How the HOS Changes Have Affected Drivers and Freight Carriers


On September 29, new changes to the hours of service (HOS) rules have officially taken effect. This was the most significant rule change in recent years and now it’s time to analyze what changes were implemented and to what effect they actually had on freight carriers and drivers.

Key outtakes from the recent HOS rules update:

Driving status is now required within the first eight hours of driving time, and not in their initial eight hours on-duty.

The sleeper-berth provision allowed drivers to split their 10-hour off-duty break into two-time slots of 7 and 3 hours, but not an 8/2 split. Now, these two options are equally available with the new sleeper-berth exception.

In the case of adverse weather conditions or traffic congestion, drivers can now prolong their driving time or on-duty time by two hours.

In addition, short-haul drivers can extend their maximum on‑duty period from 12 hours to 14 hours, and the mileage limit in the operating area from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

How the changes have affected the drivers:

As of the first week of November, there is research that has been conducted by the Truckers News to see what the results of the new implementation are. The research shows the many aspects of how drivers have adapted to the updated rules and whether those rules benefited them.

Here are how drivers answered the question, “Have the HOS changes benefited you?”

  • 40.5% of drivers said yes
  • 21% of drivers said yes, but only moderately
  • 20.5% of drivers said no
  • 18% said no, but it’s good to know they are there if I need them
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