The HOS compliance date is quickly approaching. Are you ready?

Posted September 1, 2020

As of September 29, 2020, several provisions of the hours-of-service regulations change. Is your organization ready? Do your drivers understand the impact of the changes on their day-to-day operations? Do your dispatchers and supervisors know how to address these changes?

Now is the time to review these changes with everyone who is affected by the hours-of-service revisions.

Adverse driving conditions

The revised adverse driving conditions exception allows a driver to extend by two hours the maximum window of time during which driving is allowed after a driver encounters unexpected weather or traffic conditions.

Drivers of property-carrying vehicles are allowed up to 13 hours of driving time within a 16-hour window of time. Drivers of passenger-carrying vehicles are allowed up to 12 hours of driving time within a 17-hour on-duty period.

Mandatory break

The driver of a property-carrying vehicle is not be allowed to drive if more than eight hours of driving time have passed without an interruption in driving status at least 30 consecutive minutes.

This interruption in driving status can be satisfied by either off-duty, sleeper-berth, or on-duty (not driving) time or any combination of off-duty, sleep-berth, or on-duty (not driving) time.

Short-haul (formerly 100 air-mile radius) exception

Both property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers may lengthen their maximum on-duty period from 12 hours to 14 hours and extend the distance limit within which they may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles. Drivers who use this exception are exempt from maintaining a record of duty status.

Split sleeper berth

The driver of a property-carrying vehicle is able to accumulate the equivalent of ten consecutive hours off duty by taking two rest periods provided:

  • One of the rest periods is at least seven consecutive hours and is spent in the sleeper berth;
  • The other, separate rest period, is at least two consecutive hours and is spent either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two; and
  • Both periods total at least 10 hours (meaning a 7/3 or 8/2 split).

Driving time, in the period before and after each rest period, when added together:

  • May not exceed the 11-hour driving limit, and
  • May not violate the 14-hour duty limit.

The driving time limit and the 14-hour duty period limit must be re-calculated from the end of the first of the two periods. Neither of the two rest periods count toward the 14-hour duty limit.

Hours of Service Training

Hours of Service Training


Effective September 29, 2020, the hours-of-service regulations surrounding adverse driving conditions, mandatory breaks, the short-haul exception, and split sleeper berth are changing.

J. J. Keller’s NEW Hours of Service Training will help you familiarize your drivers with these changes as well as give them an understanding of how hours-of-service limits affect safety and productivity.


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