HOS Changes and What This Change Means For You

As of July 1, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted the new Hours of Service (HOS) rule.  The change directly affects the schedule and hours of many truck drivers in the United States.  Why was this rule created?  The goal is to reduce excessively long work hours that increase both the risk of fatigue-related crashes and long-term health problems for drivers. 

So what does this all mean?  Drivers are not permitted to drive over 8 consecutive hours.  If a driver has not had at least a 30 minute break by the end of the eighth hours, the driver must take a 30 minute break.  The biggest change is the reduction of hours a driver will be allowed to log in due to the 34 hour “restart” provision.  The new rule will limit the maximum number of hours a driver can work and drive from 82 to 70 hours per week.

The HOS final rule was originally published in December 2011.  To help better understand the changes, here are some frequently asked questions and addition resources. 


Does this affect drivers in Canada or Mexico?

Yes, if they operate in the United States.

Do you have to take a break exactly 8 hours after you come on duty?

No, there is flexibility in the rule.

Who does this affect?

The new rule affects any driver that operates a commercial motor vehicle.

What about Livestock and Poultry Drivers?

The U.S. Department of Transportation has indicated that it will grant a 90-day waiver of a new hours of service rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry.

Additional Resources:

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