- General Provisions
- Proposed Driving Time
- Proposed Off-Duty Breaks
- Proposed 14-Hour Driving Window
- Proposed 13-Hour On-Duty Limit During Driving Window
- Proposed 16-Hour Driving Window
- Proposed 34-Hour Restart
- Sleeper Berths
- Oilfield Operations
A. General Provisions
1. Which drivers would be affected by the proposed HOS rule?
- The proposed regulatory revisions would apply mostly to property-carrying (generally, trucks) commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.
- Passenger-carrying drivers (generally, buses) could be affected only by a change to the definition of on-duty, which allows some time spent resting in a parked vehicle to be counted as off duty.
- The impact of the proposed revisions on an individual driver or carrier would depend entirely on the nature of operations, scheduling, etc.
2. When would the proposed regulations, if adopted, go into effect?
- FMCSA is required by a settlement agreement to publish a final rule on HOS by July 26, 2011. The effective and compliance dates would not be announced until the final rule is published in the Federal Register. FMCSA typically allows for a delayed compliance date if adopted changes would require significant time to implement. The Agency is requesting public comment on all aspects of the proposed rule, including the compliance or implementation date.
3. How would the proposed definition of "on-duty time" affect drivers?
The proposed definition of "on-duty time" would give drivers two new ways to be off duty:
- Immediately before or after a period of at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, a team driver could be off duty while resting in the passenger seat of a property-carrying (generally trucks)vehicle moving on the highway, and
- Drivers could be resting in or on a parked vehicle while off duty (applies to property- and passenger-carrying drivers).
B. Proposed Driving Time
1. How much driving time would the proposal allow?
- Truck drivers would have either 10 or 11 hours of driving time following a period of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. FMCSA requests public comment and data on how the current 11-hour driving limit is used and how safe it is before making a decision on whether the 10- or 11-hour limit should be adopted.
C. Proposed Off-Duty Breaks
1. Is there a proposed mandatory break?
- The proposed rule would ensure a driver does not drive more than 7 consecutive hours without having at least a thirty-minute break. Drivers can choose when to take that rest break but they must take it if 7 hours have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper-berth period if they wish to continue to drive.
2. Would a driver have to take more than one break during a duty period?
- The answer would depend on the timing of the breaks and when the driver stops driving for the day. A driver who takes the break at 6 to 7 hours into the duty period would probably not need to take a second one. A driver who takes a break early in the duty period might need to take a second one to continue driving for the maximum legal period.
D. Proposed 14-Hour Driving Window
1. Is the proposed "14-hour driving window" different from the current "14-hour duty period"?
- Yes, the "driving window" proposal differs in two ways from the current regulations. First, under the current rule, a driver can be on-duty during the entire 14 consecutive-hour driving window, and beyond. In other words, drivers may continue non-driving tasks beyond the 14-hour window. The proposed rule would essentially limit the standard driving window to 14 consecutive hours, during which a driver could be on duty no more than 13 hours. For example, a driver who wanted to be driving at the end of the 14th hour after coming on duty would have to take breaks totaling at least 1 hour during the period.
- Secondly, current regulations allow a driver to continue in an "on duty/not driving" status (which may affect compliance with the 60/70 hr. rule) after the end of the 14-hr. period. The proposal, however, requires the driver to go off duty at the end of the 14-hr. period.
- Note that the 14-hr. period may sometimes be extended to 16 hrs. as explained below. The same concepts would apply to the 16-hr. periods as they do to the 14-hr. period; i.e., limit of 13 hrs. on-duty during period, and must go off duty at end of 16-hr. period.
E. Proposed 13-Hour On-Duty Limit During Driving Window
1. How would the proposed 13-hour on-duty limit affect the "driving window" or "shift"?
- Currently, a driver normally cannot drive a CMV after 14 consecutive hours from the time he or she comes on duty. The proposal would allow a driver to be on duty for no more than 13 hours in either a 14 or 16 consecutive-hour driving window (16-hour windows would be allowed twice per week). That means that a driver who wants to drive after 13 hours since coming on duty, must take between 1 (under 14-hour window) and 3 (under 16-hour window) hours off duty sometime during the driving window. Any required "breaks" in consecutive hours of driving may be counted as part of this off-duty time.
F. Proposed 16-Hour Driving Window
1 How often can a driver use the 16-hour driving window?
- A driver could use the proposed 16-hour driving window no more than twice in any 7-day period. The 7-day period would "roll," that is, the availability of a 16-hour window would be determined by the number of times in the previous 7 days that the driver had used the window. A driver who used the 16-hour window on the last two days before a restart could not use another 16-hour window until 7 days had passed since the last use of a 16-hr. period. This provision is similar to the current rule for non-CDL drivers who operate within a 150-air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location, which limits the use of the 16-hr. window to twice per week.
2. Do the proposed 16-hour windows extend the proposed 13-hour on-duty limit?
- No. A driver could only be on duty up to 13 hours (and drive up to either 10 or 11 hours) during the proposed 16-hour window.
3. Would a driver have to go off duty at the end of the proposed 16-hour driving window?
- Yes. In addition, if the driver is on duty for any period past the 14-hour limit, he or she would be deemed to have used one of the two available 16-hr. driving windows for that week.
G. Proposed 34-Hour Restart
1. Would a driver still be able to use a 34-hour restart of the 60/70 hour weekly on-duty limit?
- Yes, the proposed rule would retain the minimum 34-hour restart, but the proposed restart would have to include 2 nights (between midnight and 6 a.m.) off duty. Therefore, depending on the driver's schedule, the required restart may actually be longer than the minimum 34 hours. A driver could only use the restart once a week (every 168 hours).
H. Sleeper Berths
1. How does the proposed HOS rule affect the sleeper berth regulations?
FMCSA is not proposing any changes to the primary requirements of the sleeper berth regulations at this time, but some of the proposed changes would affect the way drivers use the sleeper berth provisions.
- The proposed definition of "on-duty time" would give drivers a new way to be off duty while in a moving vehicle. A team driver could count 2 hours immediately before or after the 8-hour sleeper berth period as off-duty when riding in the passenger seat.
- The shorter break of at least 2 hours required by the sleeper berth rule is included in the driving window. If the driver is using the proposed 16-hour window, the shorter break would not affect the available 13-hours of on-duty time (because 3 hours off duty during the driving window would be required anyway). If the driver was using the proposed 14-hour window, the shorter break would reduce the available on-duty time by 1 hour (14 hrs.-2 hrs=12 hrs. available).
- The shorter break could be combined with the break of at least a half hour when required.
I. Oilfield Operations
1. How would the proposed HOS rule affect oilfield operations?
The proposed oilfield operations regulations would tell drivers how to record "waiting time" on the records of duty status and make it clear that "waiting time" would not be included in calculating the 14- or 16-hour driving window.