Questions about Recapping Hours & How to Use the 34-Hour Reset Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of December 2013)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on November 14, 2013.
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AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE 34-HOUR RESTART
Q: I’m a dedicated driver and I normally run 65 hours in my 70 in 8 days. I have tried to take a break between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. but cannot arrive before 8 a.m. on Saturday and then must leave at midnight on Sunday to make my dedicated run. Is there an alternative to using the 34-Hour Restart? If there is, could you please explain it in detail? Thank you – Roger in Texas
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: Thanks for submitting your question. I wish you would have been more specific with your current work hours so that I could have been more specific with my answer. Since you do not get back to your home terminal before 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and then you leave out for your next run at 12:00 a.m. Monday morning, you are not eligible for the 34-Hour Reset due to only having one period from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during the roughly 38 hours you are off. So, as a result, you are now going to have to rely on “Recapping” your log to determine the number of hours available for the next day. Here’s how it works (since you did not include your hours, I will use 10 hour days as an example so you can see how the recap works):
Day 1 Total duty hours = 10 hrs
Day 2 Total duty hours = 10 hrs plus 10 hrs from day 1 = 20 hrs
Day 3 Total duty hours = 10 hrs plus 20 hrs from day 2 = 30 hrs
Day 4 Total duty hours = 10 hrs plus 30 hrs from day 3 = 40 hrs
Day 5 Total duty hours = 10 hrs plus 40 hrs from day 4 = 50 hrs
Day 6 Total duty hours = 10 hrs plus 50 hrs from day 5 = 60 hrs
Day 7 Total duty hours = 0 hrs plus 60 hrs from day 6 = 60 hrs
Day 8 Total duty hours = 10 hrs plus 60 hrs from day 7 = 70 hrs
On day 9 you will start subtracting the total duty hours logged on day 1 and that will be how many hours you have available on that day. Day 9 hours minus 10 hours from day 1 (70-10=60) + total number hours worked on day 9 (worked 10 hours) 60+10=70. You will continue working the “recap” for the rest of the month like this and will carry the hours forward from one month to the next. The only way you will ever start an 8-day period with 0 hours is if you take 8 consecutive days off.
PROPERLY USING THE 34-HOUR RESTART
Q: The safety director at the company I drive for wrote me up for logging over 70 hours in 8 days. At 2 p.m. on August 17th I began my 34-Hour Restart and ended at 10 a.m. on August 19th. The safety director counted back from August 24th through (including) the 17th. My understanding is that it should just be counted back to the time the restart ends, in this case, 10 a.m. on the 19th. Please help me to understand. Thanks – Walter in Nebraska
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: The provisions for using a 34-Hour Restart of your 70-hour rule are found in 49 CFR 395.3(c)(2) which states “…After June 30, 2013, any period of 8 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.” In your example, you’ve met this requirement, so you would begin recalculating your new 70 hour/8 day period from the beginning of your 34 hour break, which was 2:00 p.m. on August 17. Since you only count on-duty and driving time for the 70-hour rule and your 34 hour break is all off-duty, you really won’t start counting hours until you’ve come back on-duty at 10:00 a.m. on August 19. When using the restart provisions, some things to remember are: (1) as long as you stay below 70 on-duty hours in any 8 consecutive day period, you don’t have to use the restart; (2) if you do use the 34-Hour Restart, you are only allowed one in any 7-day period; and (3) when you do have more than one off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours within any 7 consecutive days, you must indicate in the “Remarks” section which off-duty period you are using to restart the calculation of your 70-hour rule. This has been included in 49 CFR 395.3(d) and also was effective after June 30, 2013. FMCSA has posted many logbook examples and numerous “Q and A’s” regarding their most recent hours of service rules on their website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted© by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on November 14, 2014.