New HOS Regulations Effective July 1

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On July 1 two new hours-of-service requirements become effective. These rules require a 30 minute break after 8 hours on duty and impose requirements and limitations on the 34 hour restart.
We have posted two five minute narrated power point presentations on the video section of our web page, They are intended to provide a quick, simple overview to drivers, operations, shippers, brokers, or yourself. Please feel free to share them with others.


Effective July 1, if more than 8 hours of on-duty time have passed since the last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes, a driver must take a break of at least 30 minutes before driving.
How does it work? A driver who immediately begins driving can continue to do so for up to 8 hours. At that point he has to stop and take a 30 minute break.
However, if the driver goes on duty for 2 hours before driving, he can only drive up to 6 hours before the break is required. The 2 hours “on-duty” plus 6 hours “driving” total 8 hours since his last “off-duty” or “sleeper berth” break of 30 minutes or more.
The key—the break must be taken after 8 hours of “on-duty”, not just driving. A “break” is “off duty” time. It is not necessarily spent resting–meal breaks or any other “off duty” time of 30 minutes or more will qualify for the break.
The changed definition of “off duty” permits a driver to log “off duty” while remaining in or on a commercial motor vehicle. For teams, the changed rule permits a team driver to log as “off duty” up to 2 hours in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle. However, this must be immediately before or after an 8 hour period in the sleeper berth.
However, this change does not alter the existing requirement to log time “on duty” when the driver has vehicle responsibility such as loading or unloading. In explaining the final rules, the FMCSA stated, “Unless a driver is released from all responsibility for the vehicle while waiting to be loaded or unloaded, time spent waiting is still considered on duty time.”


The regulations retain the 34 hour restart. However, there are several significant limitations that need to be met to get credit for the restart.
First, it can only be used once per week. This is not a calendar week, but refers to the 168 hours that comprise a week (7 days times 24 hours).
The 168 must pass from the time the driver begins his 34 hours off until the next time he can begin his next 34 hours off for the restart to count. It is from start of time off to start of time off.
For example, if he began his 34 hours off at 8 a.m. on a Tuesday, he cannot start his next 34 hours off duty time that would qualified as a restart until 8 a.m. the next Tuesday. It must be 168 hours from when he started his last 34 hours off.
If a driver would have 2 periods of 34 hours off within a 168 hour period, he must indicate in the remarks section of his record of duty status which of the two 34 hour periods is being used as a restart.
Second, the 34 hours off must include 2 periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. If the driver would park at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday to begin a 34 hour restart, he could not go back on duty until 5 a.m. on Thursday to get credit for the restart. This time off would include 2 periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.—one Wednesday morning and one on Thursday morning.
These time periods are calculated based upon the time zone of a driver’s home terminal, not the local time where a driver is located. For example, a driver for an east coast company who starts his restart in the Pacific Time Zone would need two periods from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. local time because he is logging his time based on Eastern Time.
As with the break after 8 hours, the key is planning. If a driver pulls off the road and begins his 34 hours off duty at 7 p.m., he can complete his restart in 34 hours. The math is as follows:
-5 hours from 7 p.m. to midnight;
-24 hours to the next midnight;
-5 hours from midnight to 5 a.m.
A total of 34 hours that includes 2 periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
However, a driver has to park it for 51 hours parked if he pulls off at 2 a.m. This adds 17 hours to the time required to get credit for the restart.
The choreography is vital for team drivers. The time they must stop for a restart will depend on when they stop and whether the team overlaps restarts. If properly synchronized, both drivers could complete a 34 hours restart with a 28 hour stop of the truck.
If the team stops the truck for the 28 hours before 1 a.m. on one day, they would have the 2 night rest periods by 5 a.m. the next day. One driver would have to be off duty in the sleeper berth for the 6 hours before the truck stopped for 28 hours. The other driver would then remain off duty in the sleeper berth for the first 6 hours when they start again.
Knowing the rules and planning are the keys to the new rules. Coordinating breaks and restarts are a must to maximize operations and minimize down time.
Educating shippers and brokers is also important. They schedules can play a key role in minimizing the impact for our mutual benefit.

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Doug Marcello, a shareholder with the law firm of Saxton & Stump and chief legal officer of Bluewire, is a trucking defense attorney with a CDL. He had represented trucking clients across the country, having been specially admitted for cases in 35 states. Doug received the 2018 Leadership Award of the ATA Safety Council.

He has served on the advisory board of the American Trucking Research Institute. Doug is a member of numerous trucking organizations, including a board member of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association and member of the American Trucking Associations Safety Council as well as trucking law organizations including TIDA and Transportation Lawyers. He has written numerous articles concerning trucking safety and defense which can be found at You can also find his interviews and presentation on his YouTube channel and podcast, “TransportCenter”, on iTunes.

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  • add some more regulations in,we definately need more,maybe just tell all the drivers to stay home altogether and save our tax dollars on all these foolish idiots who continue to justify theyre jobs bycoming up with another *** up to a safety systemthats already ****ed,hope they eventually come up with a way tomove freight without trucks

    • I agree with you Jason, I would love to see all the trucks parked for just for 2 weeks, that’s long enough for the store shelves to go empty and everyone to start loosing there minds.

  • All the 30 minute break does is force drivers to spend more time away from home and not get paid for it. Idiots.

  • This is ridiculous. 30 min break after 8hrs on duty is foolish, drivers know when they need a break. The 34 hr restart restrictions are even more stupid to specify it must contain 2 periods between 1am and 5am. These buricrats that come up with these rules should try and do a truckers job for 2 weeks, then they would have an idea what the job entails. Drivers know when they need a break, it doesn’t need to be governed by a new rule.

  • I would ask the question again that I asked of the FMCSA on the Dave Nemo show a couple of weeks ago…and got no clear answer. When does a reset of 34 hours become time off… in, if I go home for the weekend, from Friday night to Sunday night or Monday morning….is that time off, or is that a reset…and if I’m home for 3 days, is that a reset, or is it time off…. Being involved in the produce business, if I get rained out somewhere waiting for a load, and I have to sit for a couple of days, is that a reset or time off, particularly if I’m there in excess of 48 hours….

    • it would be a reset if you have enough hours to claim a reset. If you are sitting long enough to use as berth time, or whatever use you can put the length of time to, that s what you would do.

  • I was vexed when they took away the split sleeper berth as I did quite a bit night time driving and looked forward to my afternoon nap. Even when I slept all night, I still had to have my afternoon nap as when the sun is shining in the cab and its a beautiful day out, my eyes got heavy and the bunk was looking mighty fine.., so I laid down for a nap. Now they make that impossible and basically tell me I’m not allowed to break up my driving time, in essence, forcing me to go against my circadian rhythm and creating the scene for an afternoon accident because I had trouble keeping my eyes open but couldn’t stop driving as I would lose valuable driving time via log book.
    So I cannot believe that they are creating more rules to follow.. They are just making it more difficult for drivers to follow and more hoops to jump thru so in effect, more violations to blame the drivers for when they can’t follow all these rules. They treat us drivers like we are idiots.
    As a valid driver who was looking forward to gong back to driving when the kids were older, I highly doubt I ever will drive again in this industry.. way too many regulations to follow.. or maybe I will run on my time anyways.. but who’s going to hire a driver who needs an afternoon nap..

  • Its actually an insult to our intelligence, most of us take at least that amount of time per day for lunch, stopping for a coffee, or a washroom break. But now on top of these we have to show an extra half an hour(especially if your on elogs) or you have to put off that stop to a point where it satisfies the rule and not a basic human need. I wonder how many of us will park and stare out the windshield for 30 minutes with the engine running, staring at the clock, maybe fairly close to home. (sounds like on duty not driving to me)

  • the rules and reg’s they come up with are a joke it is nothing more than a money grab they needs ways to bring more money to the state or province because they are all broke and we are easy prey

  • This is where it gets silly traffic may be blocked due to a wreck. E log says take a 30 min break but you cannot park on the 401 which law to break….
    Catch 22 good thing we are paid so well.

    oops not so well.
    Any one want a driving job….???

  • When will we get together and do something about this nonsense ? There is strength in numbers. Law makers act based on pass incidents. So cheer up guys….the next one ( or few ) driver that die trying to stay compliant should rectify this problem. Having a 34 hr reset that could take 51 hrs does not add any safety to the driver or other commuters. I see plain stupidity. Maybe I’m the one missing something. Certainely doesn’t feel that way when I’m forcing myself to stay awake so I can stay compliant because of the sleeper berth rules.

  • I was under the understanding that you needed 36 hours off to reset in Ontario. Did this change as of July 1/13 as well?

  • Only a trained puppet would work or drive 8 hours straight. People are complaining about Government trying to run their lives, yet they allow carriers to push them beyond reasonable limits.

    It’s a shame more drivers can’t think for themselves instead of carriers or Government having to do it for them.

  • I have no complaint about the 1/2 , , I usually took that anyways , The 2 periods between 1 – 5 , I can live with that but the new reset rules just don’t make any f’ing sense at all . I am home weekends . So lets say I leave Monday morning ,do a rounder , get back re-load on Thursday ,but the load doesn’t deliver till Monday , in other words I would have friday and Saturday off ,and leave Sunday , but I didn’t have my 168 hours ,so does this mean my re-set is not a proper reset ??

  • Hey folks don’t worry when EOBRS become mandatory you will not have to think , the computers will do it for you!!! I like I have said for years now once we all have to run legal the #$@%^$ will hit the fan!!!!!

  • Guys Since the introduction of e logs ,a driver must get in the cab lock the driver door and not stop till his us hours are completed in order to make 500 to 550 miles a day which in turn represents for the most part a gross income for the day of 200.00 The government realized this is what is is happening since e logs so they implemented a mandatory 30 min break to reduce fatigue what a joke we all realize the industry is going sideways as always the rich get richer happy miles

  • I’m wondering if there’s any proof that a half hour break after 8 hours of driving would be beneficial. If I’m driving for 8 hours straight and have another hour to go and I am alert and feeling strong happy so on and forced to sit behind the wheel of my truck and get all relaxed for a half an hour I may be ready then for a nap instead of driving. I can see it doing more harm than good. There are so many variables at play here your physical makeup, your diet, what you’re used to doing and so on. Some people start to nod after driving for 2 hours others can probably go 4 more than 14 straight and feel fine. I think the government needs to realize no matter how many rules they put in place drivers need to know themselves what they need to do. They just can’t fix people with the lack of Common Sense or stupidity they need to quit trying.