Update: HOS Restart Hours Suspended

A few months ago we posted a blog article that explained the 2013 update to the Hours of Service (HOS) rules. In that article we explained the new rules as well as the issues and misconceptions with the new rules. These rules were recently suspended on December 13, 2014 and went into effect on December 16, 2014. Keep reading to learn more about the HOS rules as well as what the suspension of the 2013 update to the rules means for truck drivers and shippers.

2013 HOS Rule Update

The most important changes that were made to the HOS rules in 2013 were:

  • Drivers are limited to 2 loads per week shipments. Before the 2013 update drivers could have up to 3 loads per week shipments.
  • A limitation for 500 miles per 24 hours. Previous to the 2013 update, the limitation was 625 miles, next-day- delivery.
  • Each 34 hour restart periods must include two 1 AM to 5 AM periods.
  • Cap on driver hours behind the wheel from 82 hours per week to 70 hours per week.

The main issue with these rules was that it took longer to get the product from the shippers to the receivers. This rule change set off a whole chain of events that ultimately caused trucking capacity issues across the country.

Ever since the restart rule was put into place in July of 2013 many trucking companies, truck drivers and trucking associations (including American Trucking Associations) have been hoping for a suspension of the rules. Many people agree that the restart rules reduce productivity and even increase risk because more trucks have to be on the road during rush hour times.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has stood by these rules arguing that they help to decrease accidents due to fatigued drivers.

HOS Restart Rules Suspended

As stated, the restart rules have been suspended as of December 16, 2014. This decision means that drivers won’t have to schedule their 34 hour restart periods to include two 1 AM to 5 PM rest periods. This rule suspension also lifts the cap on drivers’ hours from 70 to 82.

These rules will be suspended until September 30, 2015. It was also stated that these rules may only be enforced again after a thorough study is completed.

The FMCSA is required to complete a comprehensive study of the restart rule, including the 2013 update and without the 2013 update in place. The study is supposed to determine the impact of the restart rule on health, safety and career operations. The restart rules from 2013 will not go back into place until FMSCA completes the study and demonstrates to Congress that the restart rules “provide greater net benefit for the operation , safety, health and fatigue impacts” than not.

To learn more about the HOS restart rules that were put into place in July of 2013, read our blog article: How Do Hours for Truck Drivers Affect Transportation?

Need more information about the HOS restart rules suspension? Contact us.

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