Duty Status During Interstate Closure

Topic 29580 | Page 1

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Emily R.'s Comment
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Question. My husband has been driving a few years and has been lucky enough to not have ever experienced an interstate shutdown due to a fatal accident. The other night, during his 5th driving hour, the interstate was closed for 8 hours. He went to on duty not driving. He was talking to other drivers and they said they go to off duty in that situation. What is the correct thing to do? Traffic was a complete stop, tires not rolling. When it resumed he was out of time, and then took his 10 hour reset. If he had gone off duty, would his time have been preserved and could have kept driving?

Interstate:

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

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Emily asks:

What is the correct thing to do?

The driver is On Duty whenever they are responsible for their truck. Sitting in the driver seat while traffic is stuck for several hours is On Duty. Ask this question: could your husband have gone to a movie while the road was shut down? I doubt it.

But....

I heard from a friend that they go off duty any time they are not actually driving/the truck is moving, and they allow some on-duty time in the log for doing paperwork and stuff.

Anne A. (momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Question. My husband has been driving a few years and has been lucky enough to not have ever experienced an interstate shutdown due to a fatal accident. The other night, during his 5th driving hour, the interstate was closed for 8 hours. He went to on duty not driving. He was talking to other drivers and they said they go to off duty in that situation. What is the correct thing to do? Traffic was a complete stop, tires not rolling. When it resumed he was out of time, and then took his 10 hour reset. If he had gone off duty, would his time have been preserved and could have kept driving?

I know a driver that was in the same situation with this storm, and he logged sleeper berth while stuck for 8 hours, actually slept part of the time, and did an 8/2 split.

Sorry~! That's a bummer.

~ Anne ~

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.

Interstate:

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

Auggie69's Comment
member avatar

Question. My husband has been driving a few years and has been lucky enough to not have ever experienced an interstate shutdown due to a fatal accident. The other night, during his 5th driving hour, the interstate was closed for 8 hours. He went to on duty not driving. He was talking to other drivers and they said they go to off duty in that situation. What is the correct thing to do? Traffic was a complete stop, tires not rolling. When it resumed he was out of time, and then took his 10 hour reset. If he had gone off duty, would his time have been preserved and could have kept driving?

Off duty. Let the Feds sort it out. Just tell the cop, "The road is shutdown, I went off duty and crawled in the sleeper. Now tell me what part of that is not considered "off duty""?

Interstate:

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

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar
The road is shutdown, I went off duty and crawled in the sleeper. Now tell me what part of that is not considered "off duty""?

The part where you are supposed to be awake and alert to resume driving. What if a pile up happened behind you which I have seen. Not once have i ever seen a sign saying "road will be closed for 8 hours due to fatality". You just sort of sit there waiting for the traffic to move again.

I was in this situation in IL and there was an officer checking logs to see what status we were. You are supposed to be on duty for these situations just as you are supposed to be on duty while waiting on the shoulder for roadside assistance to repair a blowout.

There is an "accident scene" in the remarks box of the on duty status for a reason. No officer would ticket this driver for being past the 14 in this situation. Some officer would ticket the off duty. And falsification of logs stays on your CSA for 3 years which could hinder future employment.

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

Emily R.'s Comment
member avatar

So he could have continued past his 14 hours if he had logged the on duty part as an accident ? He ended up sitting for 8 hours on the interstate and then also took his 10 hour reset. So technically he was not driving for 18 hours. I guess my question is if there was anyway around that 18 hour stop?

Interstate:

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

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

There is a two hour exemption for driving if unforeseen conditions arise, extending the 11 hour clock. This is to get to a legal parking area. It does not cover something like bad weather that was already forecast, but is meant for something like traffic stoppages for an accident.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Emily, your question is about Hours of Service. We have an extensive section on HOS. To enlighten you further, there is a difference between driving and On Duty.

So technically he was not driving for 18 hours.

This is true. The daily maximum driving time is 11 hours. In a way, sitting in the driver seat with the engine running in a lane of the interstate is driving (think of sitting at a really long red light - it's about the same.) If I was stuck on the interstate for those long hours I would switch to On Duty Not Driving for the time I was sitting.

Been there, done that. Here is a picture of my view for four hours on a snowy day in Nashville a few years ago. I never got under that bridge for the whole time. I blew my 14 hour day, but continued to my planned truck stop when I was freed up. (A simple explanation to my dispatcher and the Compliance office cleared me.)

0993548001612722748.jpg

Interstate:

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

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chris L's Comment
member avatar

Emily R wrote:

So he could have continued past his 14 hours if he had logged the on duty part as an accident ? He ended up sitting for 8 hours on the interstate and then also took his 10 hour reset. So technically he was not driving for 18 hours. I guess my question is if there was anyway around that 18 hour stop?

From your post I'm assuming that your husband still had some Drive time / hour of service time left on his clock to get off from the interstate to either a truck stop or rest area to safe haven and complete a 10 hour reset? When the delayed occurred and he put himself into "On Duty" status while the road was shut down he could have added in the remarks "Traffic accident - Highway shut down" or something to that effect if he didn't put an explanation he can still edit his logs to reflect the situation. I recommend him contacting his Company Safety / Compliance section to help him adjust his logs. Again I'm assuming he was in contact with his FM advising of the situation and since he stopped and took a 10 reset than he started out with fresh drive and Service clock. His Safety and Compliance section is the people are the people that can help him to make sure his logs will be correct and accurate.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
There is a two hour exemption for driving if unforeseen conditions arise, extending the 11 hour clock.

PackRat wins the gold star!

I was a little surprised that no one brought this up. Situations like this help us realize how important it is to understand the log book rules.

Technically this situation requires us to be "on duty." Not everybody will log it that way, but to be legal, that is the way it should be logged. The new rules actually allow an exception in this situation that extends both our 11 hour clock and our 14 hour clock by two hours. That isn't always going to cover us, but as long as we create notes in our logs we should be okay. The frustration comes from what Emily shared when she said...

He ended up sitting for 8 hours on the interstate and then also took his 10 hour reset. So technically he was not driving for 18 hours. I guess my question is if there was anyway around that 18 hour stop?

There really isn't any way for him to avoid taking that ten hour break. He has got to do that to reset his 11 and 14 hour clocks. It was an excellent question, and it got a lot of different responses. That shows we have work to do in this area of understanding the rules. I am no expert, but I have a pretty good understanding of the rules. There are some great advantages available to us if we understand how the rules apply. In this situation there is really not a good work around, but it is important to understand the "Adverse Driving Conditions Exception." It will help keep us from violating the HOS rules in most circumstances.

Interstate:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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