New HOS Rules Effective July 1

Truck_TrafficEnforcement of the new FMCSA hours-of-service (HOS) regulations will begin July 1, 2013 for all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that are involved in interstate commerce.  Trucking companies that operate only within one state are not required to comply with FMCSA rules because the individual state rules apply instead, and therefore are exempt to the new FMCSA hours-of-service rules.

The HOS regulations are developed and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  The main reason for the hours-of-service regulations according to the FMCSA guide is to keep fatigued drivers off the public roadways.  The regulations put limits in place for when and how long a driver may drive to ensure that they stay awake and alert while driving and on a continuing basis to help reduce the possibility of driver fatigue.

Below is a summary of the new HOS rules that will take effect the beginning of July.

Mandatory Rest Break

The final rule requires that if more than 8 consecutive hours on duty have passed since the last off-duty (or sleeper-berth) period of at least half an hour, a driver must take an off-duty or sleeper berth break of at least 30 minutes before driving.

To address an issue raised by commenters, FMCSA has also added an exception for drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) carrying Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives to allow them to count on-duty time spent attending the CMV, but doing no other on-duty work, toward the break.

34-Hour Restart

Drivers can only use the 34-hour restart once every seven calendar days (168 hours). In addition, the restart must include two nighttime period of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. using one’s home terminal time zone. If you go off duty at 7 p.m. on a Friday, for example, you would be eligible to drive again at 5 a.m. on Sunday. After you’ve taken 34 consecutive hours off duty that include the two nighttime periods, you have your full 60 or 70 hours available again.


To learn more about the HOS regulation and the new changes please refer to the links below.

For more information about the FMCSA HOS regulations visit the FMCSA official website,

The current Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to HOS can be found here:

And the FMCSA’s new HOS Visor Card for Truck Drivers can be found here: