New Hours of Service Enforcement Begins Today

July 01, 2013

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It’s the day many in trucking have dreaded. July 1 is the day updated hours of service regulations go into effect.

Opponents of the new rules, which include most every group in trucking,  had been hoping for a ruling from federal court on a challenge to the new regulations would stop them before they were able to take effect.

The court ruling will now obviously take place after the fact. The court could still rule against the FMCSA, forcing the new regulations to be withdrawn, though most likely not immediately.

The court also could invalidate portions of the new rules, causing FMCSA to revise them. Or it could leave the new regulations in place. There is no indication when this ruling will be issued, after oral arguments challenging the new rules took place in March.


The New York State Motor Truck Association reports the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance issued a memo to its members (truck-safety enforcement officers)  clarifying how the out-of-service criteria would be impacted by the changes to the hours of service rules.

Drivers may be placed out of service for 60- or 70-hour violations when they result from a non-qualifying restart, such as not including two nighttime periods from 1 a.m.-5 a.m. or beginning within 168 hours of the beginning of the prior restart.

However, drivers will not be placed out-of-service when discovered to have violated the new 30-minute rest break requirement. Such violations may be noted on the roadside inspection report, but will not result in the driver being placed out-of-service.

NYSMTA notes that although this is not a uniform approach, CVSA has indicated that drivers found in violation may be required by some states to cease operating and immediately take a 30 minute break. However, this scenario will not result in an official out-of-service order affecting the carrier's safety records.

Also, CVSA's position on rest break violations is subject to change as the organization is due to revisit the issue at its upcoming Annual Conference in September.

Summary of the Rules

In the meantime, here is a summary of updated hours of service rules, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, some of which have changed while others have not.

Limitations on minimum "34-hour restarts"

Prior rule: None

New Rule: (1) Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., home terminal time. (2) May only be used once per week, 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.

Rest breaks

Prior rule: None except as limited by other rule provisions.

New rule: May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time for hazardous materials may be included in break if no other duties performed]

On-duty time

Prior rule: Includes any time in CMV except sleeper berth.

New rule: Does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle (also applies to passenger carrying drivers). In a moving property-carrying CMV, does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper berth.


Prior rule: “Egregious” hours-of-service violations not specifically defined.

New rule: Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) more than 3 hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an “egregious” violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. Also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.

Summary of hours of service regulations

11-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Limit: May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period. 

60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.

Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two. 

Links for more information


  1. 1. russ helms [ June 30, 2013 @ 04:21PM ]

    i bet safety will not any better than than current law. anything can be fixed on paper. this obama trying to ceate jobs, and keep his hands in our business!!!!!!!

  2. 2. Ron Edwards [ July 01, 2013 @ 03:34AM ]

    Does no realize the 34 hour restart is an option and not a requirement. No one has to use it. That being said, the two 1:00am to 5:00pm off-duty periods are only required if one chooses to use the the 34 hour restart. NO 34 HOUR RESTART . . . no concern for the 1:00am - 5:00am off-duty.

  3. 3. Kevin J. Reidy [ July 01, 2013 @ 06:34AM ]

    @Russ Helms: You do know that these new rules were undertaken while Ray Lahood, a Republican, was Secretary of Transportation, same guy that worked under Bush, right?

    Anyway, the FMCSA used a fatigue study done in 2003 to support these new rules...the last rules *weren't even in force* before 2003.

    They went as far back as the could to find data that is irrelevant to support current rulemaking.

  4. 4. Peter Yaco [ July 01, 2013 @ 10:15AM ]

    I'm really confused about when you can start another 34 hour restart. "may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart." Ok say I start my reset on Friday 7p.m and begin driving Sunday 5a.m run out of my 70 hours on Thursday 7p.m can I start my 34 restart or not, if not when can I start it? Help please.

  5. 5. Randy Perryman [ July 01, 2013 @ 02:31PM ]

    LaHood is doing what the democrats have told him to do so they can get re elected. These ignorant rules wouldn't be in place if not for the morons in current administration.

  6. 6. Suzy [ July 02, 2013 @ 06:03AM ]

    that's right you go Randy Perryman!!!

  7. 7. Lee Lenard [ July 03, 2013 @ 01:14PM ]

    Ron Edwards, is the interpretation back to old log book days of available time equals time dropped 7th or 8th day back? In distribution service I drive for, we use on board computers and have been practicing the new rules for almost a month. Most driving at night and most days 14 hours. 30 min break really wrecks the duty time. Sometimes need a break before the 6th hour and sometimes after the 8th hour but forced to take within the 2 hour window or have to take a 2nd break if taken before 6th hour. Now have to drive when sleepy or need early nap or taking a break when hot and we are not allowed to idle truck. most miserable 30th minutes of the day. Promotes even more tired driving! The two back to back 1-5 really screws up body rhythms as well as havoc for company schedules trying to perform a service. The reset time should have been back to back times of 4 consecutive hours on two days whether they were 1-5 P.M. or 1-5 A.M. This HOS of service rewrite is the most ridiculous thing to come out of FMCSA in years. Evidently FMCSA assumed every trucker works 8 hours 9-5.

  8. 8. Scott [ July 07, 2013 @ 12:08AM ]

    Us night people (and drivers) are getting screwed!
    I can now only work 4 days a week instead of 6 because of the new rules.
    I work 6pm-8am sun night to sat morning. I always sleep from 8am-5pm everyday.

  9. 9. David Trivette [ July 10, 2013 @ 07:40AM ]

    Communism is taking root in this country. Politicians need to have a "hours of service" limitation because it's obvious to me that their work schedules are causing them to lose their freaking minds. My American flag now flies upside down. Thoughts of the U.S government make me sick to my stomach!

  10. 10. Nate [ July 14, 2013 @ 09:05AM ]

    I agree with David. This bs about these regulations being implemented to keep our roads safe is just a disguise for control. Everything that keeps track of time and distance on a truck and driver with documentations subject to audits is a big violation of privacy.


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