One of the most disliked trucking laws is set to change very soon.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees all of America's commercial drivers, announced that it was changing a rule that has been in place since 1937
The HOS rules in the past where easy to get around, but they've been more rigorously enforced by electronic-logging devices that became required in every truck driver's cabin. The devices are designed to ensure that truckers don't drive for more than 11 hours a day, that they work no more than 14 hours a day, and that they take regular breaks.
After thousands of public opinions sent in to the FMCSA, they have decided to make 5 changes.
Five measures are part of the proposed rulemaking to change the HOS rules, per an FMCSA press release:
1. Truckers could use their 30-minute break when they are on duty but not driving — such as if they are waiting at warehouses for a shipment but still technically on duty. Previously, truckers would have to go "off duty." This would "increase safety and flexibility," the agency said.
2. Truck drivers would be allowed to split up their 10-hour off-duty time into at least seven consecutive hours in their sleeper berth and two consecutive hours off duty or in their sleeper berth, rather than having a full 10-hour break.
3. An off-duty break of 30 minutes to three hours would pause a truck driver's 14-hour driving window, as long as the trucker takes 10 full hours off duty at the end of their shift.
4. Under adverse driving conditions, the 14-hour window could be extended by two hours.
5. For short-haul truckers, the maximum on-duty period could be extended to 14 hours from 12 and the distance limit to 150 miles from 100.
Only time will tell if this decision will be good for the industry or a disaster waiting to happen.