier Blog

June 24, 2013

Before You 'Keep on Truckin,' Check Your Time

Clients that use “commercial motor vehicles” for their operations need to be aware of new provisions under the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The rules were enacted on December 27, 2011, and take effect July 1.  These new regulations restrict even further when and how long a person may drive a “commercial motor vehicle.”  First, the new regulations impose limits on the 34-hour restarts for weekly driving limits.  Before July 1, at any time during the 7/8 day work week, drivers could restart their 60/70 hour calculations by having at least 34 consecutive hours off duty.  As of July 1, the 34-hour restart must include being off duty for two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.  Also, the 34-hour restart may now only be used once per week (or every 168 hours).  Note that this only affects those using the restart to work extra hours, and would not affect drivers that work a standard midnight shift.  Second, the new HOS rules will require a driver to take a 30-minute break for every eight consecutive hours on duty.   Finally, after July 1, trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by more than three hours can face penalties of $11,000 per offense.  And the drivers themselves could face additional penalties of up to $2,750 per offense.  There has been some confusion in the industry about the application of these rules, whether or not the new restrictions would take effect and how companies would comply.  If you have any questions, you should seek advice before risking penalties.

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