Next Newbie Question- HOS Concerns

Topic 32413 | Page 1

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Etch's Comment
member avatar

Ok, so I may be getting ahead of myself a little but I figure the more I know before I leave for school- the better prepared I will be. In almost every thread HOS is mentioned. Is managing hours really something that has to be watched closely and/or is often messed up? Right now I’m telling myself not to worry because I haven’t been in the situation yet to have to manage my hours of service and even once in that situation I should be able to pick up on it quickly…..at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Any old timer tricks to help better manage or maximize my HOS? I remember way back when I was a kid my pops drove for Roadway and then Yellow. He had 3 different log books he kept. Depending on who asked determined which logbook they got to see! Lol. Now I realize those days are gone, but I’m sure there are different…..and legal….tips and tricks out there to help manage HOS.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Etch wrote:

Ok, so I may be getting ahead of myself a little but

Just a bit...

Etch the overwhelming majority of commercial carriers use an ELD, or Electronic Logging Device. It takes most of the guesswork out of ensuring compliance.

Managing your hours relevant to trip-planning is something you will indeed learn over-time, as you gain experience. TT has a blog section (upper left click on the 3 bold bars, you'll see a drop-down menu, scroll until you see the blog section), many of the articles focus on performance and almost always include managing hours to maximize efficiency. You can also ready this for details:

Learn The Logbook Rules (HOS)

My overwhelming suggestion right now is to focus on these links:

Good luck.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Etch-A- Sketch. (Sorry, just a blast from my past)

HOS is very important to master. Read all you can about it if you have the time.

Just yesterday, I made a HOS mistake. It cost me about 6 hours of driving time. But every newer driver will have their HOS trials and tribulations. I have over one year of experience and I’m still slapping my forehead with my hand. And I don’t need any additional brain damage.

Remember that it’s one step in front of the other. HOS will fall into place as you progress.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Yes, HOS is a ginormously big deal. However, I didn't truly start learning to manage my clock until I was in my own truck. Make a note that it's important, and bounce back to the beginning and go through all the helpful links provided. Trust the process. Getting ahead of yourself is a good way to get confused and or frustrated.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I'm very new and just made a post about what I felt was me having to leave hours on the table due to a combination of the regs, a few corporate policies stricter than the regs and the sparsity of truck parking.

Probably something I'll get better at and definitely part of it is a holdover from the military. I may have an appointment window of 0800-1500. I tend to try to get there a wee bit early...and have a few times ended up sitting and just wasting time waiting.

Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

HOS can be really complicated and overwhelming. There are a lot of nuances that are difficult to explain and understand in simple terms.

First, understanding how not to end up in violation by doing or not doing things unintentionally sets you up to know how to be in compliance at all times.

Second, understanding how to go beyond merely being in compliance to actually maximizing every hour of your available clock sets you up to make more money for your company, which makes more money for you.

Your availability to drive is everything. I started a thread where I discussed having a lot of time sitting. I still got paid because I was in a status of being available to drive. I ran my loads in such a way that either after delivery or not long after, I had a full 11/14 hour clock for the day. I was calling dispatch the day before my scheduled deliveries: "Just a heads up. I have an 8:00 appointment tomorrow. I will be arriving an hour early, so I anticipate being empty by 11:00-12:00. I will have a full clock available for the day. I will have 24 hours left on my 70 with 6 hours coming back as a recap later tomorrow night."

Dispatch now knows to hit up the load planner to say: "Hey, Ryan is going to need a load ready to be picked up tomorrow afternoon. Full clock and good on his 70." Load planner earmarks a load for me. I call in about 15 minutes after OPS arrives for the day the next morning to confirm what I had projected the day before regarding my availability. Typically I am then given the information on a new load. Even if it requires me to sit, I at least have all the information, so I can make my sitting work for me, while getting paid for it.

That's how HOS is either your money maker, or failing to work it well, your wallet breaker.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

NaeNae wrote:

Make a note that it's important, and bounce back to the beginning and go through all the helpful links provided. Trust the process. Getting ahead of yourself is a good way to get confused and or frustrated.

Etch… this is solid, prudent advice. Might not resonate right now… but it will. One step at a time.

Davy A.'s Comment
member avatar

As was said. You're going to have your hands full with learning to drive and testing, then training. Take first things first.

You get information on HOS during training and start learning it there, once you're solo, you'll really start to gain understanding of it.

It's one of those things that you get through application and use more than conceptually.

I made mistakes early on that most rookies do, but those mistakes galvanized what to do instead. It's hard to understand until you're actually working your clocks, but it's like a chess game. Each move effects other moves which effects the outcome as a whole.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Chief Brody's Comment
member avatar

As others have mentioned, you really won’t understand the HOS until you’re driving and you have to put them into practice. Brett has an entire section in the High Road Training Program. See G-town's link above.

As you learn them, I would categorize understanding HOS into three categories: compliance, management, and leveraging.

Compliance is pretty simple. As G-town says, you most likely will have an ELD that will calculate your hours of service and give you information about available hours. In fact, there was a thread recently about voice-command for the Omnitracs. Omnitracs, does not display all of your hours while driving. But, if you wake up Omnitracs with the “Hello Omnitracs,” command then say “Available Hours” it will tell you what you have available for your 8-hour clock, 11-hour clock, 14-hour clock, and 70-hour clock. The only caveat about compliance involves the clock extender that I describe below.

Management involves HOS in relation to trip planning. Do you have hours to make it to the shipper or receiver? Where will you stop for the night based on your available HOS. Again, you won’t really understand this until you have to put it into practice.

Leveraging, as others say above, involves using the HOS to not only to be more productive, you can also leverage HOS for lifestyle reasons. I use the “clock extender” quite often. With the 8/2 split, both the 2-hour break and the 8-hour sleeper birth “pause” your clock. I was at a tank wash for 5 hours yesterday. I checked the “will pair with Sleeper Birth” button so that it paused my 14-hour clock so I could use all of my 11-hour drive clock. I then took a full 10-hour break last night. So, I have a full 11/14 today. The caveat involves you MUST go into sleeper berth if you use the “clock extender” such that your 2-hour, or more break, plus your sleeper birth adds up to at least 10 hours. If you don’t, you will have a violation, but your Qualcomm will not tell you.

You can also leverage HOS for lifestyle reasons. Recaps vs. 34-hour resets is a personal choice. I like to have the day and half off each week where I can see the sights. I had a 34-hour reset in Rapid City, South Dakota, rented a car, and saw Mount Rushmore. You can also use the 8/2 split to see sights along your route, take a shower, or have a nice sit-down meal. I try to make it to Sonny’s BBQ when in Florida or Soulman’s BBQ in Texas when I’m in those states.

When you start driving and put the HOS into practice, if you consider these three categories as you learn the HOS, you can really use them to your advantage. And don’t be afraid to ask questions on this forum. A lot of experience here that can help you be productive and enjoy the adventure.

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.

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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