How will the latest HOS updates affect your ELD?

With the FMCSA’s latest hours of service updates now in full effect as of Sep. 29, folks throughout the industry believe that truckers will be able to enjoy additional flexibility with their 14-hour driving window.

On a day-to-day basis, most drivers should be affected by the changes made to breaks and the split-sleeper option.

First, let’s start with breaks. Where before drivers were required to be off-duty in order to take a 30-minute break, the FMCSA has made some crucial changes, which allow drivers to have increased flexibility. 

Rather than taking a break while off-duty, truckers are now allowed to take their break using on-duty status. Essentially, while a 30-minute break is still required, it can now be used to do other productive tasks that weren’t allowed prior to the change.

In regard to how that affects your ELD, it should mostly work the same. The only difference now will be that drivers will have an additional status they can use to fulfill a break, rather just choosing between off-duty or sleeper berth. 

Another change made to the break rule concerns when a break can be taken. Before the changes, a break was required after 8 hours of on-duty time, but with the changes now in place, drivers are required to take a break after 8 cumulative hours of driving time. 

This should also allow drivers to take breaks at more convenient times and provide further flexibility with their hours of service, overall. 

As previously highlighted, another crucial part of the updates has been the changes made to the split sleeper rule. While it’s always been a tricky rule to figure out, it has been a good source for increased flexibility to those who’ve mastered it.

The original rule only allowed drivers to take a 10/0 or 8/2 sleeper berth, which meant you either took the full 10 hours or split them 8 and 2 somewhere within your 14-hour driving window.

With the new rule, drivers will no longer be solely required to split their sleeper berth hours 8/2, as they can now split them 7/3. Theoretically, depending on how it’s ultimately utilized by truckers, this change could allow for even more flexibility within a driver’s 14-hour clock.

This change should not have a big effect on your ELD, however. As your sleeper berth would still be recorded as usual, but now you just have an additional option for splitting it. 

Overall, there will not be many changes in the usage of ELDs to record hours of service. Despite some slight changes with recording your breaks, it should all be relatively the same from here until they make any additional changes. 

So, what do you think about the recent hours of service changes? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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