AED Alert: HOS Reforms will Provide Much-Needed Flexibility for Equipment Dealers, AED Tells FMCSA

On October 21, AED submitted comments supporting several modifications to the hours of service (HOS) rules in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

AED believes the HOS regulations shouldn’t apply to equipment service technicians, as driving is ancillary to these individuals’ primary job functions. However, based on member feedback, the association supported the following modifications, most of which were contained in FMCSA’s NPRM that will offer greater flexibility and efficiencies for AED members:

  • Providing one set of HOS rules for short-haul operations, wherein a CDL driver would be exempt from the requirements if the driver operates within 150 air-miles of the work reporting location and completes the workday within 14 hours;
  • Eliminating the short-haul rule’s return to work reporting location requirement to allow the driver to establish the origin point for that duty period, as opposed to returning back to the normal work reporting location;
  • Granting drivers the flexibility to extend the 14-hour daily duty window by up to three hours in a single off-duty break; and
  • Allowing drivers to drive for an additional two hours beyond the 14-hour driving window during adverse conditions, such as inclement weather.

Following its review of the comments, FMCSA is expected to release a final rule in 2020.

AED also joined a broader group of national construction organizations on joint comments supporting the above reforms. Additionally, the coalition urged FMCSA to pursue a comprehensive exemption for commercial motor vehicles operating in construction-related industries, including drivers of equipment service vehicles that maintain, repair and service construction equipment and other machinery. AED will continue to work both individually and with other organizations to pursue broader relief for the industry.

To view AED’s comments to the NPRM, please click here.

To view AED’s comments submitted on October 10, 2018, responding to FMCSA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, click here.

Contact AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher with questions or input related to the HOS comments or other policy issues.