Reminder – FMCSA Hours of Service Changes kick in September 29

The US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revised four key aspects of the hours of service (HOS) regulations on June 1, 2020.

The changes go into effect on September 29, 2020 and include:

  1. Short-haul Exception: Expands the short-haul exception to a 150 air-mile radius and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception.
  2. Adverse Driving Conditions Exception: Expands the 14-hour window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional two hours.
  3. 30-Minute Break Requirement: Changes the 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time to allow an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.
  4. Sleeper Berth Provision: Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least  seven, rather than at least eight hours in the berth, paired with an off-duty period of at least two hours spent inside or outside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours. Neither qualifying period counts against the 14-hour window.

For full details of the Federal Register Notice, click here.

In addition to the information provided by FMCSA, CTA staff have prepared a side-by-side comparison of the new US rules in relationship to existing Canadian regulations, which also highlights key points that drivers and carriers who operate across the border might be interested in.

“Anytime a change is made to the US hours of service rules there are always additional questions about their applicability in the cross-border context. We felt it was important to highlight those items as well as pointing the number of similarities that will exist between the US and Canadian rule sets from September 29 onward,” said Geoff Wood, Senior VP, Policy Canadian Trucking Alliance.

CTA members interested in a copy of the side-by-side comparison can email


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