The recent hours of service changes that were effective September 29, 2020 have caused a few misunderstandings, resulting in questions to MMTA. The intent of this article is to clarify the difference between the Maine 100 air mile rule and the new Federal 150 air mile rule.
It is important to note that the recent federal changes do not in any way change the MAINE 100 AIR MILE RULE that has long been afforded to drivers and motor carriers who operate in Maine and within 100 air miles of their normal work reporting location. In short, the Maine 100 air mile rule exempts motor carriers and drivers that operate within 100 air miles of their normal work reporting location (and do not further interstate commerce) from hours of service and from the medical card requirements found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. These drivers may not drive when sick or fatigued, but are not required to keep a log book or ELD and do not require a medical card. This is due to the fact that Maine adopts the federal regulations with some state amendments, most notably in the area of hours of service and medical card requirements.
The recent changes to the hours of service requirements changed the “short haul” exemption for CDL drivers, often referred to as the Federal 100 air mile rule. The former rule allowed the use of the “short haul” exemption if the driver stayed within 100 air miles of their normal work reporting location and they returned to and was released each day within 12 hours. These drivers kept time records instead of using ELD’s or log books. (Part 395.1(e)(1))
The change that took effect on September 29th, expanded the “short haul” exemption to allow drivers operating vehicles requiring a CDL license, to operate within 150 air miles of their normal work reporting location and gave them 14 hours in which to drive 11 hours. All aspects of the rule in Part 395.1(e)(1) must be met in order to use the exemption. These drivers would use time records instead of an ELD or log book. It is important to note that the change does not allow for more driving time, it simply expands the window of time in which driving is allowed.
To summarize, the recent changes to the hours of service regulations do not impact the Maine 100 air mile rule. A CDL driver that exceeds the 100-air mile radius in Intrastate commerce must either rely on the federal 150 air mile rule (“short haul” exemption) or must keep a log book or ELD. Additionally, drivers who exceed the 100 air miles in Intrastate commerce must have a valid medical card.
For a full review of the recent changes to the federal hours of service, please refer to the MAINE LINE NEWSLETTER edition published on September 23, 2020. This and all MMTA newsletter articles are archived online at www.mmta.com.
As always, please feel free to contact Randy or Tim at MMTA with all of your compliance questions.