This year’s Hours of Service rule changes have caused more than their fair share of consternation. From frustrated drivers to trucking executives left scratching their heads, we’re getting inundated with requests to decode the FMCSA’s 395.3 regulation. So, we’ve decided to tackle the 60/7 vs. 70/8 rule set, recaptured hours — or the hours of service recap — and the new 34-hour restart rule changes in a series of blog posts.
We want to be sure you have a crystal clear understanding of what’s mandatory, what’s not and how it all works…
…and we’re kicking things off with the basics of the recapture.
Recapture on-duty hours with recap
Let’s say you’re operating on the 70/8 rule set (or, put more simply, that you can’t be on duty for more than 70 hours during the course of eight consecutive days).
If today were an on-duty day for you, it would be Day 1.
You’d then have to add your Day 1 hours to the on-duty hours you accumulated during the course of the previous seven.
As your block of eight days advances at 12 o’clock midnight, you recapture the on-duty hours that have dropped off your log at 12:01AM.
The hours of service recap in practice
We get a lot of questions about the hours of service recap, and many come from new drivers.
So, let’s talk through an example.
Assume you’re brand new to the job, and you started on a Monday without any previous on-duty hours to take into consideration.
If you work 8-1/2 on-duty hours each day—from your first day on the job until the following Monday—you’ll have accumulated 68 hours on-duty.
When you roll into Tuesday, your Day 8 shifts from the Monday of last week to the previous Tuesday. And the 8-1/2 hours that just fell off your rolling total (shown in light blue)? They’re now available to you again.
Hours of service recap or 34-hour restart?
As of July 1, 2013, drivers must adhere to new 34-hour restart provisions, including the two 1AM – 5AM rest periods (we’ll explore that rule in-depth in a future blog post).
Some things to keep in mind…
First and foremost, it’s important to highlight the fact that you’re not required to use the 34-hour restart rule.
It’s simply another tool you may use to manage your available hours and, depending on how much time you spend on-duty, the restart may be the quickest way to get you back behind the wheel.
However, because the 34-hour reset rule states that you can only take one weekly reset—or one every 168 hours, from the beginning of your previous reset—those new limitations might be a key reason you look at the use of the recapture.
If you’re working 8-3/4 hours of on-duty time or less each day, though, this may be a moot point. You could conceivably work to infinity without ever needing to take a 34-hour restart.
We hope this has been helpful.
Up next? A detailed look at the 34-hour restart.