Home Proposed Bill Sign the Petition Contact Us View Truck
"The problem with trucking safety is not a shortage of regulations; the
problem is that existing regulations prevent safety from thriving."
Welcome to HOS Overhaul.

We all seek safer roads and understand that there is a need for oversight and regulation that will help to acquire that, but it is clear that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) overregulation is having a negative impact on numerous industries related to transportation and moreover presents a danger to travelers of our American highways.

This site is meant to illustrate the detrimental effects that the current FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) regulations have on truck drivers, the trucking industry, and other residual effects on industries related to the trucking industry and introduce common sense alternatives that will help encourage safe practices in the trucking industry.

Change starts here!

Please review this article in full to understand how current regulations have come to pass, how they pose a danger to travelers, and why there is a desperate need for a complete overhaul of existing HOS rules.

After your review, please sign the petition to advance this effort. When we reach 500,000 signatures, this proposal will be brought to Congress to hopefully enact an overhaul of the current HOS rules.

Thank you for doing your duty by letting your voice be heard on this matter.


First, it is important to mention that it is widely agreed among industry professionals that the statistical analysis and data acquired and used by the FMCSA to fashion the ongoing enhancements of HOS rules is seriously flawed. For example, much of the data related to incidents that included trucks over 10,000 pounds and resulted in a fatality often times doesn't differentiate between farm equipment, small delivery trucks, local driven tractor/trailer combination vehicles, and over-the-road (OTR) tractor/trailer combination vehicles where the driver is bound to keep and maintain a daily log of the driver's activity. However, it is primarily the OTR driver who keeps a daily log that is most affected by the continuous restrictive nature of the HOS rules which are the direct result of the flawed data.

It is the opinion of HOS Overhaul that all data that results in any HOS regulatory changes should include only incidents that directly involve drivers impacted by the HOS rules, namely OTR drivers who keep a daily log. Any additional data is inconsequential and should be excluded when deciding law on this matter.

Brief History

HOS rules were first created and enforced in 1936 by the former Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and are now regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the Department of Transportation.

Over the years there have been numerous variations of the HOS rules, seemingly meant to make our highways safer. The longest standing variation ran from 1962 to 2003, which allowed for a driver to drive up to 10 hours in a 15 hour period and required 8 hours of rest. The rules also allowed for drivers to split their on and off duty time into two segments as long as any one segment of combined rest was at least 2 hours in length.

In 2003 the HOS rules were changed to allow drivers to driver up to 11 hours. Also, introduced was a provision that would allow drivers to reset their weekly drive time (a maximum of 60 hours in a 7 day period OR 70 hours in an 8 day period) if the driver took 34 hours off duty.

In 2005 the HOS rules were changed, requiring drivers to complete all of their driving within a 14 hour window and then take a full 10 hours off duty with 8 of those hours for rest, before they could drive again. This has all but eliminated the spit shift.

In 2013, the rules were again changed to require that drivers could not have any period of more than 8 hours without taking a half hour break. Also, the 34 hour reset would have to include two periods of 1-5am (currently suspended).

This is where we are at right now.

Fundamental Problems With Current HOS Rules

Though the forementioned HOS rules appear reasonable to most anyone reading them, there are a number of problems with the current rules that need to be outlined and addressed as they pose a serious danger to truck drivers and the public. They are as follows.

  • 14 Hour On-Duty Window

    This portion of the law requires that a driver complete up to 11 hours of driving in a 14 hour window, after which they must break for 10 consecutive hours before driving again. Prior to 2005, the HOS rules granted drivers the ability to split their on-duty time into segments allowing them to rest as needed.

    The problem with this rule is that, even though a driver is not required to drive a full 11 hours, they are compelled to drive up to 11 hours continually in order to keep their schedule regardless of whether they are tired or not. There is minimal time for rest during this time and the driver is at risk of losing there job if they do not perform to this level.

    This rule encourages drivers to drive while tired and poses a serious danger to the driver and the public.

    Furthermore, the 14 hour rule allows minimal time for a driver to get a good meal, a shower, and adequate exercise. Truck stops have all but abandoned the 'sit down' restaurant in exchange for fast food counters because drivers simply have no time to sit down for a meal as a result of this rule. This has contributed to an increase in driver obesity and poses a serious risk to the driver's health and subsequently the public should a driver have a health crisis while operating a vehicle.

  • 10 Hour Off-Duty Mandate

    This portion of the law requires that a driver go off duty for 10 consecutive hours after driving 11 hours or completing a 14 hour window of on-duty status. If any of this off-duty time is served in the sleeper berth of the truck, there must be 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper. Prior to 2005, the HOS rules allowed a driver to split their off-duty time in conjunction with their on-duty time as needed according to the driver's schedule, ability, and need for rest.

    The problem with this rule is that often times the driver cannot sleep for 8 consecutive hours, particularly if they did not drive a full 11 hours or complete 14 hours of on-duty status prior to the start of their off-duty time. For example, a driver may have driven only 6 hours, arrived at their destination and gone off duty. As a result, this driver may find themselves fully rested after only 5 hours, but must remain off duty for another 5 hours to fulfill their mandatory off-duty requirement before driving again. That is 5 hours of spent energy doing nothing. And when the driver has completed their 10 hours of off-duty status and begins to drive, they are not nearly as alert as they were 5 hours earlier, but are compelled to drive up to another 11 hours before going off duty again.

    This rule is counter productive, encourages drivers to drive while tired, and poses a serious danger to the driver and the public.

  • 34 Hour Reset

    This portion of the law allows a driver, who is nearing their maximum 60 hours of on duty status in a 7 day period, to perform a reset of their hours by taking 34 hours of consecutive off-duty time. In general this is a good rule that was greatly sought after by drivers and companies for years. However, the rule was recently amended to include a requirement that a 34 hour reset include two periods of 1-5am.

    The problem with this amendment is that it does not take into account that many deliveries are carried out through the night and drivers seeking a 34 hour reset of hours, who are delivering during this time, will have to go off duty for up to 52 hours before returning to work. And when they do return to work, they will have less time available to drive to their next destination thus forcing them to drive more miles with less rest in a shorter period of time.

    It is the opinion of the FMCSA that a person's circadian rhythm (24-hour clock) should be taken into account when discussing HOS rules. What the FMCSA has failed to consider is that, even though daylight is a main factor in a person's circadian rhythm, these rhythms can be entrained by a number of other external factors that repeat in a person life, such as working a night shift.

    This rule is counter productive, completely unnecessary, and poses a serious danger to the driver and the public.

Case Studies

Please review the following case studies to further understand how the current HOS rules discourage drivers from driving responsibly.
  • Case 1
  • Case 2
  • Case 3
  • Case 4
These cases are only a small sample of what occurs daily in the trucking industry. All of these cases would have afforded the driver adequate rest time had the driver been allowed to split his on duty time as drivers could prior to 2003 and not be restricted by a 14 hour on-duty window.

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

This overview would not be complete without addressing the pending issue regarding electronic logging devices or ELDs. ELDs in general are not necessarily a bad solution for acquiring an accurate snapshot of driver activity. But it should be known that the institution of these devices in conjunction with the current HOS rules will only encourage drivers to drive while tired, as mentioned in case studies 3 and 4 above. Once the ELD clock begins ticking, drivers are compelled to do what they must to fit as many driving hours as possible into their 14 hour on-duty window.

Another problem with ELDs and current HOS rules is that during traffic delays that cause backups, such as highway accidents, drivers who are subject to ELDs in their vehicles have been known to park their truck on the shoulder of a highway until the traffic clears in order to stop their ELD driving time rather than moving forth with traffic to get through the delay. This poses a danger to the driver and others. Furthermore, it has been observed that drivers with ELDs are less likely to stop during winter storms when conditions are bad in order to fit as many driving hours as possible into their 14 hour on-duty window.

Please note that it is not the ELD that is encouraging this behavior, but rather the current HOS rules imposed on the driver.

CSA Scores

It is important to note that Hours of Service Compliance is one of the main factors in the FMCSA's CSA Operation Model and it is likely that driver CSA scores have been negatively impacted as a result of the current HOS rules. Common sense HOS rules such as those proposed on this website could have often times allowed drivers to be more compliant and avoid negative CSA scores altogether.

Residual Effects

There are other industries that have been negatively affected by the current HOS rules imposed on drivers. As previously mentioned, truck stops have had to retool their facilities by replacing "sit down" restaurants with fast food counters. Shippers and Receivers are impacted by these rules as they often require pickup and delivery appointments to be rescheduled to accommodate the driver's schedule, which can dramatically interfere with their production as well. Families are affected by the current HOS rules as they understand the negative impact that the rules have on their loved ones who are driving and the danger that these rules put them in.

In Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that the FMCSA's current HOS rules encourage drivers to drive while tired or falsify their daily log when they don't, to give the impression that they are driving legally when often they are not. The reason is not that drivers are unable to drive responsibly, but that the current HOS rules compel them to drive in ways that are irresponsible.

It is the opinion of HOS Overhaul that the current Hours of Service rules do more harm to drivers and the public than protect them and must be repealed and replaced with common sense rules that allow drivers the flexibility to drive when they are able and rest when they are not.

The proposed bill on this website calls for a complete overhaul of the current HOS rules. It allows for drivers to be on duty for up to 14 hours, by which 12 hours of that may be used for driving, AND requires them to take a 10 hour break before driving again. It also allows for their on-duty time to be split with their off-duty time as long as any off-duty time being factored into their mandatory 10 hour off-duty provision is at least 2 hours in length. It also calls for an appointment provision, which will allow drivers to break their off-duty time for up to one hour, without penalty or negative impact against their hours of service, to meet a pickup or delivery appointment that cannot be avoided or rescheduled. It also calls for the removal of an on-duty window of any sort, as these types of provisions encourage drivers to drive while tired and falsify their daily log on a regular basis.

The proposed bill resembles the HOS rules as they existed prior to 2003, when drivers could maintain 10 hours of on duty status before going off duty for 8 hours, but simply extends both the on-duty and off-duty time by two hours each.

We ask that you, the reader, please review the proposed bill and sign the petition in agreement for repealing the current HOS rules and replacing them with these common sense solutions to empower drivers once again to drive responsibly and safely. Our goal is to acquire 500,000 signatures, after which we will bring this bill to Congress, particularly the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Your help is greatly needed. Please inform all of your industry related friends and colleagues of this effort and direct them to this site so they can also sign the petition and support an HOS overhaul.

Thank you all for your concern and for taking an active role in this effort.