Hours of Service

Federal Drivers’ Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations


*This webpage, its contents and documents listed below have been prepared solely for information purposes. They are intended solely for the use of professional personnel, competent to evaluate the significance and limitations of its content, and who will accept full responsibility for the application of the material it contains. The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and any other organizations cooperating in the preparation of this material strive for accuracy but disclaim any and all responsibility for application of the stated principles or for the accuracy of the content or sources and shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from reliance on or use of any content or principles contained in this presentation.

 *Although the new HOS rule applies to interstate commerce (crossing state lines), as with many other regulations set at the federal level, most states adopt the new regulations making them effective in those states as well, either automatically or at a later date. Most state adoption timelines differ. Please check with your state association or state enforcement agency to determine if and/or when your state will adopt the HOS changes.


HOS 34-hour Restart Rule Reverts Back to Pre-July 2013 Standard, Effective Now

 On December 16, 2014 President Obama signed into law legislation funding the federal government through September 2015. Contained in the legislation is a provision effectively suspending, temporarily, the two restrictions that had been placed on the use of the 34-hour restart: the two 1a.m.-5 a.m. periods and the once-a-week use requirements. Following President Obama’s signature the use of the 34-hour restart provision reverted back to the pre-July 2013 standard; meaning drivers who need to restart their weekly on-duty clock after having been on-duty for 60 hours in 7 days, or 70 hours in 8 days, now can simply go off-duty for 34 consecutive hours. Drivers no longer will need to take the restart provision over two night periods, and they can use the restart provision more than once per week. 

However, since this is a spending bill that only lasts through the end of Fiscal Year 2015 (September 30, 2015), it means that the 34-hour restart change also only is effective through September 2015. 

To be clear, all other HOS provisions remain in effect, including the 30-minute break provision, 11-hours driving time and the 14-hour driving window.

While most drivers in the ready mixed concrete industry are able to take advantage of the construction materials delivery 24-hour restart exception [49 CFR 395.1(m)], drivers in the industry who drive commercial motor vehicles to haul cement or aggregates are required to use the 34-hour restart. For the cement and aggregate haulers, or mixer drivers who frequently switch to either of these driving functions, these drivers will be the select few that be impacted by the change.

 To recap:

  1. Drivers using the 34-hour restart do NOT have to have two periods off-duty between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to fulfill the restart requirement.
  2. Drivers can use the 34-hour restart more than once per week.
  3. This change is temporary and will only last through September 30, 2015.
  4. All other provisions of the HOS rules remain unchanged.

For more information and to view the enforcement suspension language please click here.

Following the August 2 U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia Ciruit ruling on the validity of the July 1 HOS regulations changes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued guidance concerning enforcement of the 30-minute break provision as it relates to short-haul drivers. Effective as of August 2, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision (49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)) against any driver that qualifies for either of the  “short haul operations” exceptions; 100 air-mile exception and 150 air-mile exemption (49 CFR 395.1(e)(1) or (2)).

For clarification, if a ready mixed concrete driver can take advantage of the 100 air-mile logging exemption (49 CFR 395.1(e)(1)), then that driver does not need to comply with the 30-minute break provision (49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)). However, should that driver drive beyond the 12-hour reporting limit outlined in the exemption, then that driver will be required to comply with the 30-minute break provision. This scenario however, creates a compliance question of how to treat the 30-minute break once a driver knows he/she will drive over the 12-hour limit. NRMCA met with FMCSA officials on August 12 to discuss this loophole. FMCSA stated they are aware of the compliance conundrum and are in the process of developing guidance for how it should be treated. FMCSA noted they are considering suggesting drivers take the 30-minute break immediately when a driver knows the 12-hour limit will be violated. No final decision on a solution has been made, nor has FMCSA settled on a time frame for issuing guidance.

To view FMCSA’s guidance please click here.


On December 22, the FMCSA published its contentious and long-awaited final HOS rule. Specifically, the rule:

  • Limits the use of the 34-hour restart provision to just once a week covering “at least two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.”;
  • Requires divers to take a 30-minute break after at most eight hours of “on-duty” time;
  • Changes the ”on-duty time” definition to not include “…any time resting in a parked CMV [commercial motor vehicle]”; and
  • Permits penalties for “egregious violations of driving-time limits.” The definition of an “egregious violation” is: “A driver who exceeds, or motor carrier that requires or permits a driver to exceed, by more than three hours the driving-time limit…” Such a violation could result in a fine of up to $11,000 for motor carriers, and/or $2,750 for drivers, for each violation.

The compliance date for the 34-hour restart change and the mandatory 30-minute break was July 1, 2013.

For the “on-duty time” change and the “egregious violation” provisions, they became effective on February 27, 2012.

*The HOS provisions of importance to the ready mixed concrete industry, including the 24-hour weekly clock reset for construction materials deliveries, the 16-hour short-haul exception, the 100 air-mile logbook exemption, and the current intrastate tolerance guidelines remain unchanged by the new rule.

Federal Hours of Service Regulations Issue Paper

Hours of Service Regulations: The Basics

Compliance Information:

NRMCA Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulations Compliance Guide 2013

FMCSA 30-minute Break Guidance for Short-Haul 

Map: State HOS Adoption Process

Map: State Effective Dates for 30-minute Break Rule

New HOS Rule (December 22, 2011 rule)

Current Pending Actions:


Industry Exemption Request Published in Federal Register 

Template Comments for Federal Register Notice 

Status: Industry-wide Exemption Request eceived by FMCSA, published in the Federal Register, accepting comments through September 2013


Industry/Short-haul/Construction Exemption Legislation

Status: Informal talks with multiple Members of Congress underway


ATA/OOIDA Litigation Against FMCSA

Status: Court Decision - Upheld July 1 changes, except 30-minute break for short-haul

Documents: Lawsuit PrimerFiled Statement of IssuesFiled Brief

Previous Actions:

NRMCA Member Jeff Hinkle, Chandler Concrete Company, testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

NRMCA Response to FMCSA on Final HOS Rule

NRMCA Comments on Proposed New Rule

NRMCA Member Rusty Rader, J.J. Kennedy, Inc., testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business