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Your complete guide to understanding the FMCSA’s 34-hour restart rule

Your complete guide to understanding the FMCSA’s 34-hour restart rule


The 34-hour restart rule enables drivers to reset their 60-hour or 70-hour clocks after taking 34 consecutive hours off duty. But what does this mean? We’ll walk you through what you need to know so you stay compliant.

The 34-hour restart rule has gone through so many changes that it can be quite hard to keep track of how the rule actually works.

This post will help clear things up.

What is the 34-hour restart rule?

As per Hours-of-Service rules, the 34-hour restart rule allows commercial motor vehicle drivers to reset their 60-hour or 70-hour clocks. In some circumstances, this will enable drivers to get back on the road quickly. Drivers can take advantage of the rule by taking at least 34 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, off-duty, or a combination of both.

The 34-hour restart rule: Changes and updates

The 34-hour restart rule has gone through a few changes. That’s one of the reasons why it can be a bit difficult to keep track of everything.

The provisions that went into effect on July 1, 2013, were suspended by Congress in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill 2015.

The 2013 version had two provisions that no longer apply:

  1. According to those provisions, the 34-hour period must contain two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to be valid.
  2. The old rule also only allowed one 34-hour restart every 168 hours.

The 34-hour restart rule in its current form does not have either of these two requirements.

The DOT also later studied nearly 250 drivers and concluded that the study “did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions of the restart rule on driver operations, safety, fatigue, and health.”

Do drivers need to take their 34-hour breaks at home?

No, the driver can take the 34-hour break anywhere. It does not have to be at his/her home.

However, the time must be logged based on the same time standard in effect at the driver’s home terminal.

Is the 34-hour restart rule mandatory?

No, the 34-hour break isn’t mandatory. It’s optional.

Sometimes, the 34-hour restart provision is the quickest way to refresh your driving cycle and get back on the road. It all depends on the specific situation of the driver and his/her discretion.

How to track the 34-hour break with the KeepTruckin App

The KeepTruckin App makes it simple for drivers to take the 34-hour break. It’s a simple two-step process.

Step No. 1: Go to Menu > Settings > Logs. Then make sure that the 34-hour restart option is selected.

34 Hour Rule GIF KeepTruckin Mobile AppStep No. 2: After completing a shift, just wait for 34 consecutive hours.

After 34 hours, the KeepTruckin app will automatically reset your cycle, and the 34-hour restart will appear as a vertical line:

The 34 Hour Break in the KeepTruckin Mobile AppYou can also delete 34-hour restart breaks. Just tap on “34 Hour Restart”, and an option to ‘Reject’ the break will slide in.

Reject the 34 Hour Restart Break in KeepTruckin Mobile App

Possible changes to the 34-hour reset rule?

The new FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez, is open to changing Hours-of-Service regulations for increasing safety and making them more driver-friendly.

“I will say that given the great feedback and the quality of the comments received from the industry, stakeholders, and safety advocates, that we are very, very excited about the prospects of moving forward,” said Martinez.

Whether or not any of these changes affect the 34-hour reset rule is up to speculation.

The 34-hour restart rule: An efficient solution

The 34-hour restart rule can be an efficient solution to get back on the road quickly without violating Hours-of-Service regulations.

If you have any questions about the rule or how the KeepTruckin App works, call (844) 257-6396 or email support@keeptruckin.com.

Author


Jimmy

Jimmy Rodela writes about transportation industry challenges, insights, and compliance news. He specializes in digital media and blogging.