The Latest Insights for the Trucking Industry


The Latest Insights for the Trucking Industry

Kyle Griffith, CBI – The NYBB Group

Opportunity: US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration May Reform HOS Regulations

According to the 2018 3rd Quarter Industry Update from First Research by Dun & Bradstreet and M&A Source, proposed changes to hours-of-service regulations for U.S. truck drivers could provide greater flexibility in operating procedures. For business owners, this could be a huge sigh of relief.

In recent years, a series of studies and research took place to help understand the volume and causes of trucking accidents. As a result, a number of rules and regulations have been implemented in an attempt to improve the health and safety of the drivers. The regulations included restrictions on the number of hours a driver can work consecutively, required breaks, and the implementation of electronic logging devices.

While the laws have been effective in reducing the number of accidents in which the driver is responsible, they have also made operations of a trucking business more difficult. Hours-of-service restrictions placed on the drivers has forced businesses to change their routes, hire more drivers, buy new and expensive equipment and in effect, increase their costs and reduce their output. According to the Industry Update from First Research, the FMSCA sought feedback on these regulations back in October 2018. Some its proposed changes could mean good news for trucking businesses everywhere, here’s why:

100 Air-Mile Exemption

The FMSCA is considering expanding the 100 air-mile short-haul exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours. This regulation currently requires drives to stay within a radius of 100 air-miles away from their work reporting location. Additionally, drivers are required to report back to this location and be released from it within a 12-hour window. Extending this window to 14 hours increases the number of road-hours a day that a driver can have and helps ease the demand for part-time drivers to be on staff.

Extended On-Duty Limit

The regulations changes propose an increase of up to two hours to the 14-hour on duty limit for drivers who experience adverse driving conditions. This adjustment brings hope for an even lower number of HOS violations going forward and less pressure on drivers.

Break Times

To date, HOS regulations require a driver to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of continuous driving. However, FMSCA is considering revising this and reintroducing the ability for a driver to split their 10-hour break window if they have a sleeper-berth compartment in their truck. This will provide much more operational flexibility, especially for 24/7 companies and over-the-road owner/operators.

These are encouraging signs for the trucking industry. Stay vigilant to when these changes may go in effect and prepare to capitalize on these changes to further improve your operations.

If you would like to discuss this article or schedule a private and complementary consultation, please contact Kyle Griffith at or 631-339-0249.