Are you 150 air-mile exempt?
Updated: September 29, 2020
What is an air mile?
An “air mile” is a nautical mile measuring a straight distance between two points, excluding any twists or turns.
What is the short-haul exemption?
If you are a short-haul driver or fleet, there are several short-haul exemptions, including time restrictions, as well as a distance-related exemption, which is the 150 air-mile exemption.
What is the 150 air-mile exemption?
This exemption applies to both CDL and non-CDL drivers with an operating radius of 150 air-miles.
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Drivers are required to:
- keep timecards
- return to the same work reporting location, and
- only drive in states not requiring a CDL for their vehicle.
Note: Previously, the exemption included a 100 air-mile exemption as well and was changed in 2020 to 150 air-mile for both CDL and Non-CDL drivers.
What was the 100 air-mile exemption?
Before the rule change on September 29, 2020, the 100 air-mile exemption applied to CDL drivers and to qualify they needed to:
- remain operating within a 100 air-mile radius
- return to the same work reporting location
- go off duty within 12 hours, and
- keep time cards with start and end times and total hours worked daily
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Exceeding the short-haul limitation
A driver may violate the short-haul limitations by going over the radius limit or exceeding the time it takes to return to their reporting location.
If this happens, drivers are required to maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODS) and more importantly, if they maintain a RODS for more than 8 days in a 30-day period, they must have an ELD because the mandate exemption does not apply after that 8 days.
The 8-day rule is one of the biggest issues for any short-haul fleet because they are unable to determine if they will hit that 8-day limitation. It is important to note that it is nearly impossible to implement an ELD on short notice, therefore, many questionable short-haul fleets are beginning to install ELDs.
If you have drivers that are exempt, it is imperative that you check time records to verify compliance with time and distance restrictions.
If a driver is in violation, you must also verify that they followed proper procedure by taking a 30-minute break and submitting their daily log.
If your company is audited and you or your drivers are found to be misusing these exemptions, you will be cited for each violation every day it occurred which can lead to a rather large fine.
ELDs and short-haul exemptions
In most cases, a driver that qualifies for the 150 air-mile radius exemption 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. Constant awareness of a driver’s distance, eliminating any concerns of going beyond the radius limit, and monitoring driver scorecards are just two of many benefits.
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