DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 2, 2012
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance
We’ve received a number of questions about the new Hours-of-Service regulations. This week’s Fast-Fax is dedicated to answering the most frequently asked.
Has the Rule Been Published in the Federal Register Yet?
Yes, the rule has now been published, meaning that implementation can begin. If you would like to read the rule in full, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has published it on their website. You can view it here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/final/HOS-Final-Rule-12-27-11.pdf.
When is it Being Implemented?
Now that the Final Rule has been published in the Federal Register, there is a set time-table for rolling out the rule to carriers. The effective date in the Final Rule is given as February 27 2012. This has caused some alarm with readers but you shouldn’t worry for now. Only a few minor aspects of the rule will go into effect then, the rest will go into effect in 2013. Here is a timetable of the implementation.
The following Provisions of the rule will become effective on February 27, 2012:
- On-Duty Time: Under the rule going into effect on February 27, on duty-time does not include any time resting in a parked CMV. In a moving property-carrying CMV, on-duty time does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth. This provision also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
- Penalties: Starting on February 27, driving (or allowing a driver to drive) 3 or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. This provision also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
- Oilfield Exemption: “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”
The rest of the rule, as described in Fast-Fax 718, will become effective on July 1, 2013. (This includes the 11 hours of driving time; the mandatory breaks every 8 hours and the limit on 34- hour restart rule.)
I have to take a half-hour break every 8 hours? What if that doesn’t fit my schedule?
You can’t drive for eight hours without going off duty for 30 minutes. However, you can take the break at any time within those 8 hours and reset the clock. For example, your day could be 8 hours on duty, half an hour’s break, then another 3 hours on duty to bring you to a total of 11 hours for the day. Alternatively you could work 6 hours, then take the break, then work another 5, or any combination in between.
What about the times I am loading or unloading or dealing with a client out of my truck?
Unfortunately, these situations don’t count as ‘Off-Duty’ time. When you take the 30-minute break you need to stop working; go into your sleeper berth or go to a truck stop, do anything non-work related.
I Keep Hearing That the Rule Allows 11 Hours Driving Time, I Thought it was 10?
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in 2010, FMCSA put in both 10 and 11-hour days, saying that they would choose which is better when they published the Final Rule. When the rule was published, they decided to stick with the 11 hours.
Is There Going To be a Lawsuit?
There is a lot of talk right now from both sides of the debate — carriers and safety advocates — but, as yet, no action. If there is a lawsuit, we will let you know. Even if there is, it may not stop the rulemaking process. The presiding judge could stop the rule while the deliberations go on, but he or she might choose not to. At this stage of the game, you should plan on the rule going into place — if it doesn’t, it doesn’t but it’s better to be prepared.
Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 719 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011