What Qualifies a Driver as a Short-Haul Trucker?
Previously, those trucks who stayed within a 100-air-mile radius, did not drive more than 11 hours, and returned to the same location before 12 hours had elapsed to start and end their day, were considered by FMCSA HOS rules, short-haul truckers.
However, starting 29 September 2020 at midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST), the air-mile radius has been expanded to 150-air-miles. These hours of service (HOS) driver’s final rules broaden exemptions for short-haul drivers. Also added were these exceptions:
- Extends the workday from 12 to 14 hours
- Provides a two-hour expansion for adverse weather or driving conditions (this could include traffic jams)
It is more than just an expansion of work hours, but a larger window before filling out a log is required. The focus remains on safety. Whenever a driver gets tired or groggy, they should pull over, take a quick power nap, and then get out, and stretch before continuing.
What Are the Final HOS Rule Changes for Short-Haul Truckers?
The FMCSA will now allow drivers 14 hours (work shift) to complete their day. However, inclement weather or other adverse driving conditions could add two hours to their driving window as an additional safety feature to ease the burden on drivers even though it could theoretically result in a 16-hour workday.
The driver stuck in traffic or fog for an hour and a half no longer has to sweat filling out a log when exceeding 12 hours on duty.
However, when a driver goes over a 14-hour workday, the driver would be required to complete a record of duty status (RODS) for that day because they would no longer qualify as a short-haul trucker unless the driver can apply the adverse weather conditions to work for up to 16 hours and drive as much as 13 hours.
Although the mandatory 30-minute break required after eight hours of driving is not applicable for short-haul truckers, California employers and employees must comply with the in-state break schedule. The US Department of Labor (DOL) requires, “If an employee works 8 or more consecutive hours, the employer must provide a 30-minute break and an additional 15 minute break for every additional 4 consecutive hours worked.”
Likewise, if the employee works five or more hours up to ten hours, the employer must provide a paid (on-duty) 30-minute meal break unless work will be completed at the sixth hour or before. The employee can agree to waive the 30-minute meal break in writing and can change their mind at any time. If the employee works ten hours, the employer must provide a second 30-minute meal break, which can be waived by the driver/worker if the first break was not waived.
Traffic Attorneys Who Regularly Appear in Roseville Traffic Court
Call the California Traffic Defense Team of Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you have an FMCSA HOS violation or other traffic ticket issue. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
Nadia M., of Apple Valley wrote a Yelp review of her experience with Bigger & Harman, “I wanted to say that my experience with Bigger & Harman was pleasant. I am a truck driver and got a seatbelt ticket in a county that has a very low dismissal rating. The company I work for has a no tolerance seat belt tickets due to CSA violation, so I needed to get it dismissed. It was very convenient having Bigger & Harman handle this for me since I live 5 hours away. It took several months to get the dismissal due to COVID, but Bigger & Harman kept me up to date the whole time, and got the job done for me. I would definitely recommend them!”
The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The US DOL article, Minimum Length of Meal Period Required under State Law
The eroad.com article, Common HOS Final Rule FAQs: Answered
The trucker.com article, What drivers need to know about new HOS rules