The Department of Transportation (DOT) passed new Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that affect most big rig drivers on US roads. The goal of the rules is to make roadways safer by having better-rested truck drivers. As a truck driver, new or experienced, it is extremely important to understand how these regulations could affect your work schedule. It doesn’t matter if you’re OTR, short distance or interstate, all Class A drivers need to follow these new HOS rules!
HOS Rules Breakdown
- Your day of driving begins after 10 hours off.
- You can drive 11 hours, then you must take a 10-hour break.
- During your first 8 hours of work, you must take a 30-minute rest break.
- Drivers must reset: they must spend 34 hours or more not driving, either after driving 60 hours in a 7 day week or 70 hours in an 8 day week.
A Day with the new Schedule
- 4:00 am, arrive to work, check your load, do your safety walk and drive.
- 11:50 am, you’ve been driving for almost 8 hours. Take a 30-minute break.
- 12:20 pm, you’re back on the road for 3 more hours after a safety walk.
- 3:20 pm, you’ve reached your 11-hour limit. You now need to take your 11-hour break. Sleep, eat, explore the city you are in, as long as you are not driving.
- 1:20 am, you have your beauty sleep! Do your safety walk and get back on the road! You’ve got 8 hours until your 30-minute break.
New electronic log devices (ELDs) are helpful to keep an eye on your 11-hour shift. They also reduce the ability to cheat on a logbook or do any other “creative recordkeeping”. Again, the whole purpose of both the new HOS rules and the ELD rules is to ensure that truckers are well rested when they’re on the road.
Are you an Exception?
As of August 2019, only livestock haulers and insect haulers are exempt from the HOS rules. Livestock needs to rest and drink, so a livestock hauler may need to go 12 or more hours straight to get to their destination, rather than leaving live animals on a trailer for 10 extra hours at a standstill.
**Note that on of August 14, 2019 FMCSA has released some proposed changes to the new HOS rules, but they have not been implemented yet.**
At Advanced Career Institute, we focus on training qualified CDL drivers who are employable and safe. Truck drivers are in high demand and these HOS rules are just becoming a part of the job! Contact us if you think the life of a trucker is for you!