February 5, 2012 — U.S. Hours of Service Rule Changes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released the details of the final changes to the Hours of Service rules for drivers who are driving in the U.S. The final rule was published in December, 2011.

The changes are coming into effect in 2 phases.

February 27, 2012

This phase will make changes in 3 areas:

  1. On Duty Time: Time spent resting in a parked CMV is no longer considered on duty time (this applies to passenger carrying vehicles as well). Also, for property carrying vehicles, up to 2 hours spent as a passenger seat of a moving CMV that immediately precedes or follows 8 or more hours in the sleeper berth can now be counted as off duty time.
  2. Penalties: Any drive time violations that are more than 3 hours beyond the limits can now be considered egregious violations. These violations are subject to the maximum civil penalties.
  3. Oilfield Exemption: For certain drivers who are waiting at an oilfield, time spent waiting is off duty time but it extends the 14 hours on duty period (this is referred to as waiting time). This time must now be recorded in the log book by either making appropriate notations in the Remarks section or by adding a 5th grid line to represent the waiting time.

July 5, 2013

There are 2 areas affected by this phase:

  1. Restarts: The 34 hour cycle restart is being changed by adding 2 new conditions. First, a restart must include the time from 1 am to 5 am of your home terminal time for 2 consecutive days. Second, a reset can only be applied once in a 7 day period.
  2. Breaks: The rule have now added a requirement for breaks. You may not drive if your last off duty period of at least 30 minutes is more than 8 hours ago.

If you have any questions about how these new rules will affect you when you travel into the U.S. contact me.

Bill is the webmaster at Trucks-R-Us.ca. He develops and delivers training in Hours of Service, Pre-trip Inspections and Cargo Securement. He also assists Sylvie in performing safety audits.

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