Chamber Supports Relaxing Federal Truck Drive-Time Rules, Submits Comments

September 29, 2019

Many Michigan Chamber members have voiced support for the Trump Administration’s proposed changes to relax the federal “hours of service” rule, which governs the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. The Michigan Chamber asked for your comments and heard overwhelming support, prompting us to submit official comments with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in favor of the proposal. 

The proposal consists of five changes to the “hours of service” rule for commercial motor vehicle drivers:

  • Increase flexibility for the 30-minute-break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty status (not driving).
  • Modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: one period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver's 14‑hour driving window.
  • Allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver's 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.
  • Modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • Change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers' maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

Please contact Wendy Block with any comments or questions at wblock@michamber.com.