Advaya Fleet

Book A Demo

Variations and Exclusions from Hours-Of-Service

Variations and Exclusions from Hours-Of-Service

To prioritize road safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established regulations for hours of service, aiming to minimize driver fatigue and enhance overall safety on the road. While the standard rules are clear, it's essential to understand four exemptions related to the 30-minute rest break, 14-hour period, and 11-hour rule, which commercial drivers may qualify for under specific conditions.
Exemption from the 30-Minute Break Rule
As per the 30-minute break rule, if eight hours pass since the last 30-minute off-duty period, drivers cannot log driving time. Non-driving tasks can be performed after eight hours without a break, but driving is not allowed.
Exemption from the 30-minute break rule applies to two categories of drivers:

Exception for the 16-Hour Short-Haul

The 16-hour short-haul arrangement allows qualifying drivers to extend their 14-hour driving span to 16 hours once within a seven-day consecutive period.
Observing the 14-hour guideline, a driver transporting property is prohibited from driving past the 14th continuous hour after commencing duty. The driver is required to abstain from driving until they have completed a 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time. In the case of passenger-carrying vehicles, the maximum allowable time is 15 cumulative hours.
The 16-hour short-haul provision is applicable to a property-carrying driver if:
Drivers utilizing the 16-hour short-haul provision are ineligible to apply the non-CDL 150 air-mile exemption.

Exception for Challenging Driving Circumstances

Federal safety regulations, designated as the hours-of-service rules, aim to regulate the maximum duration within which a driver of a commercial motor vehicle can be actively employed in the United States, among various other considerations.

Comprehending the regulations on hours of service

This exception to hours-of-service regulations enables drivers to elongate their maximum driving duration by two hours under specific circumstances. For instance, the 11-hour driving limit can be extended to 13 hours.
This provision applies only when unforeseen driving challenges were impossible to anticipate before the driver commenced their journey. Such challenges may include abrupt weather changes like unexpected fog or snow, or unanticipated road closures due to accidents.
The exemption becomes void if the driver had prior knowledge of the challenging driving conditions or could have reasonably foreseen them through basic trip planning or common sense. For instance, forewarned events like a predicted blizzard or anticipated rush hour traffic wouldn't satisfy the conditions required for this exemption to be valid.

Exception for Challenging Driving Situations and Drivers Transporting Property

Drivers transporting goods have the allowance to operate for up to 11 hours in a single shift. The exception for challenging driving circumstances elongates the 11-hour driving cap to 13 hours. Importantly, this provision doesn't stretch the overall 14-hour driving duration, mandating that the entire 13 hours of driving still falls within that 14-hour timeframe.

Exception for Challenging Driving Scenarios and Drivers Transporting Passengers

Drivers transporting passengers are allowed to operate for a maximum of 10 hours in a single shift. The exception for challenging driving situations prolongs the 10 hours of drive time to 12 hours. It's crucial to note that this exemption doesn't lengthen the overall 15-hour driving duration for passenger-carrying drivers.

Immediate Emergency Aid

A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operator must adhere to every hours-of-service guideline. Nevertheless, certain or all rules regarding hours of service may be temporarily suspended during emergency circumstances.

Specifics of the Emergency Conditions Exception

As outlined in Section 395.1(b)(2), during an emergency, a driver has the option to conclude their run without infringing upon the regulations specified in this section if the run could reasonably have been completed without the emergency.

The eligibility for the emergency conditions exception arises

when emergency states are proclaimed by the president, state governors, and/or the FMCSA. If there hasn't been an official acknowledgment of an emergency state by federal or state authorities, the exception cannot be invoked. It is imperative for drivers to initially consult with federal and/or state officials.