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One constant source of confusion when it comes to a driver using the 150 air-mile short-haul logging exemption is what hours-of-service limits apply to the driver?

The short answer is other than one specific situation, all the limits in §395.3 and §395.5 apply to the driver.

The exemption itself

The exemption at §395.1(e) exempts the driver from §395.8. This means the driver does not have to complete a log or use an electronic logging device (ELD) if the terms of the exemption are met. The terms include staying within 150 air-miles of the work reporting location for the day and returning to it within the specified number of hours. In place of a log or an ELD, there must be a time record that includes the starting and ending times for the day, and the total hours on duty. The time record must be retained for six months and presented during an audit or investigation.

Limits to be able to use the exemption

To be able to use this exemption, the driver must return to the work reporting location for the day within 14 hours. However, the driver of a non-CDL property-carrying vehicle can extend this to 16 hours two times in a seven-day period and still use this exemption (§395.1(e)(2)).

Break time

If the driver is operating a CDL-required vehicle or a passenger-carrying vehicle, §395.1(e)(1) requires the driver to be released by the 14th hour for the required 8 or 10-hour break (8-hours for a passenger-carrying driver, 10 for a property-carrying driver). If the driver is driving a non-CDL property-carrying vehicle the driver must stop driving when the 14th or 16th hour is reached but can continue working. The driver will need a 10-hour break before returning to driving.

The other limits

The limits that are discussed in §395.3 still apply to a property-carrying driver, with one exception. This means that a property-carrying driver must stop driving when:

  • 14-consecutive hours have elapsed since the driver first went on duty (the exception is the drivers of non-CDL property-carrying vehicles can drive to the 16th hour twice in a seven-day period when using the exemption at §395.1(e)(2)),
  • 8-consecutive hours of driving have been accumulated (to reset this limit the driver must have 30 consecutive minutes of non-driving time),
  • 11 hours of driving have been accumulated within the 14 hours (to reset the 11 and 14-hour limits, the driver must have 10 hours off), and
  • 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days have been accumulated, depending on the carrier’s operation (if the carrier normally operates seven days a week, some or all of the carrier’s drivers can be using the 70 hours in 8-day limit).

The principle is the same for a passenger-carrying driver, just the numbers are different (see §395.5).

Key to remember: When using the 150 air-mile short-haul logging exemption, the limits in §395.3 and §395.5 still apply, with only one exception. That exception is the driver of a non-CDL property-carrying vehicle can be exempted from the 14-hour limit and drive to the 16th hour twice in a seven-day period.