ELD Mandate & HOS Changes for 2020

The FMCSA, DOT, and other regulatory bodies in the industry regularly make changes to their rules, such as the ELD mandate and hours of service (HOS) rules.

2020 saw some changes to the HOS rules from the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The changes to the rules took effect in September 2020. The new HOS rule changes aim to give drivers more options on how to manage their time on the road. Let’s take a quick look at the key changes to the HOS rules in 2020.

The 30-Minute Break

  • Before the changes, you had to take your 30-minute break within the first 8 hours of on-duty time. The 2020 update allows you to take the 30-minute break after driving for 8 hours. So, you will have to be doing actual driving for 8 hours to be required to take a break.
  • Before the changes, you could only log your 30-minute break as part of your off-duty or sleeper berth time. The changes allow you to log the 30-minute break as part of your on-duty time. This gives you the freedom to take your 30-minute break whenever, as long as you drive for more than 8 consecutive hours before taking it.

Adverse Driving Conditions

The update to the “adverse driving conditions” section of the HOS rules gives adds an extra 2 hours to your 11-hour driving time and 14-hours On-Duty time when you declare adverse driving conditions on the road. This extension applied only to 11-hour driving time before the 2020 update.

Changes to Sleeper Berth Splits

  • There’s a new 7/3 split option for drivers. Drivers now have the option to stick to the traditional 8/2 split or the new 7/3 split. The 7/3 split allows you to rest in the sleeper berth for 7 hours, continue driving for the rest of your driving time, and then take another 3 hours of rest in the sleeper berth or off-duty time. Learn more about the sleeper berth splits if all of this is confusing to you.
  • The new changes also affect your 14-hour on-duty clock. Previously, your 14-hour clock only pauses when you’re taking the 8-hour section of the split, but the update pauses your 14-hour clock when you’re taking either portion of the split.

Short Haul Exceptions Changes

  • The update to the short haul exception now allows drivers that qualify to drive within a 150-mile radius of the place of origin. You were only allowed a 100-mile radius exception as a CDL driver before the changes.
  • Short haul drivers now have a 14-hour on-duty clock instead of the 12-hour clock they had before the changes.

Visit this page to learn more about the HOS rules.

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