Violated My Hours Of Service Yesterday

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Seppo's Comment
member avatar

LA rush hour traffic. Told my dispatch I wouldn't be able to make the delivery and be able to shut down before my 14 ran out and would probably have to relay at our terminal. Message I got back basically said "don't care, make the delivery." Went an hour and a half over on my 11 and 14 just getting to our terminal to shut down - nowhere else to park driving through LA.

Already talked to safety and got my slap on the wrist, they also told me to get in touch with them if dispatch ever puts me in that situation again so now I know what to do for the future. However, I was doing some research online and read that you can be pulled in for inspections much more frequently with violations, and that fines can run up to 11,000 dollars. I've gone over by 5, 10, 20 minutes every once in a while but an hour and a half is a big deal. Anyone know what I can expect going forward? Will I get a massive ticket at the first weight station I pass?

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Kurt G.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't know the answers, but I think the $11000 amount is for carriers that have a problem with "egregious" HOS violations. I don't know what the fine would be for individuals, but in 4 months I've never had anyone look at my logs at a weigh station (or anywhere else), and I think they normally only look at 7 days (or at least I think that's all you have to have available to show them when you're stopped). So probably you shouldn't worry too much, but I don't think you'd want to be doing it often.

Reminds me of when I was in a meeting with the safety guy and my DM. I had had 5 small HOS violation in my first month, and the safety guy lecture me on the evils of establishing a pattern of violations. Then my manager said "a few minutes isn't a big deal". But I managed to go a few months without another violation, until a couple weeks ago when I went over 4 minutes to finish my last load at the end of the week, and on Monday I got a message from my manager saying "great job last week".

Dm:

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.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Having a QC conversation, where a DM instructs you to violate HOS is a BIG NO NO.

Safety probably gave HIM a bigger slap on the wrist for: a - instructing you to violate HOS & b - doing on QC, which has to be logged and saved.

As far as "getting pulled in" - weight stations have no idea who's driving, only the company and truck number, especially if you're running Pre-Pass.

DOT only knows about your violations, if you've been CITED FOR THEM. Companies are subject to random log audits from FMCSA , but usually tend to gloss over the occasional violation - they're looking more for a pattern of constant violations.

If this happens again (a DM ordering you to violate HOS), I would send back an apology and advise them that you are not willing to jeopardize you license by violating HOS.

Rick

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.

Dm:

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.

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.
Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

You said your dispatch "told" you. Was this via telephone or Qualcomm? If it was Qualcomm what exactly does the message say.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Seppo realize that if you were to get caught, you would receive the citation and a blemish on your driving record, not your DM. They cannot force you to run past your available hours anymore than they can force you to drive in unsafe conditions.

The last paragraph in Rick's reply is the right thing to do. Drive safe and try to plan a bit better.

Dm:

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Additionally, snap a photo of the QC message for easy reference.

HOS and other regulations trump DM's orders. If your QC time shows not enough drive time to complete the job today, or in another situation maybe the snow's really bad, send in the running late message, and pull in.

You may notice phone calls are NOT encouraged for something dancing on the edge of regulations. Document, document! As G-Town wisely points out, You get the ticket to the Policeman's Ball, not your DM.

Dm:

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.
Matt M.'s Comment
member avatar

Yeah I'm suprised a dm would tell you to run illegal. I remember in my early solo days I realized I wasn't going to be able to make a pickup on my current 14 and offered to run over to make it. My FMs response was "NOOOOOOOO!!!! Always want you to be safe and legal." And he found another solution, I think he just moved the pickup appt back.

I could understand if it was a mom and pop on paper logs.

Dm:

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.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Went an hour and a half over on my 11 and 14 just getting to our terminal to shut down - nowhere else to park driving through LA

Now interestingly enough you said you went over "just getting to our terminal to shut down". Does that mean you made the delivery legally but then drove illegally to get to your terminal to park? Because finding a place to park when you're out of hours is the responsibility of the driver. No company is going to tell you it's ok to be be late for an appointment time or repower a load simply because you're going to drive around for a while hoping to find easy parking. I've done my fair share of delivering to L.A. and there does happen to be quite a bit of parking in out of the way places or industrial areas. It's really difficult when you're relatively new to trucking and you're not sure how to find them, I totally get that. But there were certainly some other options you could have looked into.

talked to safety and got my slap on the wrist, they also told me to get in touch with them if dispatch ever puts me in that situation again so now I know what to do for the future

Listen, be very careful about doing that kind of stuff. Until you clarify the situation a little further it sounds to me like dispatch didn't do anything wrong. Yes, you were in a challenging position looking for parking in or near a city but hey, trucking is a tough job! That's the kind of stuff you have to work on figuring out as you get more experience out there.

If you go complaining to safety that dispatch isn't making your life easy and convenient enough for you when you'd like to have some extra time to find parking I can assure you dispatch will make life super easy on you for quite some time. You'll spend so much time parked at truck stops with nothing to do that you'll never have to worry about finding parking again, ya know what I mean? And that's exactly the words your dispatcher is going to mumble under his breath, "You want to rat me out to safety like I'm a bad guy for giving you plenty of work to do then I'll make sure you have all the time in the world to enjoy being parked safely and conveniently."

You'll hear the experienced drivers on here saying that one of their goals is to handle as many situations as possible without having to get dispatch involved. The savvy veterans know how to make things happen out there. They know how to get problems worked out, they know how to manage their operation. It takes a long time to become good at it, no question about it. Just keep plugging away at it.

Seriously, be careful about ratting out dispatch to safety. The smartest thing to do when you're faced with circumstances like this is to bring it here and speak with us about it or talk to some of the experienced drivers on the road. Look at your dispatcher like you would your spouse. They are your everything in trucking. You don't want to make them look bad or do anything to make them angry if you can at all help it.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.
Rainy 's Comment
member avatar

When I first got to Prime iwas in an office and heard a FM on the phone with a driver. It bothered me. "You are required to run 500 mikes per day if you have to violate then you violate. You are allowed 30 violations per month before we pull you in". No lie... 30 per month or one a day is what this guy said. It wasn't my business at the time... and he was obviously talking to a rookie.

When I went back the next month I noticed his desk was completely cleaned out. I asumed he was fired. I was in one situation where I was told to get to an 01 and I said I couldn't make it. I had 24 min of drive time left and 55 miles to go when I parked and told them I parked. They just changed appt. No hassle.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

When I first got to Prime iwas in an office and heard a FM on the phone with a driver. It bothered me. "You are required to run 500 mikes per day if you have to violate then you violate. You are allowed 30 violations per month before we pull you in". No lie... 30 per month or one a day is what this guy said. It wasn't my business at the time... and he was obviously talking to a rookie.

When I went back the next month I noticed his desk was completely cleaned out. I asumed he was fired. I was in one situation where I was told to get to an 01 and I said I couldn't make it. I had 24 min of drive time left and 55 miles to go when I parked and told them I parked. They just changed appt. No hassle.

Yes, there was something wrong there - 30 violations/month. At Swift, I got my wrist slapped for three violations in a calendar month. The safety guy said Swift allows two/month. Prime should actually be close to that.

Also, when you're heading for your 10 hour spot, or worse, your home time, you might chance your violation there. Though the Qualcomm won't lie, I hope the DOT officer would understand.

PS: "Save Haven" is only for certain situations carrying Hazmat. It's not an excuse to go over time anywhere else.

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

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.

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.
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