Busting The Safe Haven Myth - Help Me Out Here Could Ya?

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Old School's Comment
member avatar

Okay, here's a quiz for the experienced drivers in this group. Recently in a thread about the HOS rules, someone mentioned using the "safe haven" rule. A rule that I have heard may folks mention, even a safety director at one of the companies I have worked for mentioned this rule. I'm sure most of you have heard of this rule that states it is allowable to violate your 14 or 70 hour clock to leave a shipper's property so that you can find a "safe haven" to park at, or something along those lines.

I am of the opinion that there is no such rule.

I have searched diligently, and have come up empty handed.

Can anyone help me out with this. Can you cite this rule from the "green book" - the FMCSA regulation book. I doubt most folks can even find the two words "safe" and "haven" put together in a sentence in that book. I found one incident where they are put together concerning parking explosives in the hazmat rules section.

I'm declaring this rule a total myth that is circulated among truck drivers like an old wive's tale that has taken on an authority all it's own.

Please, if you can prove me wrong will you please do so!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

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

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.
Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

There is a "safe haven"/off duty driving rule.

1) "Technically, YOU HAVE TO BE EMPTY.

2) If, through no fault of your own (like a traffic accident) you are delayed, BUT would have made it to a shipper or receiver, you can continue.

That's how I remember it. I have to look it up to give you the reg.

Dave

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Dave, you are referring to "off duty" or "personal conveyance." That would be line five driving. I understand that rule, but it has nothing to do with a rule for finding a "safe haven."

Old School's Comment
member avatar

There is also a rule where if you get delayed, like you referenced, but once again it has nothing to do with a "safe haven."

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

Brett might have something similar...

Safe Haven/Adverse Conditions

Basically, "Adverse Conditions is in 395.1 of the FMSCA.

Under "Personal Conveyance"

http://m.truckinginfo.com/article/179629/when-can-driving-time-be-considered-off-duty-time

Dave

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

There is a "safe haven"/off duty driving rule.

1) "Technically, YOU HAVE TO BE EMPTY.

2) If, through no fault of your own (like a traffic accident) you are delayed, BUT would have made it to a shipper or receiver, you can continue.

That's how I remember it. I have to look it up to give you the reg.

Dave

Off-Duty driving and safe haven rules are two completely different things.

Firstly, you can't use Off-Duty driving with no hours on your clock even if the shipper/receiver delays you. Thats called trip plan better. But obviously even with great trip planning you'll still get yourself into this situation.

And there's many more requirements for Off-Duty Driving that separate it from a Safe Haven rule.

And here's why I disagree with your #2. It's completely opinionated. If we are 41 mIles from our destination but we have 42 minutes to drive, can we make it? If that car accident didn't stop us would we have made it? You could say yes, and I could say no. So how do you decide if you truly would have made it without being able to predict the future?

Here's how I understand the Safe Haven rule. If you are held up by something unpredictable and something that you simply couldn't prepare for and you run out of hours. You can extend your clock until you can park at the first possible safe haven near you.

However, I have never actually read it in any guidebook so I won't risk using it. But that's my understanding of it. Whether it's real or not, I don't know. So if I don't know then I won't use it because of the risks.

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.

Dave D. (Armyman)'s Comment
member avatar

The reg says "TWO" additional hours. Soooo, if you're four hours out, but would have made it, NOT for the accident, you could probably drive (legally) to the nearest rest area, if still on an interstate , but that's it.

The FMCSA Part 395 explains this, and NOT very well.

"Technically," if you run out of hours, while still backed into a dock, you are NOT supposed to be going anywhere. If you are LOADED.

Off Duty Driving - If you are empty, and especially if you are bobtailed, you could use the vehicle for "personal conveyance," which does NOT include things like vehicle maintenance. However, could include things like driving to McDonalds to grab a bite to eat, while they work on a trailer.

There is more to it, and can be found in FMCSA Part 395.

Dave

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Okay, here's a quiz for the experienced drivers in this group. Recently in a thread about the HOS rules, someone mentioned using the "safe haven" rule. A rule that I have heard may folks mention, even a safety director at one of the companies I have worked for mentioned this rule. I'm sure most of you have heard of this rule that states it is allowable to violate your 14 or 70 hour clock to leave a shipper's property so that you can find a "safe haven" to park at, or something along those lines.

I am of the opinion that there is no such rule.

I have searched diligently, and have come up empty handed.

Can anyone help me out with this. Can you cite this rule from the "green book" - the FMCSA regulation book. I doubt most folks can even find the two words "safe" and "haven" put together in a sentence in that book. I found one incident where they are put together concerning parking explosives in the hazmat rules section.

I'm declaring this rule a total myth that is circulated among truck drivers like an old wive's tale that has taken on an authority all it's own.

Please, if you can prove me wrong will you please do so!

I agree.

Consistent with your point, the words "Safe Haven" appears in the rules book in regards to safely parking a CMV that is carrying Hazmat (CFR 497.5 paragraph 3).

There is however mention of "legally" driving beyond the 14th hour in CFR 395.1-5. This applies to driving in adverse conditions; but only allows an additional hour up to 15. Definitions of what is considered adverse conditions is also noted. Problematic when you consider some of the winters we have endured lately.

I had one situation where I was forced to leave a shipper and was beyond my 14 by several minutes. As instructed by dispatch and driver management, I called the local PD for an escort and recorded the officers name and badge number once he arrived. We proceeded to a near-by truck stop where I was able to shut down for the night. I noted this in my electronic log under remarks. Also sent a free form text message through Qualcomm noting the same information to serve as a CYA. It was never questioned by the safety department.

It's a very unforgiving rule. For the newer drivers and drivers in-training, regardless of the situation beware of anyone telling you it's ok to drive beyond the 14...they will not get the citation.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ok the TruckingTruth research arm is looking into this one but so far we have this:

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

If unexpected adverse driving conditions slow you down, you may drive up to 2 additional hours to complete what could have been driven in normal conditions. This means you could drive for up to 13 hours, which is 2 hours more than allowed under normal conditions. "Adverse driving conditions" means conditions that you did not know about when you began your trip like snow, fog, or a road closure due to a crash. Adverse driving conditions do not include situations that you should have known about through proper trip planning, such as congested traffic during typical "rush hour" periods. Even though you may drive 2 extra hours under this exception, you are not allowed to drive after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.

So Daniel you're right - it is opinionated - but that's the nature of the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception. In your opinion you could have made it legally if it wasn't for something happening that was completely unexpected like a traffic accident or a sinkhole in the highway. But poor weather that was forecasted or regular rush hour traffic would not count because those things were not unexpected.

We're still looking into the "safe haven" aspect of this to see if anything exists with that term in it.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

The reg says "TWO" additional hours. Soooo, if you're four hours out, but would have made it, NOT for the accident, you could probably drive (legally) to the nearest rest area, if still on an interstate , but that's it.

The FMCSA Part 395 explains this, and NOT very well.

"Technically," if you run out of hours, while still backed into a dock, you are NOT supposed to be going anywhere. If you are LOADED.

Off Duty Driving - If you are empty, and especially if you are bobtailed, you could use the vehicle for "personal conveyance," which does NOT include things like vehicle maintenance. However, could include things like driving to McDonalds to grab a bite to eat, while they work on a trailer.

There is more to it, and can be found in FMCSA Part 395.

Dave

Agreed. Also agreed with Brett.

Bobtail:

"Bobtailing" means you are driving a tractor without a trailer attached.

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

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.
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