From a day to day operating prospective the 14/11 (14 HOS/11- Driving) duty ratio is left unchanged, except for the addition of a 30 minute rest period to occur in the first 8 hours of driving. Essentially the change dictates when the first 30 minutes of non-driving time now classified as “off duty” time must occur and restricts activities during the 30-minutes rest period. Although a lunch break is encouraged in the FMSCA language.
From an over-the road weekly operating perspective the new rules carry a 34-hour restart provision that will significantly impact full time long haul operators.
For “Hotshot” rig operators there is good news in the new rules which defines “off-duty” time as “any time resting in a parked commercial vehicle.” This eliminates the need to stay in hotels when a commercial vehicle is not equipped with a legal sleeper.
Expect confusion, and uninformed DOT inspectors to still ask for hotel receipts to document 10 hour off-duty segments. The key is to be compliant across all the rules. If you don’t record a 30-minute rest period of “off duty” time in your 14 hour duty day, then you’re operating under the old rules, and the legal sleeper definitions