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New HOS Regulations Take Effect September 29, 2020

Keep Your ELD Up-To-Date or Risk Hurting Your CSA Scores

September 21, 2020Ashley Preston

The new ELD regulations go into effect on September 29, 2020. ELD users need to make sure their current ELD solution is prepared to incorporate the new Hours of Service regulations that the FMCSA released in May, which provide more flexibility to drivers without affecting safety. Failing to update your system could mean you fall out of compliance and risk hurting your CSA scores.

How Do I Know if My Current Provider is Prepared for the New ELD Regulations?

ELD providers had roughly 3 months to implement the new HOS rule set into their ELD software, as well as into their ELD portal if the ELD runs through a telematics system.

There are numerous vendors that are listed as certified ELD solutions on the FMSCA website. However, some of those providers haven’t released a software update in a long time. That means they are likely not compliant with the new regulations. There is also a growing list of ELD devices that have been revoked by the FMSCA.

Make sure you ask your ELD provider if they will be ready to support your fleet when the new regulations are implemented at the end of the month.

Will Forward Thinking be Compliant with the September 29th ELD Regulation Changes?

Forward Thinking Systems is prepared for the ELD regulation changes. Field Warrior® version 4.1 and later will automatically begin using the final HOS rules on September 29, 2020. You need to confirm that your app has been updated to ensure the new rules are in place.

Here are links to the latest version of Field Warrior® if you still need to update your app:

Why Did the FMCSA Change the HOS Rules and Update ELD Regulations?

Hours of Service regulations were updated after the FMCSA received feedback from members of Congress, fleet operators, truckers, and other industry members asking for changes to be made.

During public hearings, participants reported that the current HOS rules were too restrictive and needed more flexibility. The final HOS rule set addresses those concerns without changing allowable maximum driving times based on the detailed public comments from thousands of participants.

What Changes Were Made to the Final HOS Rule Set?

The FMCSA has made four key changes to final rule set for Hours of Service:

1) Increased flexibility around the 30-minute break rule

Drivers will now be required to take a break after driving for 8 consecutive hours instead of being on-duty for 8 hours. Drivers can log their 30-minute breaks when they are on-duty, off-duty, or on sleeper berth time.

2) Modified sleeper-berth exception lets drivers split off-duty time

Drivers will be allowed to split their required 10 hours off-duty time into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither time counting against the drivers’ 14-hour driving window.

3) Adverse driving conditions exception window expanded; definition relaxed

Truck and bus drivers dealing with adverse weather conditions now have a window that is two hours longer than before. The definition of adverse driving conditions has also been modified so that the exception can be applied based on the driver’s and dispatcher’s knowledge of road conditions.

4) Short-haul exception used by certain drivers lengthened

Drivers who are eligible for the short-haul exception can now be on-duty 14 hours instead of 12 hours. The FMCSA is also extending the distance limit in which the driver can operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

These new HOS regulations are expected to save the U.S. economy and American shoppers about $274 million annually.

What Do I Do if I Have Questions or Concerns about the Implementation of the New ELD Regulations?

If you have any questions or concerns about the rule transition and how it will affect your current solution, or if your current ELD solution will not be complaint come October, please contact us. You can also check out our ELD Resource Center for more information.

Ashley Preston
After serving as a journalist and communications specialist for over a decade, Ashley Preston focuses on compiling information that helps businesses better understand complicated industry issues, comply with federal regulations, and optimize daily fleet operations.

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