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Hours Of Service Regulations (HOS) For Drivers

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2015

What New Truck Drivers Need To Know About CSA Hours Of Service Regulations:

******The enforcement of requirements that the 34-hour restart include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, and the once-per-week limit applied to restart use, is currently suspended pending the FMCSA providing safety research and reports on the rules to the DOT inspector general.******

As a truck or bus driver, you will generally only be allowed a certain number of hours in a row behind the wheel, during a specific period of time, with a minimum amount of off-duty time, per the U.S. government. Any time spent working a second job, even a non-driving job, or carrier job in a non-driving capacity, will count as "on-duty time", per Sec. 395.2 of the CSA.

Who Must Comply With FMCSA Hours-of-Service Regulations?

All drivers must follow the hours-of-service regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle , or CMV.

Again: You. The truck driver.

Hours-of-Service (HOS) For Property-Carrying Drivers This will cover most commercial drivers

  • Rest Breaks

    May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver's last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e). [49 CFR 397.5 mandatory in attendance time may be included in break if no other duties performed]

  • Sleeper Berth Provision

    Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two. You get in bed, and you stay there! I don't want to hear a peep! Drivers are required to be off-duty for 10 hours in a row, 8 of those in a row in the "bedroom".

  • 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. If you start your clock at 6am you need to be done by 8pm, and can only drive for 11 of those 14 hours.

  • 60/70-Hour Limit

    May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. After accumulating 60 on-duty hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 in 8, a 34-hour off-duty "restart" period is required. This can be used anytime within the limits to "reset" your on-duty clock. See below for the FMCSA "Final Rule" on the 34-hour driver restart.

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit

    May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Of the 14 hours per day that you are allowed to be on-duty, only 11 can be spent driving.

Hours-of-Service (HOS) For Passenger-Carrying Drivers This would cover bus drivers, etc.

  • 10-Hour Driving Limit

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

  • 60/70-Hour Limit

    May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.

  • 15-Hour Limit

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

  • Sleeper Berth Provision

    Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth and may split the sleeper berthtime into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

The FMSCA issued a "Final Rule" clarifying the 60/7, 70/8 34-hour restart regulation, which reads, in part:

******The enforcement of requirements that the 34-hour restart include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods, and the once-per-week limit applied to restart use, is currently suspended pending the FMCSA providing safety research and reports on the rules to the DOT inspector general.******

FMCSA revises the hours of service (HOS) regulations to limit the use of the 34-hour restart provision to once every 168 hours and to require that anyone using the 34-hour restart provision have as part of the restart two periods that include 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.

It also includes a provision that allows truckers to drive if they have had a break of at least 30 minutes, at a time of their choosing, sometime within the previous 8 hours. This rule does not include a change to the daily driving limit because the Agency is unable to definitively demonstrate that a 10-hour limit--which it favored in the notice of proposed rule-making (NPRM)--would have higher net benefits than an 11-hour limit.

The current 11-hour limit is therefore unchanged at this time. The 60- and 70-hour limits are also unchanged. The purpose of the rule is to limit the ability of drivers to work the maximum number of hours currently allowed, or close to the maximum, on a continuing basis to reduce the possibility of driver fatigue. Long daily and weekly hours are associated with an increased risk of crashes and with the chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep. These changes will affect only the small minority of drivers who regularly work the longer hours.

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
  • 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.

    CMV:

    Commercial Motor Vehicle

    A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

    • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
    • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
    • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
    • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

    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

    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.

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