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HOS Reform: The 4 Changes You Must Know…and Their Impact

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Back on May 14th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules and they are officially going into effect on September 29, 2020. These changes came about after the FMCSA held multiple town hall meetings online to proactively get feedback from those that the HOS rules impact the most. After assessing all comments, the agency determined that there were four changes needed as part of the HOS rules reform – this is the first time they have changed the HOS rule since the final ELD Mandate took place on January 20, 2020.

Teletrac Navman has made the necessary changes to our DIRECTOR platform to ensure our customers avoid HOS-related out-of-service violations and stay on the road. It’s important for your drivers and administrators to clearly understand these new rules in order to get your fleet ready, so we have summarized these four crucial changes for you in this concise breakdown.

But first, watch this video overview:

2020 FMCSA Hours of Service Reform

HOS Provisions

CMV Short-Haul Exemption:

    • Previous Rule: The short-haul exemption would limit drivers’ on-duty status to 11 hours or less and those same drivers may not drive beyond a 100 air-mile radius.

    • New Rule: Extends on-duty status to 14 hours and air-mile radius to 150 miles.

The Impact: Increases fleet flexibility by allowing drivers to operate more hours and miles while still considered local, exempt from HOS.


Adverse Driving Conditions:

  • Previous Rule: Adverse driving conditions allow drivers to drive no more than two additional hours more than the maximum drive time of 11 hours, but this does not extend the maximum driving window of 14 hours.

  • New Rule: Amends the rule by allowing these two additional hours to also extend the maximum driving window to a maximum of 16 hours.

The Impact: This improves safety by allowing drivers to park and wait for the adverse driving conditions to pass, rather than making them drive through it in an attempt to maximize driving window usage.


30-Minute Break:

  • Previous Rule: When more than eight consecutive hours have passed since the last off-duty (or sleeper berth) period, the driver is required to take an off-duty break of no less than 30 minutes before driving again.

  • New Rule: Changes the language of the rule to require the 30-minute break only after eight hours of drive time, as opposed to on-duty time as well as allows on-duty/not driving periods to qualify as rest breaks.

The Impact: This can improve safety and flexibility by allowing drivers to reach their destination easier by increasing potential on-duty/non-driving time by up to 30 minutes.


Split-Sleeper Berth:

  • Previous Rule: Drivers can use the sleeper berth for an eight-to-two split; meaning the eight-consecutive hours of rest and the separate two-consecutive hours of rest do not count against the 14-hour limit of driving time.

  • New Rule: Allows for drivers to choose between the above eight-to-two split or a seven-to-three split treated in the same manner, based on their preference.

The Impact: Improves safety by potentially increasing the likelihood drivers utilize the use of the sleeper berth periods by giving them a choice on how they want to do so, because drivers using a berth have additional hours to complete 11 hours of driving.


To learn more about how Teletrac Navman can increase your fleet safety and help you avoid compliance violations visit our Compliance Manager page.

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