Attn CDL Drivers: FMCSA Publishes FINAL HOS Rules

Whether your game is short-haul, OTR, livestock or hazmat tanker, you need to understand the new hours of service regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the final Hours of Service (HOS) Rules in March 2020. If you’d like to read the final official document, you can find it here. These rule changes affect all CDL drivers in the US. You must know them.

Much like the previous version, these new HOS rules are designed to keep over-tired drivers off the road. FMCSA has made a few adjustments, particularly to break times and drive times. The team at J.E.B. Insurance Services LLC is happy to outline them for your here. 

The 14-Hour Window Modified

In a 24-hour day, drivers have a 14-hour work window and a required rest period of 10 hours.

  • Within your 14-hour work window, you can drive a total of 11 hours.
  • There is a new bad weather exemption. (More on that in a moment.)
  • The other three hours can be spent in or out of the berth, and include a required 30-minute break after eight hours of driving. 
  • After these 14 hours are spent, you can still do other work outside the truck. However, you cannot drive until you’ve taken a ten-hour break.

The Bad Weather Exception / “Adverse Driving Conditions”

The 11-hour limit on drive time still stands, unless you find yourself driving in inclement weather or “adverse driving conditions.” If you find yourself driving through hail, flooding, or a blizzard, it’s okay to spend 13 hours behind the wheel.

However, we must point out that “adverse driving conditions” are not thoroughly defined in the document. We would advise drivers that road closures and winter weather storm warnings are likely to be provable incidents worthy of extended drive time. Still, drivers shouldn’t take advantage of the rule, lest they find themselves over-hours on their ELD.

At J.E.B. Insurance Services LLC, we provide our blog as a readable resource for CDL drivers and fleet managers. We know your concerns about the HOS changes because we speak to you every day. We encourage you to read the entire HOS document and contact us if you need a truck or cargo insurance quote.  We provide commercial truck insurance in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee & Texas.

David Ott

David Ott