Upcoming changes to HOS are right around the corner. The new HOS requirements go into effect on July 1, 2013.
While the changes officially went into effect on January 27, 2012, the FMCSA said the rules wouldn’t be enforced until July 1 of this year. The ATA recommends drivers start implementing the changes now. “If caught off guard, unaware drivers may be confused about the requirements and potentially incur violations that could generate fines and that will affect carrier CSA scores,” the ATA explains.
What are the biggest changes?
- A Restart, or 34-hour restart, can only be used once a week (168 hours) and must include two full consecutive periods of rest between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
“The purpose of the rule change is to limit work to no more than 70 hours a week on average. Working long daily and weekly hours on a continuing basis is associated with chronic fatigue, a high risk of crashes, and a number of serious chronic health conditions in drivers,” the FMCSA states.
- Restart must include 2-night periods between 1:00-5:00 a.m, NOT two rest periods between midnight and 6:00 a.m.
- A driver working 60 hours in 7 days and would not need a restart to start working again on the 8th day. The driver, therefore, would not need to use the restart provision.
- No driving if it has been more than 8 hours since your last break of 30 or more minutes
- Drivers must take a 30 minute rest break within the first 8 hours of coming on duty. If drivers take his rest break too early into their day, they may have to take second break.
- It would be best for the driver to take this break about 6 to 7 hours into his or her day to prevent having to take the second break.
- 34-Hour restart could result in some challenges that will impact operations.
- A driver utiliizing the 34-hour restart must have two a.m. breaks from the hours of 1:00 a.m. though 5:00 a.m.
- Only restart once a week or every 168 hours.
Today, the FMCSA issued visor cards. The visor cards illustrate the differences between the current HOS rule to the upcoming changes.