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When a hours of service waiver is issued, make sure a copy is in your driver files and in the vehicles on the road where the hours of service of the driver may be questioned. Drivers are also required to continue to record their hours-of-service during the emergency waiver period and write or input the words “Emergency Declaration” in the “remarks” section of the record of driver duty status. Short haul drivers who are exempt from recording HOS under the 100-air mile radius exemption are not required to record their hours-of-service. However, driver time cards used during this period should be noted with the words “Emergency Declaration” as an explanation for the extended driving hours in the event of a future compliance audit.


Hours of Service Regulations Explained

The 11-hour rule:  

You can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. The 11-hour rule refers to driving time only. It does not include time spent fueling, loading or unloading, or any other on-duty activity. Drivers are not allowed to drive more than 11 hours during a 14-hour period.


Example  Joe begins driving at 6:00am. At noon he fuels and eats lunch. He’s back on the road at 1:00pm. At 3:00pm he pulls into a rest-stop where he hangs out in his sleeper berth until 3:30pm. He drives from 4:00pm and until 7:00pm when he hits his 11-hour driving limit. He sleeps for 10 hours and resumes driving at 5:00am the next day.


The 14-Hour Rule

You can not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period. This refers to all on-duty time, not just driving time. Drivers can stay on-duty for as long as they want, but they are not allowed to drive after having been on-duty for 14 hours.


Example:  Joe performs his pre-trip inspection at 10:00am. He begins driving at 11:00am until 5:15pm when he pulls into a rest-stop and relaxes for a while. At 6:00pm he fuels and begins driving. At 8:30pm he’s pulled over by a a DOT Officer who conducts a 2.5 hour roadside inspection. Now Joe has less than 2 hours of driving time left until he reaches his 14-hour on-duty limit.


The 60 and 70 Hour Rules  

You can not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. These rules are regarding all on-duty time that occurs during a week. If you operate every day during the week you use the 70 hour rule, if not you use the 60 hour rule. Drivers are required to take 34 consecutive hours off duty after having been on duty for 70 hours in a period of 8 days, or 60 hours in a period of 7 days. You can re-start your weekly hours after taking 34 consecutive hours off-duty.


Example:  Starting on Sunday, Joe works every day from 7:00am until 8:00pm. On Friday night he gets a call from his boss who needs a load delivered by noon on Saturday. Joe can not.  Joe has reached his 70 hour weekly limit and the earliest he can get back on the road is Sunday at 6:00am.


The 30-Minute Rest Break

May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory “in attendance” time may be included in break if no other duties performed] This refers to all on-duty time and requires drivers to take at least 30-minutes off-duty within 8 hours of going on-duty. No type of on-duty activity can take place during this 30-minute time frame.


34-Hour Restart

The 34-hour restart rule allows commercial motor vehicle drivers to reset their 60-hour or 70-hour clocks. In some circumstances, this allows drivers to get back on the road and perform their driving duties sooner. The use of a valid 34-hour restart resets the weekly cycle hours back to zero. These regulations are found in Sections 395.3(c)(1) and (c)(2). After you have taken at least 34 consecutive hours off duty, you have the full 60 or 70 hours available again. The use of a “valid” 34-hour restart resets a driver’s “weekly” hours back to zero. In addition, an individual may perform other on-duty tasks, such as loading or unloading and paperwork, after reaching the 60/7 or 70/8 hour limits. They simply may not legally drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on a public road when the limit has been reached. Drivers do not have to take a 34-Hour break at home.


Example: If you follow the 70-hour/8-day limit and work 14 hours per day for 5 days in a row, you will have been on duty for 70 hours. You would not be able drive again until you drop below 70 hours worked in an 8-day period. However, if your company allows you to use the 34-hour restart provision, you would have driving time available immediately after 34 consecutive hours off duty. You would then begin a new period of 8 consecutive days and have 70 hours available.


Short Haul Exemption for ELD

Drivers who use the 100 air-mile radius exemption from keeping written HOS log books are not required to use an ELD ("Short Haul" exemption).

Under the short haul exemption, the ELD requirement will not apply to a driver who:

     •     Starts and returns to the same location within 12 hours of going on duty,

     •     Drives no more than 11 hours during a shift,

     •     Takes ten consecutive hours off between shifts, and

     •     Travels no further than a 100 air-mile radius from the original starting location at the beginning of the shift.


The short haul exemption also provides additional flexibility for drivers who must occasionally drive beyond the 100 air-mile radius limit. Under the rule, a short-haul driver can drive beyond the 100 air- mile radius 8 times within each 30 day period without losing the ELD exemption. The driver would however, be required to keep a written HOS log for each day travelled beyond the 100 air-mile radius limit. This "exemption within an exemption" is useful for drivers who must travel longer distances for product due to terminal outages or supply shortages or allocations.


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