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13.3 Determining On Duty And Off Duty Time

What Is Considered On Duty Time?

The 60 / 70 hour limit is based on how many hours you work over a 7 or 8 day period. Just what kind of work is considered on duty time? It includes all time you are working or are required to be ready to work, for any employer. Here are some specific activities which are considered to be on duty time:

  • All time spent at a plant, shipping / receiving facility, terminal , or other facility of a motor carrier, unless you are in your sleeper berth or have been relieved of all work related responsibilities.
  • All time inspecting or servicing your truck, including fueling it and washing it.
  • All driving time.
  • All other time in a truck unless you are resting in a sleeper berth.
  • All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck; or handling paperwork for shipments.
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, hair, or urine sample for drug / alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site.
  • All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car.
  • All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant.

The bottom line is that on duty time includes all time you are working for a motor carrier, whether paid or not, and all time you are doing paid work for anyone else.

What Is Considered Off Duty Time?

By understanding the definition of on duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off duty time. In order for time to be considered off duty, you must be relieved of all responsibility for performing work and be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off duty time.

Personal Use Of A Commercial Motor Vehicle

It is possible that occasionally you may use a truck for personal reasons and not for commerce. You may be moving your personal belongings to a new house or, as a hobby you may be taking your horses to a horse show. As long as the activity is not in support of a business, you are not operating in commerce. If you are not operating your truck in commerce, you are not subject to the hours of service regulations.

If you are receiving compensation or are doing anything which benefits any of your employers (trucking or non-trucking), you are considered on duty. In order to be off duty, you must not be doing any sort of work, not receiving compensation, and have free will to do as you please. The list below is not all inclusive, it is merely a partial list of examples of on duty time.
During random inspections, law enforcement officers will often ask drivers for documents showing location info and time stamps, such as fuel receipts. If you never logged the fuel stop or your fuel stop doesn't match up with the time your receipt indicates, you could receive a citation or be placed out of service. Make sure your logbook always matches other documentation like receipts and toll tickets.
The purpose of HOS regulations is to make sure you are well rested. Therefore, if you hold a second job, even if it has nothing to do with truck driving, you must technically log your working hours as on duty time.
Once again, if you are doing any work for anyone, even if it's a non-trucking related part-time position, you must log it as on duty time.
You will not be tested about anything related to travel time. This is a nice loophole to know but chances are you won't ever use it. Make sure you're aware of the travel time rule so that you know it can be used if the situation presents itself. But again, you will not be tested on this and there are other more important things to study throughout this section.
You should be familiar with what is considered off duty. In short, you must have free will to do as you please. If you are receiving compensation or are performing any sort of work (with or without pay) for anyone, you must log that as on duty time.
There will be no test questions about anything related to personal use of a commercial motor vehicle. It's good to know this rule exists, but this is not something you'll use on a regular basis.
Most OTR truck drivers do not load or unload freight. Usually, while being loaded or unloaded, OTR drivers use the sleeper berth to relax or take a nap. In that case, you can legally log the time as off duty or sleeper berth time (we'll explain how sleeper berth time works a little later).

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • HOS:

    Hours Of Service

    HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

    OWI:

    Operating While Intoxicated

    OOS:

    When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

Which of the following is considered on duty time
  • All time inspecting or servicing your truck, including fueling
  • All of these are considered on duty time
  • All time loading and unloading your truck
  • All driving time

Quote From The CDL Manual:

What Is Considered On Duty Time?

The 60 / 70 hour limit is based on how many hours you work over a 7 or 8 day period. Just what kind of work is considered on duty time? It includes all time you are working or are required to be ready to work, for any employer. Here are some specific activities which are considered to be on duty time:

  • All time spent at a plant, shipping / receiving facility, terminal, or other facility of a motor carrier, unless you are in your sleeper berth or have been relieved of all work related responsibilities.
  • All time inspecting or servicing your truck, including fueling it and washing it.
  • All driving time.
  • All other time in a truck unless you are resting in a sleeper berth.
  • All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck; or handling paperwork for shipments.
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, hair, or urine sample for drug / alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site.
  • All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car.
  • All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant.

The bottom line is that on duty time includes all time you are working for a motor carrier, whether paid or not, and all time you are doing paid work for anyone else.

Next
Which of the following is considered off duty time?
  • When you are relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work
  • Time inspecting or servicing your truck
  • Time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier
  • Anytime you aren't driving

Quote From The CDL Manual:

What Is Off Duty Time

By understanding the definition of on duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off duty time. In order for time to be considered off duty, you must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue activities of your own choosing and be able to leave the place where your vehicle is parked.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off duty time.

Personal Use Of A Commercial Motor Vehicle

It is possible that occasionally you may not use a truck in commerce at all. You may be moving your personal belongings to a new house or, as a hobby you may be taking your horses to a horse show. As long as the activity is not in support of a business, you are not operating in commerce.

If you are not operating your truck in commerce, you are not subject to the hours of service regulations.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

As long as you aren't doing anything related to your job and you aren't earning any sort of compensation from anyone, you can log off duty. You also must be completely relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work.

Prev
Next
Which statement is true?
  • Washing your truck may be logged as off duty time
  • All time taking care of your truck when it is broken down may be logged as off duty time
  • If you are doing work for your motor carrier but aren't being paid for the work, you may log it as off duty time
  • None of these statements are true

Quote From The CDL Manual:

What Is Off Duty Time?

By understanding the definition of on duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off duty time. In order for time to be considered off duty, you must be relieved of all responsibility for performing work and be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off duty time.

Personal Use Of A Commercial Motor Vehicle

It is possible that occasionally you may not use a truck in commerce at all. You may be moving your personal belongings to a new house or, as a hobby you may be taking your horses to a horse show. As long as the activity is not in support of a business, you are not operating in commerce.

If you are not operating your truck in commerce, you are not subject to the hours of service regulations.

Prev
Next
Which of these could be considered off duty time?
  • Fueling your truck
  • Completing paperwork required by your carrier
  • Washing your truck
  • Taking a 2 hour nap at a rest area

Quote From The CDL Manual:

What Is Off Duty Time?

By understanding the definition of on duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off duty time. In order for time to be considered off duty, you must be relieved of all responsibility for performing work and be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off duty time.

Personal Use Of A Commercial Motor Vehicle

It is possible that occasionally you may not use a truck in commerce at all. You may be moving your personal belongings to a new house or, as a hobby you may be taking your horses to a horse show. As long as the activity is not in support of a business, you are not operating in commerce.

If you are not operating your truck in commerce, you are not subject to the hours of service regulations.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Once you start your day, you have 14 hours to complete it until you're not allowed to drive anymore. While you may go off duty during that 14 hour period, it will not change the time at which the 14 hour on duty limit will expire.

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