Logbook Rules: How Would You Make Them Better?

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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UPDATE 5/30/2017:

Hey folks, we just published a new article today that was built from this conversation, called:

We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better

Check it out!

Years ago the logbook rules were much better, in my opinion, than they are today. Basically:

  • You could drive up to 10 hours before requiring an 8 hour break
  • You could split your sleeper berth and driving time into two segments, as long as each segment in the sleeper berth was a minimum of 2 hours
  • The 70 hour rule was the same as it is today. You can be on duty up to 70 hours every 8 days

The 14 hour rule did not exist, the 30 minute break was not required, and the 34 hour reset did not exist. You could still drive about the same number of miles back then as you can today, but the split sleeper berth rule and the lack of a 14 hour rule gave you far more flexibility than you have today.

The split sleeper berth was very simple. Start with an example:

  • Drive 4 hours
  • Sleep 3 hours
  • Drive up to 6 more hours, for a total of 10 when combined with your last drive segment
  • Sleep a minimum of 5 hours, for a total of 8 when combined with your last sleep segment

So when you add your last two driving time segments they can not total more than 10 hours. When you add your last two sleeper berth periods they must total a minimum of 8 hours.

At anytime you could take a complete 8 hour break and that would reset your 10 hours of drive time.

I would have added the 34 hour reset to those rules, and in my opinion they would have been as perfect as I know how to make them.

For those of you who have been out there on the road for a little while, what would you do with the logbook rules if it were up to you?

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Eliminate or modify the 14 hour rule.

At the very least, it should stop running when logged "off-duty", especially for the 30 minute break.

Most of the clock challenges I deal with are a result of the "14" not meshing well with the type of work involved with Walmart dedicated. Live unloads that must be observed by the driver (at a minimum) burn up to 5 hours per day with a 5-6 stop run or even more if a second load is dispatched during the work day.

It's common for me to drive 7-8 hours during the work day and return empty to the DC with minutes remaining on the "14" hour clock.

Steve L.'s Comment
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Only been driving 2.5 years, but I'd either change the split sleeper to the earlier version or get rid of the 14hr rule.

How timely? I happen to be at a shipper that's supposed to be 24hr, but they're not. Got here @ 0030 after a ten hour break. Got about three hours more of shut-eye while waiting for them to open. Current rules mean I'll have to wait until 0830 before I could roll (or stop at 14hr Mark), even though I could safely drive sooner.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Most of the clock challenges I deal with are a result of the "14" not meshing well with the type of work involved with Walmart dedicated

Well in my opinion the 14 hour rule doesn't mesh with anything. I mean, do you like cramming all of your work into a straight 14 hour period without the flexibility to take naps if you need them, or wait it out for a few hours at the docks when customers are slow?

Does the human mind and body function well like that?

Does the shipping industry function like that?

Does traffic or weather function like that?

The only people that can make any sense out of that are so-called "sleep experts", who claim we need 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every single day. But I almost never get 8 straight hours of sleep. Usually I get 4 or 5, maybe 6 sometimes, and then a nap sometime during the day. And none of us are that consistent. We all have strong days where we feel great all day long, and slower days where we need more rest or some breaks along the way. There's nothing in the rules to accommodate any of that.

As I had asked in another thread, where were the "work experts" when these rules were being put together? How did we suddenly forget that the mind and body don't function that way? How do they expect us to move freight efficiently when we have no flexibility to account for delays at the customers, changing schedules, weather delays, and traffic delays?

The day I learned of the 14 hour rule I immediately thought it was an idiotic idea that would quickly be reversed, because who besides sleep experts could be stupid enough to think we should be working those kind of hours every single day of our lives with barely a break along the way, and without any flexibility to account for anything that happens out there on the road?

Crazy, in my opinion. I would even accept today's rules as reasonable, even the convoluted sleeper berth rule, if they would eliminate the 14 hour rule.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Patrick C.'s Comment
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I am obviously still a rookie, but If I could change the rules, I would eliminate the 14 hr rule. I also would change it from 11 hrs of driving to 12 hrs of on duty time before requiring a 10 hr break. As far as the 70 and 34 hr reset I would keep them as is; because I really don't know of a 'better' solution.

Patrick C.'s Comment
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Forgot to add I would keep the current split sleeper rules.

Daniel B.'s Comment
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I would switch it back to exactly as you described but add the 34 hour reset. However, I don't think they would ever do that because it would only make sense - cant have that.

So I would:

Increase the 14 hour clock into a 16 hour clock to accomodate some of the issues described above.

Increase the 11 hour clock to a 12 hour clock to allow for more drivetime.

8 hour break remains.

34 hour reset remains.

As a result of the 14 hour clock increasing by 2 hours, I would completely remove the Split Sleeper Berth provision.

Add an additonal duty status called Off-Duty Break abbreviated as ODB. ODB will pause the 16 hour clock for up to 4 hours, after the 4th hour the 16 hour clock will resume and behave like the current 14 hour clock.

ODB is a duty status strictly for sleeping periods when the driver is too fatigued to safely continue driving. If used in any other way, it is an HoS violation.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

I'm in complete agreement with Brett on this one. Go back to 10/8. No more confusion with 8/2 splits, no more 14, no more can I use this or do that. Just a simple rule that wasn't burdened with a bunch of extra crap. Heck, I'd even extend the 70 hour out to 80.

Bud A.'s Comment
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I'm in complete agreement with Brett on this one. Go back to 10/8. No more confusion with 8/2 splits, no more 14, no more can I use this or do that. Just a simple rule that wasn't burdened with a bunch of extra crap. Heck, I'd even extend the 70 hour out to 80.

Ditto.

Bud A.'s Comment
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I would switch it back to exactly as you described but add the 34 hour reset. However, I don't think they would ever do that because it would only make sense - cant have that.

So I would:

Increase the 14 hour clock into a 16 hour clock to accomodate some of the issues described above.

Increase the 11 hour clock to a 12 hour clock to allow for more drivetime.

8 hour break remains.

34 hour reset remains.

As a result of the 14 hour clock increasing by 2 hours, I would completely remove the Split Sleeper Berth provision.

Add an additonal duty status called Off-Duty Break abbreviated as ODB. ODB will pause the 16 hour clock for up to 4 hours, after the 4th hour the 16 hour clock will resume and behave like the current 14 hour clock.

ODB is a duty status strictly for sleeping periods when the driver is too fatigued to safely continue driving. If used in any other way, it is an HoS violation.

You Californians have all been brainwashed into thinking it can't be better, so let's make it more complicated.

smile.gif

Hours of service rules should be so simple that there's just one little section in the High Road Training to cover it, not an entire separate course. The only reason I would keep the 34 hour rule and the 70 rule is to protect drivers from having dispatchers push them all the time. There still should be some flexibility so you can work extra hard in a burst to get stuff done, but you also don't want to end up where some companies expect their drivers to work 90 hours a week every week (the theoretical maximum under the old rules without a 70 hour rule.)

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.

Dispatcher:

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.
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