The United States Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule last week updating hours of service for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, addressing the exception for adverse driving conditions, the short-haul exception, break periods, and the sleeper-berth exception. Here's the four key revisions, per the FMCSA press release:
- Break periods—The revised rule requires a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and allows the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
- Sleeper-berth exception—The revised rule allows drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
- Adverse driving conditions—The revised rule extends by 2 hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
- Short-haul exception— The revised rule lengthens the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extends the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
The FMCSA said "modernizing" the HOS rules will save the U.S. economy and consumers nearly $274 million annually. The new hours of service rule will have an implementation date of 120 days after publication in the Federal Register.
NAPA welcomed the changes announced in FMCSA's new rule. “Although NAPA worked hard to get its initial Exemption for our industry, allowing additional on-duty time, we also recognized that agency should provide similar relief for other supply-chain trucking needs,” said NAPA President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Audrey Copeland. “Similar to what we did in 2018, we actively engaged with our stakeholders, throughout the entire rulemaking process, to ensure these benefits and others were realized in FMCSA’s final ruling. It's gratifying that NAPA’s temporary industry-exemption issued 2 years ago was the basis for the final rule.”