Login
DOT & ELD Guidance Blog

Drivers and the 30-Minute Break

Could your drivers be completely exempt from the 30-minute break? Learn more about the September 2020 hours-of-service rule change.

J.J. Keller Senior Editor Daren Hansen

Daren Hansen - Sr. DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

March 17 , 2021

Over the years, many truck drivers have been exempted from the need to go off duty for their 30-minute breaks. Typically, these were drivers carrying sensitive cargo — explosives, fuel, asphalt, concrete, etc. — which require constant “on duty” attendance.

With the September 2020 rule change, all interstate truck drivers can remain on duty for their breaks, making those special exemptions obsolete.

Completely Exempt

Some drivers, however, will continue to enjoy a complete exemption from needing any 30-minute breaks at all. Do you have drivers who qualify?

The following exemptions from the 30-minute break requirement are in place, even after the September 2020 rules went into effect. That is, these drivers will not be in violation if they continue to drive after 8 hours of driving:

  • Short-haul drivers — Those who qualify for one of the 150-air-mile “short-haul” exceptions in §395.1(e), which exempt drivers from logs, breaks, and supporting documents.
  • Livestock and bees — Drivers transporting livestock or bees are exempt due to concerns about the health of the animals. When the livestock or bees are unloaded, however, they are no longer exempt.
  • Oversize/overweight loads — Drivers of oversize or overweight loads moving in interstate commerce that require a government-issued permit. These drivers must carry a copy of an exemption notice that appeared in the Federal Register on June 24, 2020.
  • Mobile cranes — Drivers operating mobile cranes with a rated lifting capacity of greater than 30 tons. These drivers must carry a copy of an exemption notice that appeared in the Federal Register on November 27, 2018.

Comply with HOS Exemptions with J. J. Keller® ELDs

The Encompass® ELD app makes compliance with hours of service easier for your drivers, mechanics, and other employees with exempt driving rulesets and quick ELog annotation entry to document exceptions that impact their record of duty status. Talk with a compliance specialist today about the Encompass® ELD app. Get a free quote.


blog


Preparing Your Fleet for Success in 2022

2022 is shaping up to be another challenging year in the trucking industry. Motor carriers can find success in 2022 by using the following best practices.


blog


3G Network Sunset: The Impact To Your Operation

Learn what the 3G phase out will mean for your fleet.

blog


Canada's ELD Mandate: Where Do We Stand?

Canada's ELD compliance date is just seven months away. Here's the latest news on the mandate and what fleets need to do now to prepare for full compliance.