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Passenger Carrying Drivers. Stopping the 15 Hour On Duty Clock.

Topic 18310 | Page 1

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Bulwinkle J. Moose's Comment
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I hope somebody who has driven a tour bus or is driving one now can answer my question. A bit off topic since it doesn't concern driving a truck but for now I have to drive a bus for a few more months until I can start driving school.

Example: I drop my people off at 8AM then go back to the motel, site seeing, whatever I want to do. Totally relived of any type of job responsibility. Then Pick them up at 8PM = 12 hours. To simplify things don't include pre trip inspection time, etc. Then I drive 6 hours = 18 hours of total time. From my understanding and what my trainer said a passenger carrying driver can stop there on duty time clock when they are completely relieved of any job requirements unlike the 14 hour consecutive on duty time clock of a property carrying driver.

Is this interpretation of the HOS Rule for bus drivers true? If I can't stop my on duty time clock while i wait to pick up my passengers and it all counts as on-duty time I will be in violation almost every trip I take. Listed below are the rules for both classes of drivers taken from the Federal HOS Summary page at:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations

PROPERTY-CARRYING DRIVERS

14-Hour Limit May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

PASSENGER-CARRYING DRIVERS

15-Hour Limit May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bob H.'s Comment
member avatar

The HOS summary is correct and speaks for itself. Just make sure that you are totally relieved of duty and free to pursue other interests as per the definition of "Off Duty". I currently drive motorcoach as well and my company operates the same way, as does every other driver i've encountered. One word of caution: Make sure that you are especially well rested before your trip. Utilize your downtime wisely. If you return to a hotel, take a nap. If you are physically too tired to drive, notify dispatch you need relief. This flexibility can be a curse in that it can make for some long days and you can't just pull over half-way home and take a nap with a bus full of people. And before someone else says it, yes it is odd considering the amount and type of "cargo" you are carrying.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
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In the example you give - going OFF DUTY at 8 AM and not going back ON DUTY until 8PM - you will have gotten the REQUIRED 8 HOURS REST (similar to the TT 10 hour break) that RESETS your 15 hour clock.

10-Hour Driving Limit:

May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.

15-Hour Limit:

May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.

So if you drop - go off duty for at least 8 hours - you in fact are NOT in violation.

This would be similar to bumping a dock at a shipper and going off duty (though that is not 100% technically legal - unless you are free to leave and do something else).

Since you ARE FREE TO LEAVE (sightseeing, back to the motel to hang out) then you "are completely relieved of any job requirements", and are on your "8 hour break".

All good...

Rick

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bob H.'s Comment
member avatar
So if you drop - go off duty for at least 8 hours - you in fact are NOT in violation

Agreed Rick. In fact, that would reset his entire 10/15 clock.

Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period

However, if he was only off for 7 hours before returning to duty, he would still have the balance of what he had left when he signed off duty

Bulwinkle J. Moose's Comment
member avatar

It does make for some very long days. Not an easy task to try to get some rest back at the motel while housekeeping is running the vac in the hall way outside your door or they are remodeling the place on the floor above your room. The nature of the job is not an easy thing to do with all the waiting and the odd times you have to drive. For me it's been a good learning experience though in terms of how the transportation industry works for bus drivers anyway. Specifically how the company maintains their fleet or lack there of, Pre trip safety inspections, dealing with road conditions, keeping on schedule, keeping a log book, driving in traffic and dealing with idiot drivers among other things. For me it's been a good way to hopefully make an easier transition into driving Class A OTR before I go to driving school.

I guess the one thing I have taken away from it all is the fact that if i were driving a truck I would be able to just drive and get the day done instead of waiting around for hours on end all the time.

Thanks for everyone's input :-)

Be safe out there

The Moose

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.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
Not an easy task to try to get some rest back at the motel while housekeeping is running the vac in the hall way outside your door or they are remodeling the place on the floor above your room.

So I guess you're REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO trying to sleep in a moving truck (team/training phase) or in a rest stop/truck stop with trucks idling, APU's and Reefers turning on and off?

Like anything - you get used to it.

Rick

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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