As the final ELD mandate milestone approaches (all AOBRD systems must be upgraded to ELD by Dec 22, 2019), the FMCSA is considering changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules. The details of the changes have not been formally published, but are expected on June 7, which will then trigger a 49 day comment period. The comment period would extend the adoption of these rules out to July 26 at the earliest.
Speculation around the specific changes has been primarily around addressing some of the issues raised during the FMCSA listening tour, held late in 2018. Specific items expected are:
- Expanding the 100 air-mile exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty. This change would align the rules for both short-haul and long-haul drivers.
- Extending the 14 hour on-duty time period by 2 hours when a driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
- A revision to the mandatory 30 minute rest break which triggers after 8 hours of driving time.
- The ability to split up the required 10 hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating vehicles with sleeper-berths.
These changes are likely to be well received by the industry as they offer more flexibility for drivers to manage their working hours. The timing of the changes could however, create more confusion for drivers as they move from AOBRD to ELD workflows. We are closely watching these potential changes carefully and will have more to share once the timing and details become more solidified. Check back often to learn about upcoming changes in the ELD mandate.