Hours of Service Final Rule and ELD Automation

hours of service drivers on the road

The purpose of the Hours of Service (HOS) rules is to ensure safety on the roads. The regulation defines the “maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty including driving time, and specifies number and length of rest periods.”

You, as a fleet manager or an owner-operator, are required to comply with these rules. We, at Advantage Knights, can help you make this process faster and more accurate with our top-technology ELD system.

Hours of Service Rules

hours of service final rule signature

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Services Rules (HOS) was first adopted in 1937. The primary goal of the hours of service rules is to ensure safety on the roads. Nevertheless, the experience of drivers is equally considered on the regulations. Because of that, in 2018, the FMCSA started receiving public comments on portions of the HOS rules to “alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highway and roads.”

Hours of Service Final Rule

hours of service final rule

Given that, on May 14, 2020, the United States Department of Transportation published a final rule to modernize hours of service (HOS) rules. According to the general comments on the rulemaking, the proposed changes:

  • Increase flexibility;
  • Improve highway safety;
  • Provide drivers with greater control when and where to take rest breaks;
  • Increase efficiency and productivity; and,
  • Reduce driver stress and fatigue.

The administration recognized the importance of the role of truck drivers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping our supply chains open is essential, and truck drivers make it possible. Considering that, the final rule aims to increase flexibility for drivers while maintaining safety on the roads.

Final Rule Changes

trucks comply with hours of service rules

In this context, with the modernization of the hour of service rules, the FMCSA:

  1. expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hours work shift to take place as part of the exception;
  2. expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours;
  3. requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break; and
  4. modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7, rather than at least 8 of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside of the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualifying period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

Moreover, you can read a thorough explanation of the final rule at the Federal Register website. Once the legislation considered the public suggestions, the FMCSA provides comments and responses for each manifestation.

Hours of Service Automation with an ELD

One of the purposes of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate is to automate driving data records to manage hours of service (HOS). Advantage Knights understands the importance of those devices for fleet managers. In light of this, we offer an excellent cost-effective ELD system for your fleet. You can reduce hours spent with manual logs and increase the overall efficiency of your fleet. Here you can find more specifications about the Advantages Knights ELD.

The final rule was effective beginning on September 29, 2020. Thus, you cannot afford to waste any more time. Advantages Knights ELD device is the best solution to automate your HOS records. Reach out to us today and start saving money and time with automated solutions for your fleet!