A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver who operates locally, within a 150 air-mile radius, may qualify for certain exceptions from federal hours-of-service rules. Qualifying drivers may use simpler time records and, depending on the type of vehicle being driven, may be exempt from 30-minute breaks, the standard 14-hour limit, and the need to keep supporting documents. The exceptions apply to drivers and motor carriers operating property-carrying and passenger-carrying CMVs in interstate commerce.

Key Definitions:

  • 150 air-mile radius: One hundred and fifty air-miles are equivalent to 172.6 statute miles.
  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL): A license issued to an individual by a state or other jurisdiction of domicile, in accordance with the standards contained in 49 CFR 383, to an individual which authorizes the individual to operate a class of a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Commercial motor vehicle (CMV): A self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway, in interstate commerce, that meets any one of the following criteria:
    • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross combination weight rating (GCWR), or gross vehicle weight (GVW) or gross combination weight (GCW), of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater; or
    • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
    • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver), and not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
    • Is transporting hazardous materials of a type or quantity which requires placarding.

Summary of Requirements:

A CMV driver is not required to use a standard grid-style timekeeping log (known as a record of duty status) if the driver operates within a 150 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location, the driver returns to the work reporting location and is released from work within 14 consecutive hours, and the following additional criteria are met:

  • For the driver of a property-carrying CMV:
    • At least 10 consecutive hours off duty separate each 14 duty hours, and
      • The driver does not drive more than 11 hours following at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty;
  • For the driver of a passenger-carrying CMV:
    • At least 8 consecutive hours off duty separate each 15 hours on duty, and
    • The driver does not drive more than 10 hours following at least 8 consecutive hours off duty; and
  • The motor carrier maintains the driver’s time records for six months showing:
    • The time the driver reports for duty each day,
    • The time the driver is released from duty each day,
    • The total number of hours the driver is on duty each day, and
    • The total time on duty for the preceding seven days for drivers used for the first time or intermittently.

The mandatory 30-minute break and supporting-document requirements do not apply to the driver of a property-carrying CMV who qualifies for this exception. A 150 air-mile radius driver is not exempt from the 60-hour/7-day or 70-hour/8-day limit.

Additional Exceptions:

Additional exceptions are available to short-haul drivers of property-carrying CMVs who are not required to hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the vehicle being driven. The same limits and recordkeeping requirements as listed above must be met, except that the drivers:

  • Are not required to be released from work after they return to the work reporting location (that is, they may continue to perform non-driving work); and
  • May exceed the 14-hour limit by up to 2 hours, up to twice per seven days. Specifically, these drivers must not drive a CMV:
    • After the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty on at least five days in any period of seven consecutive days, or
    • After the 16th consecutive hour after coming on duty on up to two days in any period of seven consecutive days.

A driver who uses this provision (for non-CDL vehicles) is not eligible to use the sleeper-berth exception (395.1(g)) or the once-per-week 16-hour exception (395.1(o)).

Header Photo by Caleb Ruiter on Unsplash

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