Edited August 7, 2013, to add: FMCSA announced August 7, 2013, that all short-haul operations are exempt from the 30-minute break. Read about the clarification in this blog post.
On Friday (August 2), the U.S. Court of Appeals released its decision on the Hours of Service.
Everything stayed the same, except the 30-minute break for short-haul drivers. Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?
Well, controversy is brewing.
The issue is the definition of short-haul drivers. In the decision (Page 16; D. 30-Minute Break; click here to download the 22-page PDF of the ruling), the differences between long-haul and short-haul operations are discussed — with no mention of a difference between CDL vs. non-CDL operations.
In the same section, however, the judge who wrote the decision mentions 395.1 (e)(2) in the short-haul vs. long-haul discussion. The issue is that 395.1(e)(2) is about short-haul, non-CDL operations — vehicles more than 10,001 pounds but less than 26,001 pounds or placarded hazmat.
What does this mean? It looks like it’s up to FMCSA to decide what they want to do.
If they decide to follow the “technicality” of the law, this rule only will apply to non-CDL operations. If they decide to follow the “intent” of the law, it could apply to short-haul drivers for both CDL and non-CDL.
The ATA currently is petitioning FMCSA for clarification. With hope, the defintion confusion will be resolved in the 45-day period before the court's decision takes effect.
HNI will keep you aware of any information we receive on this subject.