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13.1 Introduction To Hours Of Service Regulations

As a truck driver, you must keep a continuous record of how you've spent your time. You must also follow all driving and working limitations created by the Department of Transportation (DOT). With today's Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), we no longer fill out a physical logbook. We have a device in our truck that records our time worked, the movement of our vehicle, and the time we spend resting. The rules governing a commercial driver's working and resting hours are called Hours of Service Regulations.

ELDs are pretty reliable, but can still fail like any computer system. If our recording device fails, we must understand the HOS rules to maintain a paper log until our unit is repaired or replaced. One of the DOT's requirements is that we keep a paper logbook on our truck as a backup if needed.

There are several manufacturers of ELDs. Here is an example of an ELD:

image5.jpg

First, we will explain what HOS regulations are and how they work. Then you'll be able to review some logbook examples. Finally, we will teach you some tips and tricks to maximize your available driving hours and, thus, your paycheck.

Understanding these regulations is critical to your success in trucking. Unfortunately, there are a lot of drivers who never capitalize on understanding these rules. We use the word "capitalize" with purpose. Understanding how these rules work and how you can use them to your advantage will help you immensely as you learn to improve your productivity and your paycheck.

What Are The Hours Of Service Regulations?

HOS regulations are rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division within the Department of Transportation. These regulations limit the number of daily and weekly hours you can spend driving and working. They also regulate the minimum time drivers must spend resting between driving shifts.

Drivers must keep a current log showing all of their working and resting hours. You must keep these logs on an electronic logging device that meets DOT regulations as laid out in the FMCSA guidebook. You can find this information in the ELD rule section 395.22. The ELD rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers currently required to maintain Records Of Duty Status (RODS) per part 395, 49 CFR 395.8 (a). The rule applies to commercial buses, trucks, and Canada and Mexico domiciled drivers.

Why Do Hos Regulations Exist?

The purpose of HOS regulations is to reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue. Many drivers don't like being told when they can and can not drive. Still, studies have proven there are more accidents amongst fatigued drivers. The risk of an accident is directly related to how many hours a driver has been behind the wheel. The DOT designed the HOS regulations to prevent drivers from pushing themselves too hard and to keep carriers from forcing drivers to drive beyond their limits.

The following chart illustrates how driver fatigue increases the likelihood of an accident in a CMV.

image4.jpg

Multiple-Choice Questions:

Question #556 (1 of 4)

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The rules governing a commercial driver's working and resting hours are called:

  • On-Duty Status
  • Driver Time Management System
  • Logbook Mandates
  • Hours Of Service Regulations
As a truck driver, you must keep a continuous record of how you've spent your time. You must also follow all driving and working limitations created by the Department of Transportation (DOT). With today's Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), we no longer fill out a physical logbook. We have a device in our truck that records our time worked, the movement of our vehicle, and the time we spend resting. The rules governing a commercial driver's working and resting hours are called Hours of Service Regulations.
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Question #558 (2 of 4)

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What is the purpose of the Hours Of Service Regulations?

  • To keep carriers from forcing drivers to drive beyond their limits
  • To prevent drivers from pushing themselves too hard
  • To reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue
  • All these are correct
The purpose of HOS regulations is to reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue. Many drivers don't like being told when they can and can not drive. Still, studies have proven there are more accidents amongst fatigued drivers. The risk of an accident is directly related to how many hours a driver has been behind the wheel. The DOT designed the HOS regulations to prevent drivers from pushing themselves too hard and to keep carriers from forcing drivers to drive beyond their limits.
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Question #557 (3 of 4)

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What Are The Hours Of Service Regulations?

  • Rules that regulate the minimum time drivers must spend resting between driving shifts
  • Rules that limit the number of daily and weekly hours you can spend driving and working
  • Rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division within the Department of Transportation
  • All these are correct
HOS regulations are rules issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division within the Department of Transportation. These regulations limit the number of daily and weekly hours you can spend driving and working. They also regulate the minimum time drivers must spend resting between driving shifts.
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Question #564 (4 of 4)

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Why must we keep a copy of paper logs on the truck if we're using electronic logs?

  • All of these are correct
  • One of the DOT's requirements is that we keep a paper logbook on our truck as a backup if needed.
  • We can run two logbooks to make the use of our time more efficient
  • Paper logs need to be filled out so we can hand dispatch a hard copy of our logbook
ELDs are pretty reliable, but can still fail like any computer system. If our recording device fails, we must understand the HOS rules to maintain a paper log until our unit is repaired or replaced. One of the DOT's requirements is that we keep a paper logbook on our truck as a backup if needed.
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