Two significant regulatory changes usher in the New Year. Changes to the FMCSA regulations will impact your driver’s hours of operation and their
RETURN OF THE REAL 34-HOUR RESTART
The 34 hour restart is back. No more 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. No more once per 168 hours.
Within the 1,700 pages of the funding billed passed by Congress on December 13, 2014 was a provision that suspends two provisions of the restart rule that were imposed in July, 2013. No longer does a driver have to have two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. in order to qualify. Additionally, drivers are not limited to one restart every 168 hours.
Since their implementation in 2013, these provisions have restricted the ability of drivers to use the 34 hour restart as a means of re-setting their hours while getting rest. Additionally, the rule restrictions were at the very least counterintuitive, requiring those with regular schedules of daytime sleeping to change their sleep patterns on a weekly basis.
The mandate had other industry impacts as well. It increased the number of drivers seeking overnight parking at already crowded facilities and then put them on the road at 5 a.m. on already congested roads.
The suspensions of these provisions became effective on December 16, 2014 upon the President signing the funding bill. The suspension will end on September 30, 2015 when the annual funding bill expires. However, in the interim, the ATA will be working on ways to extend the suspension.
In the meantime, the simple 34 hour restart is back.
NO NEED TO KEEP NO-DEFECT DVIR’s
Effective December 18, 2014, drivers operating in interstate commerce, except drivers of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles, no longer have to submit and the motor carrier does not have to retain, DVIRs when the driver has neither found nor been aware of any vehicle defects or deficiencies. The DOT estimates that this will save the industry $1.8 billion annually.
Key–drivers must still do pre- and post-trip inspections. They must still complete and companies must retain DVIRs where the driver finds or has been made aware of a defect.
If no defect is found on the pre- or post-trip, then no DVIR is required to be completed or kept.