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4 Dec 14

There’s good news when it comes for hours-of-service (HOS) rules, at least for the time being. President Obama signed a short-term funding bill last week that allows truckers to keep using the 34-hour restart without restrictions as a way to reset their on-duty hours once they ran out of available time. 

The bill doesn’t make that rule permanent, though.

Instead, the fate of the 34-hour restart is tied to a study that’s in the works by the FMCSA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Right now they’re studying between 200 to 300 truck drivers, with half of them operating by the HOS rules that went into effect in July 2013 and were lifted in 2014. Those rules said that any 34-hour restart had to include two stretches between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., and it could only be used once per week. 

The other half of the drivers can use the 34-hour restart however they see fit. 

From Overdrive Online:

The study’s results will dictate whether the July 2013-enacted regs will go back into effect. The law says truckers operating under July 2013 rules must "demonstrate statistically significant improvement in all outcomes related to safety, operator fatigue, driver health and longevity, and work schedules, in comparison to…drivers who operated under the restart provisions in effect on June 30, 2013," for such rules to go back into effect.

FMCSA and VTTI said early last year they would look at drivers’ schedules, crashes, near-crashes, crash-relevant events, operator fatigue/alertness and short-term health when making the determination about which regulations should become permanent.

How often do you need to use the 34-hour restart? Let us know in our reader poll.


Comments (4) -

Kevin Kenney
Kevin Kenney

Needs to be available to a driver all the time.
Scheduling issues could have driver wait that long anyway


34 hour restart, paper logs, split sleeper berth.....all things that were working just fine before "Big Corporate Government" decided to poke their nose into it.....If they're really concerned about safety, disable cellphone use , except hands free while vehicle is in motion......Hold shippers accountable for load quantities and condition of load and seal the trailer like they use to do......hold receivers accountable for appointment times and extended free time given to unload......and on the health tip.......Put more fitness facilities in Trucking areas..... I would love to see Planet Fitness,partner with Loves or Petro......or the places with bigger parking lots.... thank you!


The FMCSA is going to make the result support the rule they want. That said, under their ridiculous 1 to 5 rule, working 4pm to 4am I would have to give up a full day of work to comply with the time period requirement. Don't see how that makes me safer.


I see no reason why we need to have the 1to 5 rule in the 34 hr restart you are taking 34 hrs off regardless what time of the day you are doing it you should be responsible enough to get some rest during that time.     And if they are going to put a 1 to 5 rule in the 34 hr restart it should have a provision for team operations that run around the clock because one of the team drivers wil lose almost 24 hrs extra compling with the rule.


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