Arkansas Trucking Association

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ATA applauds greater flexibility for truck drivers in new rule

The Arkansas Trucking Association today commended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for publishing a final rule on changes to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations and recognizing the opportunity to improve safety and provide additional flexibility for drivers on our nation's highways.   

“Today’s rule is the result of a two-year, data-driven process, and it will result in needed flexibility for America’s professional truck drivers while maintaining the safety of our roads,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We appreciate the time and attention President Trump, Secretary Chao and Administrator Mullen have paid to our industry and to this regulation, which, while maintaining the core limitations on drivers’ work and rest cycles, makes smart changes to portions of the rules.”

FMCSA's final ruling makes the following key changes to the existing rules and will go into effect 120 days after the rule is published next week:

Short Haul Exception: This changes the short-haul exception by lengthening certain drivers' maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit from 100 to 150 air miles.

Adverse Conditions Exemption: This will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by 2 hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted. 

Split Sleeper-Berth: Drivers may now split their required 10 hours off duty into at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper-berth and no less than 2 consecutive hours, either off duty or in the sleeper-berth. Neither period would count against the driver's 14-hour driving window.

30-Minute Rest Break: This rule increases flexibility, allowing 8 hours of uninterrupted driving time before a driver is required to take a 30-minute break, rather than 8 hours after coming on-duty. The break could also be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.

“It’s always good when agencies like FMCSA listen to the industry and create common-sense rules that promote safety,” said Chair-elect Mark Morris, president and CEO of Morris Transportation Services, LLC in Hamburg, Ark. “Truck drivers can encounter a lot of different situations on the road, and this increased flexibility allows drivers to react safely and appropriately.”

“Safety officials today have access to more data than ever. Arkansas Trucking Association continues to support using this data to improve safety,” said Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. "These new rules are the fruit of years of work to ensure the best data is collected to make the most well-informed policies. The trucking industry is proud to work with policymakers for the safety of everyone on the road.”

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Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
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You are here: Home News In Brief ATA applauds greater flexibility for truck drivers in new rule