Eclipse DOT logo

Change is in the Air for Hours of Service

Image showing a clock symbolizing changes to Hours of Service regulations.

FMCSA publishes a proposed rule change for HOS.

On August 14th, the FMCSA published their long-awaited proposed rule changes to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. They have proposed five new rule changes that will have all industries celebrating. ELD providers may be scrambling to update their programs.

Five New Rule Changes

  1. Operating in adverse driving conditions, as described in 395.2, drivers will be allowed to operate for an extra 2 hours. (395.2 Adverse driving conditions means snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions, none of which were apparent on the basis of information known to the person dispatching the run at the time it was begun.)
  2. Short Haul Exempt (SHE) drivers would now have 14 hours to return to their initial reporting locations. Drivers operating CDL vehicles will be allowed an extra 2 hours of on-duty time in their day and remain short-haul exempt. The SHE regulation change is that all drivers would be allowed to travel within 150 air miles (172.6 statute miles) and remain. Thus equalizing non-CDL CMV drivers and CDL drivers for this exemption.
  3. Flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allowing the requirement to be satisfied by an on-duty break from driving rather than requiring an off-duty break.
  4. Drivers could pause their 14-hour time clock by taking a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of a 3-hour off-duty break. Provided the driver takes a full 10-hour break at the end of their work shift.
  5. Modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than 2 consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.

These proposed rule changes are much needed, as the HOS regulations have only been tightened, making it harder for companies of all sizes to function.

FMCSA is stating that.

This particular regulation overhaul will pump approximately $217 million back into the economy annually! If you break that down even further, it equates to over $127.00 per driver annually.

Now is the time to make a comment. Don’t wait till the last minute to read this 129-page proposed rulemaking. Everyone will have a total of 45 days to make comments as of 8/14/2019. If you have any questions about this rule or others, please reach out to us at

Comments on this notice must be received on or before [INSERT DATE 45 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket Number FMCSA-201 8-0248.

Using any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays

Fax: (202) 493-2251. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions on submitting comments.

For further information, contact:

Mr. Richard Clemente, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 366-4325, or email at If you have questions about viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact Docket Services by telephone at (202) 366-9826.

Discover our CDL & DOT Compliance blog for an exclusive trial at Also, claim your FREE micro audit at THE ECLIPSE DOT MICRO AUDIT. Ready for smoother operations?

Share this Post :