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

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Updated Oct 30, 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. 

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.