Updated: Nov 13, 2019
MYTH: If your driver stays within a 100 air mile radius they get to use the short haul rules. Not necessarily! The 100 air mile radius isn't a rule and has some specific requirements that go along with it. Make sure your drivers are following all of them to stay out of trouble. To be clear the regulations have always been Log Books and now ELD's. Let's dig a little deeper though!
What is the Short Haul Provision?
The short haul provision is an exemption to FMCA's 49 CFR Part 395 not an actual regulation. This means that the DOT can require specific criteria in order to qualify for the exemption. This is where I see motor carriers and drivers make the mistakes that end up getting them in to a ton of trouble, both roadside and during audit. You can find the exemption requirements under 49 CFR 395.1 (e)(1) & 395.1(e)(2). Keep reading and I will explain a little more in detail.
There are actually 2 separate exemptions when it comes to Short Haul. One is for CDL drivers, the other for Non-CDL drivers, and then you have your specific industry exemptions. For this blog we are just discussing the general purposes for Short Haul operations.
49 CFR 395.1 (e)(1) - This is the short haul exemption for drivers that are required to hold a CDL. Here are the 3 requirements that must be met in order to qualify for this exemption. Keep in mind how the rule reads; A driver is exempt from the requirements of §§395.8 and 395.11 IF:
The driver operates within a 100 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location;
The driver, except a driver-salesperson or a driver of a ready-mixed concrete delivery vehicle, returns to the work reporting location,
AND is released from work within 12 consecutive hours;
Basically, what this is saying is that if the vehicle the driver is operating requires a CDL and ALL 3 requirements above have been met, they don't have to use a log book with the 24 hour grid.
49 CFR 395.1 (e)(2) - This is the short haul exemption for drivers that are not required to hold a CDL. Here are the 3 requirements that must be met in order to qualify for this exemption. Keep in mind how the rule reads; A driver is exempt from the requirements of §§395.3(a)(2), 395.8, and 395.11 and ineligible to use the provisions of §395.1(e)(1), (g), and (o) if:
The driver operates within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports to and is released from work, i.e., the normal work reporting location;
The driver returns to the normal work reporting location at the end of each duty tour;
The driver does not drive:
(A) After the 14th hour after coming on duty on 5 days of any period of 7 consecutive days; and
(B) After the 16th hour after coming on duty on 2 days of any period of 7 consecutive days;
Time Records are still required
They still need to have a time records showing the following data:
Total Hours Worked
Total Hours Worked for the proceeding 7 days
The 6 month retention requirements for these records is still required as well for either type of driver. Interestingly enough, 395.11 refers to supporting documents and the way this reads is that you don't need any if you are using this exemption. Don't hold your breath on that one though, just because it appears to show you are exempt from supporting documents does not mean that they don't have the right to ask for them anyway. I would expect some serious push back if you try to claim that you don't need any supporting documents for Hours of Service during audit.
What about Driver-Salesperson, Ready-Mix Concrete or Passenger drivers -
How to eliminate the risk
Many operations switch back and forth from Logs or ELD's to Short Haul Exemptions. Sometimes you may use time-sheets, and other times you use log books or ELD's. This can be confusing not only for your drivers, but also the DOT when they come in to audit.
Having the knowledge and understanding of when and if you or your drivers qualify for certain exemptions is key before the audit.
You can still fix things if you are not in compliance right now. It may take a bit of work, and your drivers may complain because they have to do one more thing. But believe me, it will save you tens of thousands of dollars in potential fines by making the corrective actions now rather than later.
BONUS TIP: Don't forget to make sure what type of license your driver is required to have before operating a CMV. I see it time and again, a supervisor or dispatcher does not realize that a pickup and trailer is regulated and therefore the driver may be required to have a CDL to operate that particular vehicle combination. If your driver is a Non-CDL driver, don't expect them to know the difference. Your drivers/employees are most likely depending on you to tell them what they need to do.
There are a ton of resources out there that can help you avoid fines and possible shut-downs. If you need a benchmark of where you stand right now or know you have an audit coming and don’t feel comfortable representing yourself, contact us. You won’t regret it!
Get the training on Short Haul Exemptions that you really need. Look, we know that trying to figure everything out needs to be easier. When I started over 20 years ago when Google and YouTube didn’t even exist, there were hardly any resources available, and the FMCSA didn’t help much either. They were great at issuing huge fines though. That is why I made it my mission to help you not make the same mistakes I did.
So to help me in that mission and by a lot of client requests, I created our online training program. Things you will see in the Short Haul Provisions course:
How the short haul exemptions relate to your operations
How to track time properly
Additional exemption details for specific industry and other cool exemptions that you may not know you can use
Personal Conveyance and how to properly use it
Easy to use maps to calculate your exact radius
Bundle Up & Save Of course you can purchase each course individually, but you can also bundle them together for almost 50% off the price you would pay for all courses separately!
CONTACT US if you have questions or to find out about other services we offer. I promise not to be a pushy salesperson or offer anything that won't actually help you!
Tyna Bryan is the CEO of D.O.T. Readiness Group and DOTReady Software. With 20+ years of experience working in the industry, Tyna has owned and managed several companies as well as consulted for hundreds of companies all over the United States. If you get the chance to meet Tyna, she's a spitfire who knows her stuff! She has been consulting and training on DOT compliance and regulations exclusively since 2009.