Reminder: Short-Haul Driver Hours Of Service Amendments Now Effective

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s long awaited CDL hours of service (HOS) amendments for short-haul drivers are effective as of October 6.

The FMCSA issued an HOS final rule earlier this year that adopted several provisions requested by PMAA that provides regulatory relief for short haul drivers. The final rule adopted the following PMAA reforms:

— Expands the short haul driver exception from recording driver hours of service from 100 air-miles to 150 air-miles.

— Increases the maximum daily on duty time for short haul drivers from 12 hours to 14 hours.

— Extends the maximum daily 11 hour driving window by two hours during adverse weather conditions and allows drivers (in addition to dispatchers) to determine if the weather conditions exist to trigger the extension.

These reforms are important for motor fuels and heating fuels marketers because the majority of drivers they employ are short-haul drivers.

The reforms provide short haul drivers additional on duty time and expanded operating range without losing their current exception from having to record daily hours of service.

In addition, many long-haul drivers may now be reclassified as short-haul drivers so long as they stay within the newly expanded 150-mile air radius limitation.

As a result, these former long-haul drivers are no longer required to use electronic on-board HOS recorders mandated by the FMCSA several years ago. Instead, their HOS can now be demonstrated the same way as all short-haul drivers – by timecards and/or other business records if requested by the DOT during an audit.

This will reduce the recordkeeping burden on both motor and heating fuels marketers and provide them with more flexibility to schedule drivers while adding a significant number of on-duty hours per company across all drivers.

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