On July 1, after 18 months of litigation and controversy, the new drivers’ hours of service rules became effective. These new rules have been praised by some, primarily the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and criticized by others, especially the American Trucking Associations; and the final expected impact is still unclear.
Briefly summarized, the final rules do not change the current 11 hour daily driving maximum or the 14 hour work day, but do limit the current work week to 70 hours, reduced from 82. (Many advocates of the changed rules had hoped for a 10 hour driving limit.)
The 34 hour restart provision now requires that the 34 hours off must include two nights of rest between the hours of 1:00 am and 5:00 am. This is a significant change. Additionally, a thirty minute break is required during the first eight hours of driving.
But, the debate on these rules may not be over. The ATA asked the Court of Appeals in Washington to overturn the rules, but the Court has not reached a decision. The FMCSA was asked by the ATA to delay the rules until the court ruled, but they refused to do so. The ATA estimates that if the rules are ultimately overturned, the industry will have spent $320 million unnecessarily, which could impact your third party logistics.