by Brad Bockey

Official News Release. FMCSA has announced an upcoming final rule that provides Hours Of Service (HOS) flexibility across most modes of highway transport. These changes impact the drilling and blasting industry in both long haul and short haul operations. Please note that these changes will not be effective until 120 days after publication in the federal register. Although FMCSA did not list a date yet, the rule is slated to be published June 1, and will become effective 120 days after that – Sept 29, 2020.

4 Major Changes

Short Haul Exception. Expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception. This will affect any blasting company that currently dispatches under the 100 air-mile radius exemption from the HOS rules with an additional 2 hours of daily on duty time and an additional 50 mile radius where drivers will not be subject to ELD/logbook requirements. All other rules within the short haul exception will still apply to include a driver’s time record that meets FMCSA requirements.

Break Requirement. The current 30-minute break requirement has been modified to allow the break to be satisfied by any non-driving duty period (on duty/not driving, sleeper berth, or off duty). The break is required prior to a driver driving (instead of having been on duty) beyond 8 hours.

Split Sleeper Berth. Splitting the sleeper berth period has been expanded from the current 8/2 allowance to include 7/3 also. Neither sleeper berth period will count against a driver’s 14-hour limit. When using this option, a driver must remember that any 2 sleeper berth/driving periods must add up to either a minimum of 10 hours sleeper berth or a maximum of 11 hours of driving time.

Adverse Driving Conditions. Expands the driving window during adverse conditions (such as weather or heavy traffic congestion) by up to 2 hours for both the 11-hour driving limit and the 14-hour on duty limit. It must be noted that the driver can only use this option when the weather/traffic issues were not known prior to being dispatched.

Please follow all existing HOS rules until Sept 29, 2020, when these new rules become effective!


Do you have a topic or suggestion for our newsletter? Email us at with your topic and information that you would like to have included within our website.