Friday, April 24, 2015

The Infamous 30-Minute Break Rule

The 30-Minute Break rule (the most recent major change to our hours of service rules) has been around since 2013, and still many drivers are having difficulty understanding how it works.

Basically, the 30-Minute Break rule states that a driver can not work more than 8 hours without taking a 30 minute break. The 30-minute break must:
  • Not include any work activities at all (including fueling, inspections, etc.)
  • Must be a period of 30 consecutive minutes (can't be two 15-minute breaks, etc.)
  • Must be shown as "Off Duty" on your daily log.
For Example, this driver delivered a unit to College Park, Georgia. He stayed within his 11-Hour Driving limit and 14-Hour Duty Period limit, but violated the 8-Hour/30-Minute Break rule.
This driver jeopardized his profits from this run by ignoring the 30-Minute Break rule.

In a DOT stop, the driver could have been cited and put out of service for ignoring the break any time after 2:00 PM, and could be cited if his or her records are audited after the fact.

When he or she had fueled in Elizabethtown, KY, the driver could have taken his 30-Minute Break off duty and still made the delivery.

Even with a 30-Minute Break, this driver makes the delivery legally!
 The best time to take the 30-Minute Break if a driver intends to work his or her full 14 hours is between the 6th and 8th hour of the work day. This way a driver can not accidentally work more than 8 hours after his or her break.

We hope this helps! Be safe, drivers, and have a great day! We are thankful for what you do!

Sources: FMCSR Part 395.5(a)(3)(ii)

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