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J. J. Keller Support Center

Hours of Service Changes Effective September 2020

Changes to hours of service rules are being implemented September 29, 2020, allowing more flexibility for drivers. Below is a summary of the changes. 


J. J. Keller continuously monitors the regulatory environment. The Encompass® and Encompass® ELD application will reflect the changes when they take effect in September.  The Encompass® ELD application will require an update to the application to take advantage of the changes. 


If you have any further questions, you may ask them directly to our regulatory experts using our Expert Help feature in Encompass!


Provision Old Rule New Rule What this means....

Split-Sleeper Provision (395.1(g)(1))


Drivers must spend at least 8 hours in a sleeper berth, plus another break to reach 10 hours total.  The shorter of the two breaks counts against the daily 14 hour limit.

Drivers must spend at least 7 hours in sleeper berth, plus another break to reach 10 hours total. Neither rest period counts against the 14 hour limit. Instead of doing a 8/2 split, drivers will be able to do a 7/3 split.  Additionally, their on duty clocks will not be impacted during their shorter break.  The 11 hour driving clock is not impacted.
30-Minute Breaks (395.3(a)(3))

A rest break is required when 8 hours have passed since the driver came on-duty.  This rest break time must be off duty.

A rest break is required when the driver accumulates 8 hours of driving time. Drivers may remain on-duty not driving for their breaks. Drivers no longer need to stop all work activities for 30 minutes every 8 hours.  They'll be able to load/unload, DVIRs, paperwork, and any other work activities while taking a break from driving. 
100 Air-Mile exception (395.1(e)(1)) Drivers must be relieved from duty within 12 hours of coming on-duty for their day. Drivers must remain within a 100 air-mile radius. Drivers must be relieved from duty within 14 hours of coming on-duty for their day. Drivers must remain within a 150 air-mile radius and are still limited to 11 hours of drive time. With the additional 2 hours and extended radius, more drivers may be eligible for the short-haul exception.
Adverse Driving Conditions (395.1(b)(1)) Drivers may extend their driving limit, but not their on-duty limit, by 2 hours. Drivers may extend both their driving and on-duty limits by 2 hours. An additional cushion of on duty AND driving time to use the exception to endure any unexpected weather or traffic.


FAQs (effective September 29, 2020)

Are drivers able to split their sleeper-berth time?

Yes, drivers may split their required off-duty time by using a sleeper-berth.  Specifically, drivers of property-carrying Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) may accumulate the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours off duty by taking two periods of rest, provided that:

  • One of the periods is at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth (there is no maximum);
  • The remaining hours (minimum of 2 hours, taken either before or after the 7-hour period) is spent either off duty, in sleeper berth, or any combination of the two.
  • Driving time in the period immediately before and after each rest period, when added together, does not exceed 11 hours; and
  • Compliance with the 14-hour rule is calculated from the end of the first of the two qualifying rest periods.

Drivers of passenger carrying vehicles may split their required 8-hour rest period into two separate periods, provided that:

  • The two rest periods are spent entirely in the sleeper berth;
  • Neither rest period is less than 2 hours;
  • Driving time in the period immediately before and after each rest period, when added together, does not exceed 10 hours; and
  • The on-duty time in the period immediately before and after each rest period, when added together, does not include any driving after the 15th hour.


See Split-Sleeper Guidelines and FAQs for further information.


May the driver of a property-carrying vehicle be on duty for more than 14 hours?

Yes. A driver can continue to work beyond the end of the 14th hour of the day, but may not drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) unless eligible to use a special exception.  The additional on-duty time will reduce on-duty time available under the weekly 60/70-hour time limit.


If we cross a state line, can we still use the 150- air-mile radius exception?

Yes. Since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations apply to interstate commerce, crossing a state line does not affect the use of the 150 air-mile radius short-haul exception in 395.1(e). Keep in mind that if you are operating inn intrastate commerce and following the state-specific hours-of-service regulations, crossing the state line places you under federal regulations.


How should "waiting" time be logged?

"Waiting" time at a terminal, plant, or port may be recorded as off duty, sleeper berth, or on duty-not driving, depending on the circumstances. For "waiting" time to be off duty, the following conditions must be met:

  • The driver must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for the care and custody of the vehicle, its accessories, and any cargo or passengers it may be carrying.
  • During the stop, and fo the duration of the stop, the driver must be at liberty to pursue activities of his/her own choosing.

If circumstances allow a driver to use a valid sleeper berth without being disturbed for a specific period of waiting time, that time in the sleeper berth may be recorded as "sleeper berth" time. In most circumstances, such as when the driver is required to remain with the vehicle to move it when necessary, the waiting time should be recorded as "on duty, not driving".


If a driver takes a second job with a non-motor carrier, do those hours affect compliance with the hours-of-service rules?

Yes.  Under 49 CFR 395.8(a), drivers must record their duty status for each 24-hour period, including all on-duty time. The definition of "on-duty time" in 395.2 includes "performing any compensated work for a person who is not the motor carrier." Therefore, all compensated work, whether for a motor carrier or not, must be included on the log as on-duty time, and counted against the driver's available hours.



How does "personal use" of a commercial motor vehicle need to be recorded?

If a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver uses a CMV for personal conveyance, the time may be recorded as "off duty" if certain conditions are met. In particular, the driver must be relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. Drivers may use personal conveyance to commute to and from work, for example, or to travel to local restaurants, shops, etc., if authorized by the motor carrier. A driver placed out of service for violating the hours-of-service regulations may not drive a CMV to any location to obtain rest.

Personal use of a CMV can be off duty if:

  • Traveling from lodging to and from personal location
  • Commuting to/from home to the terminal/yard
  • Driver runs out of hours at a customer and is told to leave for the nearest, safe location
  • Asked to move the vehicle by law enforcement when out of hours
  • Transporting personal property while off-duty
  • Traveling home from a temporary construction site

Personal use is not allowed in these scenarios:

  • Moving closer to the next business or rest location
  • Fulfilling any business purpose
  • Driving a passenger-carrying CMV while passengers are on board
  • Driving after being placed out of service unless allowed
  • Traveling to a terminal or home from a shipper or receiver


Does a truck driver need a 30-minute break every 8 hours of driving?

Yes. Drivers are required to stop driving once they have accumulated 8 hours of driving without at least a 30-minute interruption from driving (this interruption can be off duty or on duty time).  If the driver will not drive a CMV for more than 8 total hours in a day, a break is not required.


How do you log the 30-minute break?

To be counted as a valid break, it must be logged as "off duty", "sleeper berth", or "on duty". In general, the driver must be free from driving.


How do I handle unassigned drive time?

All unassigned driving time must be:

  • Assigned to the correct driver, or
  • Annotated with why it could not be assigned

This should be a daily task for someone or it will pile up.

For mechanics who move trucks or test drive them, you have to either create an account for the carrier's employee mechanic to log into the ELD or annotate their unassigned driving events just as you would for other drivers. A best practice is to have a "move log" in your shop for mechanics to sign any time they move a vehicle with the date, time, truck#, and reason for the move. A vendor mechanic would not sign into the ELD, and the vents would need to be annotated with the shop name and reason for the event such as "test drive for transmission repair."


What is the "8 in 30" exception and how does it affect short-haul and casual drivers?

Drivers that must log 8 or fewer times in any 30-day period are exempt from using an ELD. The 9th and greater logging days in 30-days must be on an ELD.

Carriers should audit local drivers on time records to verify that they were not required to create a log for any workdays. If the driver did not return and log off-duty before the duty window was exceeded such as the 14-consecutive hour limit, or the driver exceeded the air-mile radius requirement, the driver must have created a log for the day.

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