The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has formally asked the FMCSA to allow truckers to pause their 14-hour clock for up to three hours and to end the 30-minute break requirement under current hours-of-service rules.

The association, in a petition signed by the OOIDA president Todd Spencer, said, “The current regulations are overly complex, provide no flexibility and in no way reflect the physical capabilities or limitations of individual drivers.”

They force drivers to be on the road when they are tired or fatigued, during busy travel times and adverse weather and road conditions.”

The current HOS rules require drivers to take a 30-minute break within their first eight hours on duty every day but do not allow the 14-hour clock to pause.

OOIDA proposed that drivers should not be compelled to take the 30-minute break, but instead allowed to take a rest of up to three consecutive hours and “effectively stop the 14-hour clock.”

The association also told that drivers would still be required to take ten consecutive off-duty hours before their next shift.

The FMCSA’s split sleeper berth pilot program

It is important to remember that the FMCSA is also involved in a pilot program that would make drivers hours-of-service rules more flexible.

In June 2017, the FMCSA announced a split sleeper berth pilot program. This program aims to study the feasibility and safety conditions of splitting the truck drivers’ sleeper berth status time.

Current sleeper berth rules allow drivers to use one 10-hour period, splits of one and nine hours, or splits of eight and two hours.

The proposed sleeper berth options would allow drivers the following options:

  • A split of three and seven hours
  • A split of four and six hours
  • A split of two equal five-hour periods.

If you want to learn more about the FMCSA’s split sleeper berth pilot program, read:The complete guide to FMCSA’s split sleeper berth pilot program.

More flexibility for drivers

Meanwhile, OOIDA says its recommendation to make the HOS rules more flexible would “improve highway safety.”

The group said, “Current HOS regulations force truckers to comply with a regulatory framework that jeopardizes their safety and the safety of the traveling public. The federal HOS should foster safe driving habits, not prevent them.”

OOIDA further said that the FMCSA should post the petition in the Federal Register and initiate a move to change the hours-of-service rules.

What’s next?

OOIDA is asking the FMCSA to modify the HOS rules and infuse more flexibility into the 14-hour rule. Hours-of-service rules play an important role in minimizing driver fatigue, which is a big reason for crashes.

The ELD mandate was also introduced to enforce hours-of-service rules and improve road safety.

The Motive ELD is FMCSA-registered and helps drivers with hours-of-service regulations.

If you are looking for a reliable ELD solution, try Motive.

If you have any questions about the Motive ELD, give us a call at 855-434-3564 or send us an email at