The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s recently debuted Hours of Service (HOS) rules are on course to go into effect in late September.

The FMCSA’s Hours of Service Final Rule is slated for publication in the Federal Register on June 1, 2020, and is set to take effect 120 days after that publication date.

This would set the effective date for the new HOS rules for Monday, September 28.

The three month implementation delay will give ELD providers time to update their technology to accommodate the rule changes.

The FMCSA debuted the HOS Final Rule on May 14 after two years of active development.

The four key changes to HOS regulations are outlined below.

  • The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
  • The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • The Agency will change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

The FMCSA says that these changes are designed to give truckers increased flexibility while preserving highway safety.

The FMCSA also promises that the new rules will provide $274 million in annualized cost savings for U.S. consumers and the American economy.

For more information on the HOS changes, please click here.

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