FMCSA publishes hours of service guidance

| January 31, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has posted two new guides regarding upcoming changes in hours of service rules on its website.

“Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service” and “Hours of Service Logbook” are aimed at helping truckers comply with the Dec. 27, 2011 final rule. The 28-page guide covers topics including the restart provision and sleeper berth use, while the 49-page logbook’s 28 examples have Record of Duty Status samples and explanations of violations.

On March 15, a federal appellate court will hear the American Trucking Associations’ case against the new rule. The association has asked to postpone the July 1 compliance deadline because the court’s ruling could alter the regulation.

Congress has set a March 31 deadline for the agency to complete a field study on effectiveness of the 34-hour restart provision.

  • Mike Jones

    If the PAY was HIGHER…who the heck would drive Over Hours? The Teamsters make PLENTY..and Do Not violate hours of service rules…they make Good Money too. The Gov wants all this tighten up…shippers and American Consumer can start PAYING MORE for shipping..end of Problem. Teamsters have LESS accidents and you dont see them driving like Maniacs to get somewhere..they are a good model for highway safety AND Higher Pay….Operating an 18 wheeler on THE CHEAP is a recipe for Disaster.

  • Mike Jones

    We always see UPS and Union companies obeying the rules…AND they earn Twice as much pay as the 90% average joe driver….The Gov is mandating everyone to follow the Union Model…BUT with OUT the PAY…..they seem unaware the driver is paid Piecemeal…By The Mile….naturally he is going to bend all rules to get MORE MONEY…..the ANSWER is in the PAY STRUCTURE…..Hourly for company drivers possibly….This all seems Pre-historic…..mostly its a Rich Man Poker Game….jacking around the working man again and again..and fattening the Millionaire Wallet… the expense of American Truck Drivers….CSA COPS are just Puppets for the Rich Man……Most of them Are UNION and earn a nice Fat Paycheck………

  • B Sharp

    Government freight is among the cheapest around. Let the government of the people take the lead and pay a fair price for freight. Put a limit on the fistfull of cash brokers skim off the top too

  • Tim Hudgins

    When O/O’s & OTR drivers stop being afraid to strike until the government decides to get their head out of their butts & make the shippers & receivers pay for delay time as they should, OTR & O/O’s are get the shaft on pay!!!

  • m. j.

    Not to be a smart-ass but, if what we’ve always done isn’t working out, why are we still doing it? You mention “UPS and Union companies” (drivers) who obey the rules and are making ‘union scale’ wages, doesn’t that tell you that there is no reward in breaking the rules. This essentially is what the Governmment is telling us with these new rules.

  • Johnny B Good

    Just another case of stepping on the little man (Owner Operator’s) with the new hour of service rule’s, which it turn will only benefit the GIANT trucking companies, and allow them to keep stepping on the little man!

  • charlie

    what makes you think they obey any rules,,,mst dont drive 150 mile radius so there are not any for them,,,,You sound like somene that just got his diploma from acme driving school.

  • Herb Williams

    Personally, I think what we are doing is working out fine.

  • Mind Games

    Its not the goverment calling the shots its the lawyers and the corporations and the driver is in the crossfire. We should shut the country down so that we real drivers (not the brown noser drivers) have a seat at the table and demand pay by the hour! Not just hourly dock pay but all tye time we are sitting behind the wheel. The large companies block any attempts for us to do that because that would mean the end for them because drivers would be able to afford their own trucks.
    Every group has protested and got what they demanded, yes even homosexuals have gotten what they wanted yet the American truck drivers sitting behind the wheel cracking gay jokes? Makes me wounder if the gays crack jokes about the limp wrist truck drivers?

  • Thomas Duncan

    All this is about is $$$$,cushy federal empolyees pay and pensions. with endless studies to get more studies and tax payer $$$$.Then try to take all credit for any positive things that happen.Trucking has been reduced to homeless people driving trucks that own nothing.Eat and sleep on the road for what?Unrealistic rules that force them to push all the day into a narrow window,crazy!!!!The only $$$$ is in the enforcement of unconstitutional laws

  • Thomas Duncan

    Tell you what,I would like to see anyone explain that if all this crap is so important then how to you explain us old school truckers who have put in millions of miles w/o hurting anyone?And take into consideration we NEVER obey stupid unsafe laws.Why are all of us held responseable for others behaviour and poor hiring policies?Apprenticeship period for new drivers,then leave them to hell alone.I want my LIBERTY back!

  • Mike Simon Trucking

    This industry has no lobby, so these lawmakers do what they want, when they want. The truth is, all these regulations, mean nothing without enforcement. The fact is they’re trying to take the industry back to 1970, and it isn’t working. Wages are at an all time low, because the industry is 100% variable, the cost of maintenance, tires,repairs,insurance, etc. all go up, brokers, and independents continue to haul,and book cheap freight. .93 ISN’T ENOUGH TO RUN A TRUCK. Used truck sales are hitting all time lows. A load is a load, today backhauls don’t exist, mostly due to off shoring of American business, brokers need new regulations, that pertain specifically to how much they can take from a load, a PUC needs to control a bottom rate that a carrier can haul for like $1.70 per mile, and if there’s enough freight for everyone good, if not oh well.

  • Mike Simon

    What they call a lobby in this industry, is an ambulance chaser, and a government “yes” man.

  • Chris J.

    UPS and the unions are government subsidized. They can afford to lose money just like the government itself. WE are paying for their ability to operate like they are.

  • Jerry

    That is exactly wrong! I have been a Teamster employee driver and a Teamster o/o. I have NEVER seen any govt subsidy to the Teamster contract. IT’S thee NON_UNION employers that live off govt subsidies! I’Ll bet 955 of new drivers come through some kind of govt subsidized driver training program. The govt pays or supports for their tuition, lodging, transportation, supports their families while they are in school with food stamps, rent, transportation, medical, dental,etc. ie. welfare. Then the non-union truckload employers rip the govt off some more in their phony further training programs that pay a percentage of the newbies pay and get tax credits from Uncle Sam and the have the ordacity to complian about govt interfering in their business. Fact is, the non-union truckload mgt wouild have nearly no drivers if it weren’t for govt subsidized training/family support (welfare) programs!

    UPS develops and trains their own (ever see an ad or recruiter from UPS) In the past many unionized companies did the same. It wasn’t till deregulation that allowed the bottom feeding non-unionized truckload management to gain a foot hold, buy over working and under paying their drivers.( and if that isn’t true then why over 100% of non-union drivers quit their jobs and only 4% of union drivers quit) did the “driver shortage ” and the need for truck diver training occur. To this day many union locals have driver training programs PAID FOR BY THE UNIONS and UNIONIZED EMPLOYERS, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVT!

  • Bob Jones

    Mike, the problem is with US! WE do not DEMAND our rights and conditions! We’re all little monarchs in our little castles rolling down the road,never DARING to stand with our fellows, and every time some guy stands up and says ENOUGH…we hear this..”That ain’t never gonna happen, driver”..WHY? Because we don’t want out of our comfort zones, and we’re to damned LAZY to stand up for what we SAY we believe in! I’ve been talking STRIKE for 25 years…just shows you what we are now….SHEEP, let to the slaughter, because who cares if a trucker dies trying to make his mortgage payment or his truck payment? NOBODY gives a shit….not even US!

  • mike marulli

    Tim, I have to disagree with you. We don’t need the govt to force anyone to pay detention time. This is something this industry needs to do itself. It’s the cutthroat nature of the van’ reefer segment of the trucking industry. Too many big companies and bottom feeders willing to undercut everyone else. I’ve been pulling a tanker for 10 years and detention time isn’t a issue for us. Customers have 1.5 to 2 hrs max to get us loaded or unloaded, period. It’s the comp anies’ decision to give away your time to these people. They’ll keep doing it as long as you’re willing to put up with it.

  • HRH

    I am not even union and I can tell you the unions do not get subsidy’s from the Feds.

  • jd

    its real obvious that no one here has ever owned a trucking company. A company can only pay what the overhead will allow according to the market rates of the cargo, otherwise the trucking company will surely go out of business. Cutthroat brokers and large companies are the ones driving down freight rates in order to force out the smaller companies. Additionally, why do we convert miles to time in the first place? That has ALWAYS been stupid. How bout something simplier like what is your starting and ending mileage each day with being allowed to drive say 600 miles or something per day, or whatever. The time vs mileage conversion is apparently thought up by a government person.

  • Jan Johnson

    The only way for the today’s trucker is to go back to independent owner op. Cut out the middle man and get the top pay.carry yourself like real man quit your complaining fight for your independents. Save every dallor you can. Put the independent trucker back where we belong just as I have done. I am a independent woman owner op. You man get with it or get out of it. Stay home for all I care.

  • Carlos Sarria

    I agree with Bob, we are wasting our time unless we find unity among ourselves.

  • Thumper Pruitt

    The only issue I see with the HOS rules is with the 34-hour reset provision. I am normally an early riser and start my day at 03:00 a.m., which works with my own sleeping patterns. Doing a reset where you have to include two consecutive 1-5 a.m. time periods is the only problem I see. Doing a 34 hour reset is needed, when you run out of hours, but if I run out of hours at noon, why must I wait 41 hours to complete my reset rather than 34 hours? It isn’t like we are driving only during the daylight hours, as there are shippers and consignees with hours of operation that span the entire 24 hour period. It should simply be that one must take 34 consecutive hours off before resuming driving activities and they should have a sleep period during the last 8-10 hours of this reset so that when it is over the driver is starting out refreshed and ready to go. That would seem more sensible.

  • Letha L. Martin

    Where can I get a copy of the publication? I would like to read up on it and compare it to the one we have (are using).

  • Josef


  • Josef

    how do you get over 100% of drivers to quit their jobs?

  • Josef

    Yes, but you doing a mistake of thinking logicaly. There is no logic with goverment and you can’t reason with them.

  • Josef

    You are absolutely right Bob. We all need to stop hauling for 3 days and America will collapse. We all can afford to loose 3 days worth of this shitty pay anyway.

  • bill

    The trucks need to stop, even for one day, to show the country what it is w/out us. I guarantee that when someone important didn’t get there items heads will roll. This job is a service not all people can do and that number is gettin smaller. We have the upper hand, it’s just a matter of fighting for ourselves. Some things the industry can change, like detention time, but we also need to let the gov’t know they can’t have our milk money any more!

    Think back to 9/11, there was a no fly zone over the whole country and at least for me it was an erie feelin. Not to compare that with this but, think about NO TRUCKS on the road.

    From the driver that’s home nightly to the driver that’s out for months just STOP

  • C Brown

    How did you figure that. Why is the unions stands right there beside their Socialist President I promise they are getting their share of tax payers money.

  • C Brown

    If ever one just sit back and read all these post and you can see what is wrong with the trucking industry. You can not get two truck drivers to agree on anything. We are the largest work force in the world.only if we just stick together just imagine what we could get accomplished. The Fed Govt sits back and reads all these letters and post the drivers the drivers writes complain about this and that so we got those men and woman. Go ahead and put EOBR in all trucks like I said in each and ever one of us. There will be so much freight backed out on the docks they will take them out just as fast.When you have shortages on gas and food it wont last long.and watch your pay go up.People just dont understand just about every thing they eat, wear, the homes they live in, and the cars and gas they use. Everything is brought to them by a truck noo not a train but by a truck. Come on drivers lets stick together you will be surprised what can be done.Most of your freight is transported by the single owner operator or the ones has five or fewer trucks.not by the big trucking companies.

  • C Brown


    Tell me what has not been working. The trucking industry is the safest it has ever been. I have been driving for over 32 years. Thats the problem with every thing in the USA Govt regulations You got men and woman making all the rules and regulations that has no reason to be involved in the trucking industry.They has no idea what works and dont. You got all these public groups trying to run the trucking industry trying to tell us how many hours you can drive before you get tried. The hours of Service is the worse its ever been. You got 14 hours to do what ever you got to do no matter what. What happens if you get tried in the middle of the 14 and you want to take a nap and you cant because the clock wont stop.This makes the driver to push his or her self knowing they cant shut down causing a driver to drive tried. We used to be able to stop the clock for rest and sleep you cant now.Like the sleep apena deal they are pushing men and woman to be required to be tested. if their BMI is past a certain number.I am a big guy and been tested and dont have it. Its been proved that some who has interest in selling the cpap machines is the ones who has been pushing this new regulation.this is just not right.How much reg and rules can we handle.

  • C Brown

    What people dont realize is that most of the freight is transported by the owner operator and small fleets of five trucks or smaller. I agree its the Giant trucking does not like the competion.

  • C Brown

    I agree buddy I miss my Liberty

  • C Brown

    You are so wrong if you think that the unions is not getting Subsidized by the Fed Govt Dont you know the UNIONS is the biggest supporters of your President and you think they are only doing this for their heath get real you need to broading your education and watch something more then the main street CNN

  • C Brown

    If you just think how much we are getting paid. We are moving 25 tons one mile with $100,000 piece of equipment for less then you pay for a candy bar Now everyone just think are we getting what we deserve heck no.

  • C Brown

    If you can not shout down for 3 days in fear of the money you really dont need to be in the trucking industry.

  • Bob Sauter

    as a driver, a minister and a lease operator, there are good and bad with the proposed regulations. I belive that Drivers should have a say in this as well as companies and the government. in the past the 5 hours on and 5 hours off for a team worked and worked well and that was before the 70 hour rule and the 34 hour restart. i belive there has to be a better way that everyone can live with instead of being just one sided. When you thing about other professions they work 9 hoursw a day and go home, for us thats not a choice, or we make no money. so with that in mind i dont think that the 70 or the 34 hour restart is fair. a model we could look at would be 12 on 12 off or 8 on and 8 off and 24 hour off after 14 days. One thing I feel is drivers have no time personaly with the 14 hour day and 10 hour break. and that just isnt good. in a 10 hour break we are expected to shower, eat and relax and sleep for 8 hours. a little tought to do.
    I agree we need a new system for sure. Now for shippers and recivers, there is a major problem there for sure, along with time delays and being treated like animals most of the time. and no parking and sometimes its a city ordinece that does not allow overnight parking. My sugestion there is we stop picking up or delivering to those cities, and I promise you in a couple of weeks that will change. It unsafe in many towns to park and thats if you can even find a spot. I hear all the complaints everyday form my drivrs in my church and it gets depressing to say the least. bottom line something needs to be done to the whole system ….Pastor B

  • Dreamer 1

    Dont try to organize in a non Union State. United we stand devided we fail. Join OOIDA

  • OTRDriver

    I have yet to see OOIDA do any thing to curb the errosion of the trucking industry and stand up and lobby on behalf of the drivers. I have however seen them side with the ATA and push for legislation that doesn’t do a darn thing for the benefit of higher wages, or control of the gouging brokers impose on the trucking industry. I would like them to push for better working conditions, better wages, and compliance by the major trucking companies with the rules and regulations that are already pushed on the drivers..

  • Todd Dills

    Letha, apologies for missing your note until now. Here are links to the two new publications. Generally, you’ll find them on the FMCSA site, as you can see. You can use the search tool on the main page for more:

    The first:

    And the second:

  • Larry C

    In the old days we could keep our logs legit, work (5 & 5 )never spent way to many hours at the docks.The shippers were glad to see us , they helped us with the freight (on or off ) in a timely manner because they really understood that we were working for them. When we unloaded the freight we were thanked with a real thank you.Fuel was reasonable compared to the rate to haul the freight, and we made money,had our small places that we stopped at to eat and fuel,and we knew lots of drivers and waitresses by name. ( We used to wave to all those we knew) When on a trip alone you could drive till you got tired , short nap, back at it for a few hours, stop and eat ,fuel etc.and another sleep time.Up early and do it again.The ICC, PUC, dot pretty much left things alone until the 70s , then some gov. , officials figured they needed to get involved.Glad I am done. Never totaled all the miles (1964 till 2010 ) It’s a brand new way of life now..The people involved were the salt of the earth,most knew how hard it was to drive hour after hour, stop and help each other in times of trouble,etc..(Knights of the road ) now it’s just a lousy job, lousy pay …keep the shiny side up..GOD BLESS

  • terry

    those big union co`s have paid the gov to look the other way. that`s why their drivers have the hammer down EVERYWHERE THEY GO. they wouldn`t lift that pedal to save their own sisters. who knows what else they get away with. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.