The Complete Guide to FMCSA’s 30 Minute Break Rule

The Complete Guide to FMCSA’s 30 Minute Break Rule

The FMCSA has introduced several hours of service rules and regulations (HOS rules) to ensure safety and minimize driving accidents. On December 27, 2011, FMCSA introduced a new provision (the 30 minute break rule) that requires CMV drivers to take a mandatory 30-minute break after 8 hours of being on duty.

In this post, we discuss the 30-minute break rule in detail. To be more specific, we will discuss the following aspects:

  • What is the FMCSA 30-minute break rule?
  • 10 different provisions of the 30-min break rule you should know
  • How to quickly log the 30-minute break with the free KeepTruckin mobile app

Let’s begin.

What Is The FMCSA 30 Minute Break Rule?

What Is The FMCSA 30 Minute Break Rule

The 30-minute break rule requires drivers to take a break of 30 consecutive minutes after driving for 8 hours.

It is important to note here that drivers do not need to take a break after 8 hours if they are not driving. The 30-minute break rule does not restrict drivers to perform other non-driving tasks, such as fueling, loading, unloading cargo, etc.

It means that drivers can perform non-driving tasks after 8 hours without taking a break. However, they will have to take a break of at least 30 minutes before they resume driving duties. Otherwise, it will result in an HOS violation.

10 Points To Remember About The 30-Minute Break Rule

30 Min Break Rule - 10 Points to Remember

In its simplest form, this particular HOS rule does not allow drivers to drive for more than 8 hours without taking a 30-minute break.

However, there are a few different provisions that may confuse some drivers and fleet managers. Following are all such provisions, exceptions, and important points that you should remember about the FMCSA 30-minute break regulation.

  1. Unlike the 34-hour restart rule, the 30-minute break rule is not optional. It is mandatory unless you fall into a category of drivers who are exempt from this rule.
  2. Drivers can’t continue driving after 8 hours without taking a 30-minute break. These 8 hours include driving and all other breaks of less than 30 minutes.
  3. Moreover, the 30 minutes in the break must be consecutive. It means you can’t take two breaks of, say, 10 minutes and 20 minutes and count it as a 30-minute break. You have to take a single break for at least 30 consecutive minutes to avoid the HOS violation.
  4. As mentioned earlier, drivers can perform other non-driving tasks after 8 hours without taking the break. It is just that they cannot drive a vehicle after 8 hours if they haven’t taken a 30-minute break.
  5. The 30-minute break does not extend the 14-hour window. When a driver takes the break, those 30 minutes are taken out of the available 14 hours that he gets on a daily basis.
  6. The 30-minute break rule does not apply to passenger-carrying vehicles.
  7. Drivers who qualify for the 100 air-mile radius and 150 air-mile radius exceptions are not required to take the break.
  8. In most cases, the 30-minute break rule is only valid if it is logged “off duty” or “sleeper berth”. Off-duty means that you are relieved of all responsibilities and can pursue other activities of your choosing.
  9. Hazmat drivers also need to take the 30-minute break and log it “off-duty”. But drivers transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 explosives must log their 30-minute break as “on-duty”.
  10. Drivers who use the oil-field exception defined in section 395.1 (d) are also required to follow the 30-minute break rule.

Further Reading:- The Complete Guide to Canada Hours of Service Rules

How To Use The 30 Minute Break Rule With KeepTruckin

KeepTruckin makes it incredibly simple for drivers to log their mandatory 30-minute break. If you are a property-carrying driver, just make sure that the “30-minute rest break required” option is active in the logs settings.

30-minute-rest-breakThen the KeepTruckin app will automatically notify you of a possible HOS violation if you do not take the 30-minute break after driving for 8 hours.

hos-violationIf you are a property-carrying driver and, for some reason, the 30-minute break rule does not apply to you, just deselect the 30 minute break option under KeepTruckin app settings, and you will not be notified to take the break.

Final Words

The 30 minute break rule is mandatory for most property-carrying drivers. If you continue driving after 8 hours without taking a break of 30 consecutive minutes, it will result in an Hours of Service violation.

The KeepTruckin app makes it very simple and easy for you to take these breaks when they are due. Moreover, the app also notifies you when a possible HOS violation is looming.

You can download the KeepTruckin mobile app for Android or iPhone. It’s free!

If you are looking for a complete ELD solution, request a demo of the KeepTruckin ELD, and one of our product specialists will get in touch with all the necessary details.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal or other professional advice. You should not act or refrain from acting based on any materials presented or made available by KeepTruckin without first obtaining advice from a licensed attorney.



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