Make sure your operations are as safe and compliant as they can be so that your drivers are assured to return home safely to their families. The J. J. Keller® Compliance Library offers a broad range of transportation publications to help with DOT compliance, CSA, driver safety, driver training, and much more.
Find out exactly which regulations apply to your company.
Learn what’s relevant to you and how to comply and mitigate risk.
Stay current on industry news and regulatory updates.
Support your company’s training program and build a safety and compliance culture.
NEW TRANSPORTATION SERIES Get our most popular Transportation titles, now available in a convenient series! VIEW SERIES
By: Daren Hansen
Publication: Transportation Regulatory Alert
Date Posted: Nov 30, 2020
The FMCSA is planning to test the effects of letting commercial truck drivers “pause” their 14-hour on-duty limit by up to 3 hours per day.
The agency is hoping to enlist up to 400 drivers to participate in its three-year “Split Duty Period Pilot Program.” Participants would be allowed to use one off-duty break of between 30 minutes and 3 hours to pause the 14-hour driving window, as long as they take 10 consecutive hours off duty at the end of the day.
The pause should enable drivers to reduce fatigue, avoid congestion, reduce the pressure to speed, and be more productive, the FMCSA says.
Normally, short breaks taken during a driver’s day must be subtracted from the driver’s 14-consecutive-hour window during which driving is allowed.
Under new rules in effect on September 29, 2020, some truck drivers can pause their 14-hour limit with a break of 2 hours or more, but only if they also spend at least 7 hours in a sleeper berth (see below). Under the pilot program, drivers could pause the clock with off-duty time alone, without the need for a sleeper berth.
This idea was proposed back in 2019 but didn’t find its way into the recent rule changes because the FMCSA didn’t have enough data to justify it.
The driver in this example is compliant (assuming there were 10 hours off duty before the start of this log). He or she was able to “pause” the 14-hour clock with the 3-hour off-duty break because the driver later got at least 7 consecutive hours in a sleeper berth. At the end of this day’s log (midnight), the driver has another 6 hours of driving time available within a 7-hour window of time (the time between the two breaks is subtracted from the 11- and 14-hour limits).
As required by law, the FMCSA is gathering public input on the proposal until November 2nd. It will then decide whether to implement the program. After the program concludes, the agency will need to report to Congress on its findings before it could proceed with any changes to the hours-of-service regulations.
Participation in the pilot program would be limited to between 200 and 400 commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders from companies of all sizes, with each driver participating for up to one year. Motor carriers that want to enroll in the program will need to apply via an FMCSA website which could be available late this year.
Comments on the proposal may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov under docket number FMCSA-2020-0098.
Truck drivers who fall under the federal hours-of-service rules can already pause their 14-hour clock with a short rest break, as of September 29, 2020 (see log image). This is known as the “split sleeper-berth” option, and it works like this:
Key to remember: The FMCSA plans to test the safety of allowing truck drivers to pause their 14-hour clock with a rest break of up to 3 hours, even if they don’t have a sleeper berth. The pilot program could open later this year.
FMCSA Compliance Manual
"I Received the Manual and I was so surprised how user friendly it was. Everything was easy to find and the FAQs were spot on. What a great resource to have at my fingers! Thank You...
EVERYDAY TRANSPORTATION SAFETY MANAGEMENT MANUAL
"I am skeptical about buying items that are not helpful. I don't want to waste my company's money on something that will not help us get the job accomplished. The Transportation Safety Ma...
STATE & FMCSR REQUIREMENTS MANUAL
"The [State & FMCSR Requirements Manual] along with the "FMCSA Compliance Manual" and the "DOT Enforcement Essentials Manual" will give you all of the information you need to success...
TRANSPORTATION SAFETY TRAINING ADVISOR NEWSLETTER
"This training program keeps my drivers current with regulations, providing interesting and challenging subjects, and 'safety food' for thought."
TRANSPORTATION REGULATORY ALERT
"This particular publication is a valuable tool that we use to educate our drivers with it contains informative articles that relate to our business and posters that are monthly rotated in the drivers room. I believe that thi...
EVERYDAY DRUG & ALCOHOL PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
"This manual is one the most comprehensive pieces that I have ever seen on the DOT regulation. It is clear cut and easy to understand. This is an excellent reference and training guide. I will be using this man...
OSHA COMPLIANCE FOR TRANSPORTATION MANUAL
"Finally an OSHA Manual for my industry and not a "general" shotgun approach. This covers the basics and yet has the info we need without having to search through hundreds of pages."
FMCSA COMPLIANCE MANUAL
“This FMCSA Manual is the perfect thing to have with you at all times. Twice it has saved me from citations during DOT Inspections. The officer's hated it when they tried to give a citation, then I pulled out m...
FMCSA COMPLIANCE MANUAL - ONLINE VERSION
"I've found this to be most helpful and user friendly. Rather than finding the relevant Chapter and Rule this software directs you to exactly the Part your looking for. I especially like the "Ask the Expert&...
FMCSA COMPLIANCE MANUAL
“I highly recommend this book - especially the online edition.
I own a furniture store, have only 1 box truck over 10,000 pounds, and I cross state lines, so I need to know the FMCSA regulations. I ...
DOT ENFORCEMENT ESSENTIALS MANUAL
"A must for compliance professionals. Easy to navigate and quickly find the resources needed to stay compliant in this ever changing world of regulations."