On May 14, 2020, the FMCSA announced the intention to publish a Final Rule which updates the Federal Hours of Service Rules for commercial driving. There are four main revisions:
Note that the removal of a key point from The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) – the 30 minute to 3 hour pause to the work day – is not part of the Final Rule.
These new rules will go into effect September 29, 2020. Visit the FMCSA website for more information on this announcement, and for relevant federal register notices.
These rules are created to reduce truck and bus crashes by preventing driving of a commercial vehicle while fatigued. The underlying concept is that by providing opportunities for adequate sleep, a healthy driver will be a safer driver.
The first Hours of Service Rules for the U.S. were established in 1937. They were enforced starting in 1938, and by 1939, revisions were already on-going due to numerous objections.
The basics of the 1938 rules were similar to what we have today:
The revisions in 1939 removed the duty day requirements. These rules persisted until 1962 which brought in a more robust Sleeper Berth rule and a non-consecutive driving window.
2003 marked the first major changes to the Hours of Service rules for Property Carrying (the current Passenger Carrying rules are largely the same from 1962). These changes added an extra hour of driving , an extra two hours of OFF Duty time required to reset the workday, and the 14 hour workday window that we have today. These rules remained with only small changes until 2013, which brought in the 30 minute break provision for all property carrying drivers.
See also: Your guide to hours of service (U.S.)
In 2017, with the introduction of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD), drivers began to notice that a strict interpretation of the current hours of service rules were not a ‘one size fits all’ arrangement. Most ELD systems have the HOS Rules hard coded into what are known as rulesets. Because these rulesets offered the same flexibility as the then current HOS Rules, it was evident that changes were needed.
On September 25, 2018, the FMCSA announced an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) concerning commercial drivers, in response to congressional and industry concerns. This process initiated a series of public meetings, conference calls and thousands of comments. Topics to be discussed were changes to the Sleeper Berth provisions, and changes to the break requirements, workday rules, OFF duty requirements and more. Nearly a year later, August 23, 2019, the FMCSA announced the next phase, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
Geotab has followed and participated in the ANPRM and NPRM process with our Partners and associations and will be making the relevant changes to the Geotab Drive ELD rulesets in time to be used on the official effective date. There will not be any customer action needed to use these rules when they come into effect later this year.
Geotab will relay relevant information to our Resellers and Customers through email updates and the Geotab blog as we get closer to the effective date, subscribe to stay updated.
Source: Geotab Blog