HOS short-haul exemptions and HOS compliance


What are short-haul exemptions?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) developed several Hours-of-Service rules and regulations with a goal for these HOS rules to minimize driver fatigue and improve road safety for everyone.

However, the FMCSA has created certain exemptions giving drivers and carriers flexibility, depending on their situation. Different rules apply to passenger-carrying drivers, property-carrying drivers and drivers of hazardous materials.

Considering all of the potential HOS changes and so we are on the same page, we will discuss a few important Hours-of-Service rules, including the 14-hour rule, the 11-hour rule and the 30-minute break.

What are 3 important hours-of-service rules?

  • The 14-hour rule?

The 14-hour rule disallows a property-carrying driver from driving longer than 14 consecutive hours after starting duty. The driver cannot continue driving until they have taken ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty.

Passenger-carrying motor vehicles are limited to 15 cumulative hours. This differs from the 14 consecutive hours of property-carrying drivers.

For both property-carrying and passenger-carrying vehicles, off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

  • The 11-hour rule?

The 11-hour rule states that property-carrying drivers are allowed a maximum of 11 hours of drive time after 10 consecutive hours off duty, if they stay within the 14-hour window.

On the other hand, passenger-carrying drivers can drive up to 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.

  • The 30-minute break rule?

According to the 30-minute break rule, drivers can’t log driving time if eight hours have passed since the last off-duty period of 30 consecutive minutes. Drivers can perform non-driving tasks after eight hours without taking a break, but they cannot drive.

Are you a short-haul driver?

The FMCSA rules and regulations state that you are a short-haul driver, if:

  • Start and return to the same location within twelve (12) hours of duty time.
  • Maintain your time-clock function.
  • Do not drive for more than eleven (11) hours.
  • Have ten (10) consecutive hours in off duty between shifts.
  • Operate within a 100 air-mile radius from your starting location (CDL driver)
  • Operate within a 150 air-mile radius (non-CDL drivers)
  • Does not drive through a state that requires a CDL for the vehicle they drive

The 16-hour short-haul exemption – Do you qualify?

The FMCSA implemented a hours of service exemption allowing short-haul drivers to extend their 14-hour driving window by two hours each week.

This could apply to you if you are a short-haul driver and report back to the same work location each day, you might be able to take advantage of the 16-hour short haul exemption.

The exemption doesn’t extend the 11-hour daily driving limit but does provide you with up to 16 hours to complete your workday.

ELDs and short-haul exemptions

In most cases, a driver that qualifies for the 100 or 150 air mile radius is exempt from the upcoming ELD mandate, but there are exceptions.

The final regulation says if you are running short haul, you are not required to maintain Record of Duty Status (RODS) and, therefore, do not need to log your hours with an ELD, unless you break the rule more than eight (8) times in a 30-day rolling period.

If you do break the rule more than eight times, you will need an ELD to log your hours until you get back to the number of eight or fewer in a 30-day period.

Although not always required, ELDs can be an excellent resource for a short-haul fleet, as it allows constant awareness of a driver’s distance, eliminating any concerns of going beyond the radius limit.

Do you still need an ELD? We can help you out!


Stay DOT compliant

Knowing these rules and regulations will allow you to stay compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe, compliant, and on the road.

If you have any questions, call 888.260.9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.