Still Struggling To Understand HOS

Topic 26669 | Page 7

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Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

At Swift I found an interesting distinction. You are required to perform the start-up PTI, and log it on the HOS logs. At the end of the day there is a Qualcomm form to submit for the DVIR. BUT, I never was "talked to" when I did not submit the DVIR even for long periods. And when I did, I simply got back a "Thank you for all you do" type message. Yes, after I figured this out I did what is right (DVIRs, but not logged on HOS) on a daily basis, but no one sent out a message that they were required.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Travis M.'s Comment
member avatar

Logging the extensive post-trip as on duty seems to satisfy the regs for an inspection. The question remains why the DOT chooses to ignore the off duty pre-walk-around as falsification.

It would be nice to know if this is some sort of prearranged agreement with Prime or a general rule of thumb.

Legalities aside, we are fundamentally debating the delayed start of the 14 hour clock by 15 minutes.

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.

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.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
So let us speak the truth and not sugar coat it and get all holier than thou.

We're all speaking the truth and no one is getting holier than thou. We're simply trying to figure out what's legal and what isn't. We're also wondering if Prime is requiring their drivers to do something illegal, or at least suggesting it. I love Prime and I don't want to see them get in trouble, nor do I want to see any of our drivers get in trouble. We want to find out the legality of the situation.

I suspect it's one of two things. Either:

A) There's a regulation that allows for an off-duty inspection

or

B) Prime inadvertently recommended something that isn't legal

I have been through 4 inspections and passed all.

That's because you logged one of your inspections on-duty. That's not what we're debating. We're debating whether or not it's legal to do an off-duty inspection.

I haven't read Brett's book in years but i seem.to.remember it was kinda outlaw cutting corners renegade-ish?

It was more than kinda outlaw and renegade-ish. It was very outlaw and renegade-ish, like Smokey and The Bandit style. That's how trucking was back then. We all cheated the logbook all the time. In fact, if you were to mention your available hours everyone would get a good laugh out of it and ask how long it has been since you graduated school. Only a total newbie would even care about the hours of service rules. That's how it was back then.

Remember Dukes of Hazard? Who were the heroes, the cops or the Dukes who were always trying to get away with something? That's the culture we lived in back then. Trucking was a big game of cops and robbers. We all saw it that way. We all got away with whatever we could and they tried to stop us. I've never hidden that fact, nor do I apologize for it. I do, however, strongly recommend that new drivers follow the rules to the letter and do things as safely and legally as possible. Our mentorship isn't about teaching people to do what I did, it's about teaching people what they should do to be safe and successful out there.

In the end, we all need to do what we think is right.

I would rather say that in the end, we all need to know what's legal and what isn't so we can make informed decisions. We don't want anyone doing anything illegal thinking it's ok.

And the way I read it, Plan B was basically called a liar and it was proven it isn't.

Well, that's not what was said. We doubted what he said because according to the regulations and to the best of my knowledge you can not perform any on-duty tasks while logged off-duty. Either Prime is wrong to suggest doing an inspection off-duty or there's a regulation I'm unaware of that permits it.

I'm not accusing Prime of purposely doing anything wrong. Whoever made that policy clearly believes it's legal. I'm just wondering what regulation they're basing it on.

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.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar
Legalities aside, we are fundamentally debating the delayed start of the 14 hour clock by 15 minutes.

This involves another thought had regarding HOS and managing time, based on my following assumptions.

1. You can drive 11 hours, in no more than 14 hours. Your 14 hours begins as soon as you go on-duty for the day.

2. You can continue to be "on-duty" so long as you don't drive past the 14 hours.

Many drivers post that they had "minutes left on their 14 hour clock" when they parked for the night. Also, I have seen the debate about how much time should you log for pre-trip to withstand an audit.

So if you logged 20 minutes of on-duty at the end of your shift, even if after your 14, for post-trip inspection and DVIR, you would 1) technically follow the regulations that require a post-trip DVIR, 2) not have to worry about audit (20 minutes plenty of time), and 3) not take away from your 14 hour for pre-trip.

After your 10 hour break, you log 5 minutes for pre-trip as a walk around. Looking for the items mentioned on the thread (coolant etc.). So you essentially delay the start of your 14 hour clock by maybe 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of the day, you have an extra 10 to 15 minutes to get parked. I also recognize that extending your on-duty time also delays the start or your off-duty for 10 hour break purposes.

Of course, this is coming from someone who has never driven a truck.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar
There's a regulation that allows for an off-duty inspection

Brett, I looked and could not find anything specific in the regulations, the guidance, or history of the regulation amendments.

My best guess, and I'm speculating here, involves the technical application of the following language:

Before driving a motor vehicle, the driver shall:

(a) Be satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition;

The technical application of this would apply every time you open the door, turn the key, and drive the truck. So after coming off of a 30 minute break, does a driver log a "pre-trip." And given that the Qualcomm is in the truck, does the driver get in the truck, power up the system, go "on-duty," get back out, and do a pre-trip? Or do the drivers edit their logs to add the visual inspection as you approach the truck as "on-duty."

My best guess is that FMCSA/DOT has an unwritten de minimus exception. Based on the professional driver's comments here, each time they approach the truck they are doing a "walk-around" inspection. Even if it is nothing more than glancing underneath to look for leaks. DOT is not going to require you to edit your logs for the two minutes you visually "inspected" the truck as you're approaching it so that you were "satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition."

But if you are doing the level of inspection required by Section 396.11, you'd better be able to show you can perform that inspection in the time you log.

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

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joel D.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ll check him out thanks Susan.

Joel, if you do Facebook, I highly recommend that you follow officer Brent Hoover on the Indiana Commercial Vehicle Enforcement page. He's actually a really good guy and will answer any questions you may have without judgement. His mission is to educate and help drivers.. believe it or not. Indiana also happens to be very "by the book " when it comes to commercial vehicle enforcement.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
Legalities aside, we are fundamentally debating the delayed start of the 14 hour clock by 15 minutes.
So you essentially delay the start of your 14 hour clock by maybe 10 to 15 minutes.

Unless of course you actually find something wrong with the truck. If the problem requires service, you've now already started your 14 and can only watch helplessly as the minutes and hours tick away while you're waiting for service.

I can only speculate to that being the reason Prime suggests an off-duty pretrip. A multi-billion-dollar company must have their reasons, right?

Of course, a driver could...ahem... hypothetically perform a thorough pre-trip before starting the clock. Once satisfied that the truck is in good operating condition, he could then log on duty for the obligatory pre-trip time, thus avoiding the snafu of a ticking 14 while waiting for service. It's still illegal, but I bet a lot of drivers do this.

Rob D.'s Comment
member avatar
Unless of course you actually find something wrong with the truck. If the problem requires service, you've now already started your 14 and can only watch helplessly as the minutes and hours tick away while you're waiting for service.

But if you actually did a thorough post-trip, wouldn't you be more likely to find something wrong then? And if you find something that requires service you can remain on-duty but not driving, beyond your 14 hour clock (again, you would be just post-poning your 10 hour), while they come to fix it. So that even if its a three hour fix at the end of your on duty time, after your 10 hour reset, you wake up with the truck fixed and a full 14 hour clock.

Or could you go off-duty/sleeper while they are fixing it? Subject to the on-duty definition:

All time repairing, obtaining assistance, or remaining in attendance upon a disabled commercial motor vehicle;

And if you always do the detailed inspection on the pre-trip, wouldn't you still be in the same boat as far as requiring service?

It just seems to me that there could be additional advantages of doing the detailed inspection on the post-trip. Although I understand that in most cases at the end of the day, you just want to crawl into the sleeper and crash. Again, a person here with zero experience.

And I am not trying to argue with an very knowledgeable and well-respected driver, especially by me. I am simply trying think about the issue and ways the regulations might help to maximize that precious (although ridiculous) 14 hour clock.

Also, to Errol's point about completing the DVIR, see below:

the drivers of all other commercial motor vehicles are not required to prepare or submit a report if no defect or deficiency is discovered by or reported to the driver.

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
  • BMI:

    Body mass index (BMI)

    BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

    • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
    • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

    It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
But if you actually did a thorough post-trip, wouldn't you be more likely to find something wrong then?

not necessarily. My first winter I'd done a post trip and when I came back in the morning I had a fluid leak that wasnt there the day prior. While you're asleep it's also possible somebody has messed with your equipment for their own sick enjoyment.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar
But if you actually did a thorough post-trip, wouldn't you be more likely to find something wrong then?

Potentially, but not always. I get what you're saying, and agree that a lot of things can be found during a post-trip.

The larger point I was speaking to was of a pretrip delaying the start of a 14, and what happens when something is found during that pretrip. It's sometimes a crapshoot.

Pre or post, a thorough daily inspection will keep you in touch with your vehicle, and catch 95% of the problems before they lead to an "out of service" event.

And I am not trying to argue

I never took that as you trying to argue, Rob. Your contributions are always well thought-out, intelligent, and welcome.

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