Updated "Hours of Service" Rule in Effect

Updated “Hours of Service” Rule in Effect

The well-known “Hours of Service” rule that is presently in effect for any long haul driver is currently undergoing some interesting changes that will play an important role in regards to the moving industry.

In August, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals (District of Columbia) allowed for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s  Hours of Service rule to remain intact. Which meant that the petition that was being reviewed (of which was filed by the American Trucking Association) was in turn denied.

The vast majority of the regulations of the actual rule remain in tact.  The 11 hour daily driving limit remains, prohibiting driving after 8 hours (without a 30 minute break), as well as the requirement of a 34 hour reset which may be used once per week and include two periods of 1 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Interestingly, the only true change to the Hours of Service rule was an exemption of short-haul drivers for the 30 minute break requirement. This particular exemption would apply mainly to short and/or local household goods moves.

The present rule was enacted in on December 27th of 2011, yet was not put in to effect until July 1st of the next year. Since the rule, the American Trucking Association has made several failed attempts at trying to get the rule changed. As noted by Judge Janice Rogers (one of the three judges who sat on the panel), the FMCSA did not act “arbitrarily or precariously in restricting the restart to once per seven days. Federal agencies can make such changes if reasonable justification is provided, and this reflected a changed understanding of how the 34 hour restart is used in practice.”

While the rule may continue to remain in its present state and see no changes in the near future, we can be sure of one thing… That the American Trucking Association more than likely knows better about their driving duties than a panel of judges, and they will continue to advocate for that change to be made.