Simplify Your Short-Haul Exemption

Since the end of 2019, many commercial fleets have been enjoying the benefits of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) short-haul exemption. With the exemption, qualified drivers are no longer required to maintain daily records of duty (RODs), whether via paper logs or electronic logging devices (ELDs).

Who qualifies for a short-haul exemption?

In order to qualify for a short-haul exemption, CMV drivers must:

  • Stay within an air radius of 150 miles for the US or 160 Km for Canada
  • Drivers who start and end their shift at the same terminal
  • Drivers who drive no more than 14 hours in the US or 16 hours in Canada
  • Drivers who have a 10-hour off-duty break before the next On-Day

The risks of the short-haul exemption

While removing the task of reporting RODs or maintaining an ELD is a nice break for drivers, the exemption leaves room for potential issues if requirement thresholds are unknowingly crossed. Hours of service and mile usage can be particularly tricky if something out-of-the-ordinary takes place during a haul.

According to the FMCSA, as soon as a driver realizes he or she is going to cross any of the exemption thresholds on a given day, they must begin logging their duty status and take a 30-minute rest break. Sometimes, this means contacting and waiting for the back office to update their rule set as well, making for an even longer day and added busy work.

Fleets are responsible for ensuring their drivers not only understand the exemption and how to stay compliant but also know the right procedure if, for some reason, they can’t fully comply on any given day.

How to avoid short-haul surprises

If you’re already spending enough time managing your hours of service (HOS) compliance, your short-haul thresholds are one less thing you’d like to add to your – or your drivers’ lists. The good news is that HOS tools from Platform Science can automatically help integrate the short-haul exemption into your drivers’ workflow, including specialized tools that help avoid any threshold crossing and features that make the driver’s day more efficient.

For example, the short-haul exemption features:

  • Alert drivers when they are getting close to exceeding their 150-mile threshold
  • Apply the short-haul exemption to all qualified drivers by enabling this toggle in their driver profiles
  • Save drivers time by preventing them from voiding the exemption, which results in a 30-minute break
  • Automatically shifts to a new ruleset if any short-haul requirements are exceeded
  • Streamline inspections by clearly displaying exemption status for officers

Additionally, since the Platform Science telematics tools continue logging and running in the background for all hauls, the transition is seamless if a ROD or log is suddenly required. Drivers don’t even need to wait for the back office to switch their rule sets; instead their rulesets are updated automatically by PS HOS the second it detects any threshold is broken. 

Short-haul exemption can be a great tool for fleets and drivers who use it correctly. By leveraging automatic telematics tools, you can ensure your exemptions are working for you with no negative surprises down the road.

Learn more about Platform Science HOS tools and the features that help fleets optimize the short-haul exemption, or schedule a demo today.