34-Hour Restart Rule SUSPENDED!

Alex Rose

In a major blow to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s safety regulation agenda, both houses of Congress have passed a spending bill that includes a provision to suspend the 2013 version of the 34-hour restart rule. The rules will now automatically revert to the original 34-hour restart rule that was in place between 2003 and 2013. We have the answers to your questions after the jump.

1) What Did Congress Do?

Congress suspended the rules by adding the following language  to the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (the 2015 spending list):

“Section 133 temporarily suspends enforcement of the hours-of-service regulation related to the restart provisions that went into effect on July 1, 2013 and directs the Secretary to conduct a study of the operational, safety, health and fatigue aspects of the restart provisions in effect before and after July 1, 2013. The Inspector General is directed to review the study plan and report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations whether it meets the requirements under this provision.”

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2) What Does That Mean?

Essentially, that the 2013 version of the 34-hour restart rule has been suspended. That version of the rule required that the restart period contain two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Instead, drivers should revert to taking any 34-hour period for a restart. A driver can now also utilize a restart more than one time per week if necessary. The 2013 rules only allowed one restart every 168 hours.

3) When Does This Go Into Effect?

As soon as President Obama signs the law into effect. There is little to no chance of a veto as the bill contained a number of items viewed as political ‘wins’ for the President. It would be highly shocking for him to reject this bill.

4) Suspended?

You didn’t think it would be simple did you? The rules have been suspended and the DOT has been ordered to complete a study comparing the effectiveness of the two different  versions of the rules. The bill is an annual spending bill, it runs out on September 30, 2015. If we reach that date with no resolution another suspension will need to be legislated to prevent the 2014 rules from going back into place.

5) What About the 30 Minute Rule?

That’s still in place, as are daily driving and On-duty limits. This bill only targeted the 34-hour restart rule. Continue to follow those regulations.

6) What If I Get Pulled Over?

One of the problems with rules changing in this manner is that Congress does not give law enforcement agencies the opportunity to train. (FMCSA usually gives them several months). You may experience issues during roadside stops. We advise remaining calm and appealing the ticket to the body monitoring Commercial Vehicle Safety in the applicable state.


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47 thoughts on “34-Hour Restart Rule SUSPENDED!”

    1. Yeah, exactly. Wait 34 hours and you reset your hours of service counts. Before this rule change, there was an added layer of complexity as you had to spend those 34 hours during certain times of the day. Now its just any 34 hours.

    2. No you only have to use it if you want its there for the benefit of the driver i utilize it as much as possible but thats a personal decision

  1. 34 hour restart needs to be done away with for good.you should only be able to drive 10 hours and take 10 hours off.and if you choose to stop and sleep 4 or 5 hours and get up and continue to travel that sleep time should not count against you.that is more safe and anything that the government has forced on us driver.

    1. What dose the 34 hr restart have to do with stopping and taking a nap? The 34 is a great thing to have. Now the 30 minutes break and the 14 hr rule needs to be tossed that is what keeps you from taking a nap

    2. It didn’t use to count against you if you pulled over and slept for 5 hours but now it does. I can deal with that. I’m just happy to be able to restart my 34 when I want to

  2. The 34 hr rule is a good thing the 1/2 hr break is a joke this break on electronic logs could keep some drivers from making a del on time you can’t run a human body on a computer everybody is different no 2 drivers drive the same

  3. Item #2 has a slight error. The last sentence says “The 2014 rules only allowed on restart every 34-hours”. I think you meant to say “The 2014 rules only allowed one restart every 168 hours”.

  4. Okay, now it is up to the IT department to flash the EOB log book, otherwise DOT will issue tickets based on what info it keeps. Correct or incorrectly.

  5. It’s impossible To do some thing on demand that is like telling a 6yr. old when to go to the bathroom like lots of teachers do it sounds as if the people that is imposing some of these rules only finished kindergarten

  6. suspending the 34 hr regs is a good thing. now we can go back to doing it when it fits the schedule. but the 30 minute break, i still don’t see an issuer with it. you need to take a break by 8th hr on duty. so at your 6th hr on duty,take a break. use the bathroom, walk around and stretch, relax for a few minutes. 30 minutes will be over before you know it

    1. Why would I need 30 minutes to go to the bathroom and or eat? What if I’m good till I get to my delivery or loading appointment but get tired 30 minutes before I get my driving done? Now I’ve come up short and may be a danger to myself and others due to fatigue? Thats exactly why many are against this rule.

  7. OK..just to get this clear in my mind… Now, drivers simply can count out 34 hours and at the end of that time you have a fresh 70 to work? If that’s it, its OK with me. The two 1am-5am periods were a bit much. But, now Companies should feel like they are losing so much and fight us on taking the break. I agree with suspending the other part..but for goodness sakes, don’t get rid of the 34-Hour Restart entirely.

  8. I start my day at midnight and the 1 to 5 on a restart really messed up my first day back after a restart it made me work till late in the day during the time I would be sleeping

  9. Here it January 24th and my company (which is a very large food and supply Distributor) is just now hinting about the 34hr rule change because my route departs at 3am which is my 36th hr off the problem is that our electronic logging system (xata) does not have the change in their system yet so watch your logs it my show no reset and violate you and is very difficult to get corrected especially on moving violations

  10. very well explained Alex the 1 & 5 was a little bit much the 30 min is OK with me most of us kill more than that in the truck’s notice I’m putting myself in their too

  11. I personally believe that it should be left to the driver’s descrestion, with regard to rest and sleep. It is just like driving a vehicle that is capible of speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. It is there if you choose to use; but if you get caught, you suffer the consequences! Ike

  12. I understand that 1-5am rule is suspended for now, but Can you take more then one restart before you complete 168hrs?
    For example a driver leaves monday 10 am. and decides to take restart Wednesday, will that count as a restart even though its before he/she completes 168 hours?

  13. I don’t see why not my company sends me from
    NJ to SC then have me sit there for 48 hours
    it doesn’t matter if I only drive 10 hours since my last reset i feel i’m entitled to a reset after all I’ve been resting for 2 full days.

    1. The 60/70 hour limit rule is still in effect. This means you can drive 7 or 8 consecutive days for a total of 60 or 70 on-duty hours. Once those limits are reached, you must have at least 34 hours off-duty before returning to work.

  14. Can I work more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive days with a midweek reset? I’ve hit 60 hours (right now) in 7 days & I had a reset 2 days ago. Do I have to take another reset or does my reset allow me to work another 60 hrs? My employer is telling me that I can work 60hrs Sun-Tues & another 60hrs Weds-Sat. This can’t be right??

  15. Why cant my company pay me when I do a restart I work in the field as a mechanic and we take are sometime during the week and we don’t get paid to do so?

    1. Hi Scott, The FMCSA is currently working on clarifying the rules around personal conveyance, so we may have some updated information on this soon. For now, you can use your unladen truck for personal conveyance during your restart provided you are completely off duty and it’s not against your company policy. Best practice here is to keep trips short and make sure not to fuel up during that time, as it will be counted as an on-duty activity.

  16. This 34 hour lay over is rediculous my husband hauls out west which means his down time is in another state not at home with our family Being made to sleep when not tired or having to drive while tired. There will be more accidents I have seen more this year than I ever have. Truckers are going to get pushed to far they are the backbone of our country. Plus the drop in income it’s hurting our family but we are adjusting. God Bless All The Truckers.

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