FMCSA officially amends hours rule to remove break requirement for short haulers

| October 29, 2013

truck at dockThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a final rule this week that officially provides an exemption of the 30-minute break requirement of the current hours of service rule to short haulers. 

The rule comes in response to an Aug. 2 court ruling, in which a U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia vacated that portion of the rule for short-haul drivers, defined as all drivers (CDL holders included) who operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting location and non-CDL drivers who operate within a 150-mile radius of the location where they report for duty. 


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The court in its Aug. 2 ruling upheld the rest of the rule and its requirements, which include limiting the use of a 34-hour restart to once per 168 hours and requiring that the restart include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods. 

The rule went into effect July 1, but it was already facing litigation from the American Trucking Associations, who was challenging the rule in its entirety. 

After the ruling came mostly in the favor of FMCSA, the agency told its enforcement partners and officers the same week to stop enforcing the break requirement for short haulers. 

The new rule, made final Oct. 28, makes that official. 


  • g

    That is Discrimination and should be challenged. The “short haul” guys can drive all day without a break??? What is the difference??? A guy sitting behind the wheel in City Freeway Traffic all day is going to get just as tired as the guy going strait thru 400 miles or so……the City Guy is going to be MORE tired coz he may be rushing in and Humping heavy freight and dashing back to drive into rush hour traffic…if ANYBODY the Local guy should take the 30 minute Break..or his company will Horse Whip him all day long to maximize profits as usual……..this RULING is WRONG.

  • g

    That “ruling” wasbought and paid for by UNIONS I would assume..and mega Fleets…who need their SLAVE to go NON STOP all day to serve their customers….this is totally wrong…..and has no logical Basis…but MONEY TALKS…somebody PAID for this “ruling”.

  • g

    The LABOR DEPT. should mandate the LOCAL Driver to take a 30 Min lunch break like every Hourly worker!!!
    Us Labor Dept distances itself from Interstate they dont care about a lunch break….But the Local Hourly Worker?? HE is the one who needs the 30 min break…should be a PAID BREAK too….very fishy this “ruling”..No Lunch Hour for the Hourly Worker??? THAT is Not Right…and they should But The Hell Out of the Road Driver’s life and throw OUT the Dumb 30 minute break..where an interstate driver has to go find somewhere to park a 70 foot 80,000 pound vehicle and clutter up some neighborhood..parked on a side street….for WHAT???It is actually Nerve racking and dangerous!! Ya have to get OFF the interstate…drive INTO someone’s TOWN…hunt for a possible parking space…then repeat the process in reverse order and go back to what you were doing!! I would LIKE to see a survey of how MANY accidents occur while exiting end entering the freeway forthe 30 minute break…in 1 YEAR I will BET the number is in the THOUSANDS…how many DEATHS??? “Well officer I was exiting to take my 30 minute sandwich break…and this is how the ACCIDENT happened”……What are the NUMBERS on THIS???

  • g

    If those Jack asses knew how difficult it is to manuever an 18 wheeler in heavy traffic OFF the Freeway and down narrow streets hunting for a place to park before your Tattle Tale Electo Log puts you in Violation…for the 30 minute”break”??
    Every hear of Parking Accidents involving Trucks???? Anytime we pull OFF the interstate in a Monstosity like a Semi Truck…our risk of Accident increases dramatically…Poking around a neighborhood going thru intersections..maybe in the DARK?? In the SNOW?? Are you kidding??? The guy is a nevous wreck by the time he paralell parks in some residential neighborhood..possibly ripping down low hanging electrical power lines??? The STUPIDEST law on the books is THIS 30 minute P.O.S.

  • Kevin

    Put your big girl panties on and quit whining Nancy. It’s not that hard to find a parking spot.

  • Jeff Lemieux

    my old fat ass been driving way too long by the time i get it parked in the back of the lot get to the counter behind all the non drivers my 30 min was up 10 min ago fuckin stupid law..

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  • g

    You dont drive truck anyway so how would you know you clown….ur the kind of bitch who would Sniff Old Mens jockey underwear at night in a city park..why dont you go Die.

  • g

    Kevin reminded me the ignorant “30Minute relaxation break is UNPAID too….that is further Piss Off! Kevin likes it but nobody else does…it is the biggest waste of time and legislation FMCSA has ever written….it needs to be taken OFF the rule books…….it is of ZERO benefit and has huge downsides….stunningly ignorant.

  • Kevin

    Wow, that one hurt…

  • Kevin

    I do drive a truck and no, it’s not that hard to find a spot to pull over for a half hour.

  • g

    yea..and since ya pick a HASTY parking spot thinking its just for 30 minutes and You Electo Log is going toput you in vioation in another minute or so…hopefully ya dont smash into anything while backing in….then ya go inside..IF you were so lucky to be NEAR a truckstop….BUT when ya come out you HOOD is lying on the Ground(to your horror) after being Smashed off by another driver possibly hurrying to his “Relaxation Break”….or ya come out and someone has emptied all your belongings into a duffle bag and hauled ass leaving your busted window Door hanging open???? Lots of downside to this stupid law………theyneed to BUTT OUT of our

  • bigred

    Your what`s wrong with this business. Some of us actually do this for a living, you I feel, don`t own a single thing and never plan on it either so whatever uncle Sam says you agree…First in your driving class, EH???

  • Kevin

    Ok, thanks for playing. Good bye.

  • Eagle Wings

    NO BIGGY, I’ve been cheating the system for the last 25 years and still they can’t catch me. They’re just money hungry politicians making this country look like a joke and don’t understand nothing about this business. Pencil it out for a minute you won’t regret it, remember where there’s a will there’s a way. They’re the bad guys with all the ammunition to bring down an army, yet at the same time they’re so blind and ignorant they don’t know who they’re messing with (Americans, the ones who still live in a free nation, and living it). Remember all you need is a third grade education and a ruler to write a straight line. Come on now guys don’t get weak, if your smart use the half hour rule to fix your book, and if you have an electric log tell some kid to help you out they’re teaching them in school how to beat the system and turning them into geeks. Theirs no need to fight nor get upset just stay smarter than them, after all they are dumb ain’t they?

  • Freight96

    Kevin obviously you don’t live in LOs angeles area there isn,t a lot of parking for big rigs you could go 2 to 3 hours without finding a single parking spot for a big rig .or get caught in Los angeles traffic and see how easy it is to find a place to park or even a safe place to park

  • Kevin

    Fair enough. I don’t get out that way so I don’t know L.A. well. I do go through Chicago almost daily though and I never have had much trouble finding a spot there. I do believe that you can plan for the break as well as you can plan for anything else. I agree that the new rules are idiotic, but lets remember they were put in for a reason and it’s NOT because that half-hour is especially beneficial. Just like every other HOS rule, it is there because drivers constantly drive beyond what is safe. People faking logs and trying to drive 48 hours straight and such. Super Truckers like the OP who spout off truck stop logic are why we are saddled with this garbage in the first place and if we had all played the game right from the start, there might still be FMCSA but it would be anywhere near the pain in the rear it is now.

  • lino

    o yea so eze to talk about some thing don’t now about it bean driving for 26 years is not eze to find a spot to parck big rig

  • Kevin

    What the f#$% did you just say?

  • g

    It has NEVER been “EASY” to park a Sleeper Tractor and a 53′ Trailer…and do it EVERY time without damage…finding a SPOT can be impossible…at NIGHT you will NOT be taking a 30 minute break in a Stall in a truckstop..coz its full.

  • zak

    I do not understand why do they had to change the old rules, I used to drive back in the late 90′ early 00’s now a day I do not drive for a living but do drive across country once or twice a year in my F450 truck, why can’t the trucker just part on the side of the road like they had always done , now they have to go in town to find a spot to park that is nuts.

  • Teresa Douthit

    Kevin you are very correct. My drivers dont like it, I dont like it but we have found a way for the most part to make it work. My drivers are not responsible for their T/T while they are loading or unloading which for most drivers that is within an 8 hr time frame. If it isnt then you have 8 hrs in which to find a parking place. If you cannot do that then you have no business out there on the road. I spent 15 yrs behind the wheel in all 48 plus Canada and Alaska, I never got a ticket, never had an accident or a l/s/d load! I never had a problem finding a place to park. Just like eating…If you want to eat at Chilis…Bet you will find a place to park then. It is not that hard and the B&%@*ing does nothing except keep drivers all PO’d for no reason. My drivers came at me crying and I handed out tissue and said lets figure out a way to make the time work. Now they have 30 min a day that they did not have before. It can work.

  • Teresa Douthit

    Sorry but that is just retarded. If exiting the hwy to go to your pu or del point would not cause an accident why in the heck would exiting the hwy to take a break?? I would say sir that you have absolutely NO business on the road in a CMV!!!

  • Teresa Douthit

    You should have planned better

  • Teresa Douthit

    You have 5-6 more hours left so whats the problem?

  • Sneaky Pete

    Just a thought – why don’t we just do as they instruct us – stop for 30 minutes, where ever we happen to be. On the Freeway, just pull over to the shoulder or stop in the street. This stupid crap will end fast.

  • lastgoodusername

    Just another example of how one size does not fit all. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.