Problems With Current HOS Rules.

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Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

In general, I think elogs and HOS rules are very beneficial to driver health, public safety and the trucking industry as a whole. I do see a couple of flaws and from what I've read, it seems they are in the process of being addressed.

#1: The two 1-5 am rule in a 34 hr restart. This is done in an attempt to reset a truckers circadian rhythms. What's the point? Your CR's will be off when you start the 34 and will be off again within 2 days of completing it. If you're a driver who takes restarts in the road, would it be better to be in a constant battle with your circadian rhythm or just get used to bring off and staying off? Also, this rule forces you to start a 34 at exactly 1900 or you're going to lose time to this silly rule. Being that we so frequently cross time zones, drive all night, sleep during the day at shippers etc. any attempt to regulate circadian rhythm is in vain and detrimental to the goal, preventing fatigued driving.

#2 The 14 hr rule. Let's say I drive the last 100 miles to a receiver. I log 2 hrs in SB then drive 50 miles to a shipper and log 90 mins in SB. Then go 15 miles to another shipper for the rest of a load. They can't load me for 4 more hours so I drive 15 miles and park then go back and get loaded . It takes them 4 hours to get me loaded. I now am unable to drive under 14 hr rule and have done nothing but sleep all day basically. I can't drive because I'm out of hours, I can't sleep because I slept all day and I can't stay where I am because they are about to close and lock the gate. What is one to do? Now if the split sleeper rule was revised so that any period of say 3 or 4 hours on line 2 would pause the 14 hr like 8 hours does then I would be fine. I still think spending 8 consecutive hours in SB should be required in order for it to count as a 10 hr break , you need some uninterrupted sleep but you also need to do it when you haven't just finished sleeping all day, but revising the split sleeper rule could account for some of the really screwed up days like above. As an added bonus, it would keep some whiny trucker videos off of YouTube (you know who I'm talking about).

What do you guys think about current HOS? What are some ways do you think they could improve without sacrificing the goal of safety and fighting fatigued driving?

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

In general, I think elogs and HOS rules are very beneficial to driver health, public safety and the trucking industry as a whole. I do see a couple of flaws and from what I've read, it seems they are in the process of being addressed.

#1: The two 1-5 am rule in a 34 hr restart. This is done in an attempt to reset a truckers circadian rhythms. What's the point? Your CR's will be off when you start the 34 and will be off again within 2 days of completing it. If you're a driver who takes restarts in the road, would it be better to be in a constant battle with your circadian rhythm or just get used to bring off and staying off? Also, this rule forces you to start a 34 at exactly 1900 or you're going to lose time to this silly rule. Being that we so frequently cross time zones, drive all night, sleep during the day at shippers etc. any attempt to regulate circadian rhythm is in vain and detrimental to the goal, preventing fatigued driving.

#2 The 14 hr rule. Let's say I drive the last 100 miles to a receiver. I log 2 hrs in SB then drive 50 miles to a shipper and log 90 mins in SB. Then go 15 miles to another shipper for the rest of a load. They can't load me for 4 more hours so I drive 15 miles and park then go back and get loaded . It takes them 4 hours to get me loaded. I now am unable to drive under 14 hr rule and have done nothing but sleep all day basically. I can't drive because I'm out of hours, I can't sleep because I slept all day and I can't stay where I am because they are about to close and lock the gate. What is one to do? Now if the split sleeper rule was revised so that any period of say 3 or 4 hours on line 2 would pause the 14 hr like 8 hours does then I would be fine. I still think spending 8 consecutive hours in SB should be required in order for it to count as a 10 hr break , you need some uninterrupted sleep but you also need to do it when you haven't just finished sleeping all day, but revising the split sleeper rule could account for some of the really screwed up days like above. As an added bonus, it would keep some whiny trucker videos off of YouTube (you know who I'm talking about).

What do you guys think about current HOS? What are some ways do you think they could improve without sacrificing the goal of safety and fighting fatigued driving?

I agree there are issues with the HOS rules and regulations. Normal for government regulations.

In saying that, something had to be done. In the past I have worked 20+ straight hours without sleeping or without a serious break. The E-logs are a life saver in my opinion.

In saying that lets looks at your points. First covering the 34 hr restart. You point out that it is to get your cardiac rhythm back in sync. That is only one part of the reasoning. While an important part, only a part. In many studies done by several universities (you can take that for what it is worth) the times were picked for several reasons.

1. Human beings are not by nature a nocturnal creature. The normal sleep pattern is during the night time.

2. The body normally goes into REM sleep during the hours between 12am to 5am.

3. The body needs at least 2 cycles back to back to get back into some kind of normalcy for several reason. Cardiac rhythm being only one. Metabolism is another one. B/P regulation. Cardiac rhythm is linked to those, but it is not the only controlling factor.

You mention about starting your 34 at 1900 hours for it to work out and you don't loose more time. There is a study going on right now to increase that to a 48 hr restart. If that happens, then you are lucky to have it at 34 hrs right now.

This topic has gone back and forth for years and each driver has their own opinion. Myself, I don't do 34s. I work 8 to 9 hours a day, 7 days a week and I don't have to do 34s. I work on "recap hours". And in a weeks time I can get just as many miles as a driver driving 11 hours every day and doing a 34 every week.

Now to the 14 hour rule. Everything you said is true. That is the problem with the 14 hour rule. But without the 14 hour rule, there would be no end in how many hours an employer could make you work.

The 30 minute rule is another one. While in theory it is not a bad idea, but to me it would have been better to make it a 15 minute rule every 4 hours.

Having to do 30 minutes a driver has to find some place to actually park. Your 30 minute break can actually take you 45 minutes or more. Finding a place to park then taking your break.

If it were 15 minute breaks. Who can't pull THROUGH the fuel isle, go inside to use the bathroom, get a drink and get back into the seat and you have just killed 15 minutes and you are ready to go again.

You mention about the HOS rules being good for public safety. Yes it helps driver fatigue, what would help more is making sure 4 wheel drivers knew how to drive. 88% of wrecks involving semi's are the fault of a 4 wheeler. But the truck driver is always blamed.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own. Joe S.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

And the fact that my fuel stops usually are 8.5 to 9 hrs apart makes it very annoying. That's not really a problem inherent in fmcsa regs though. I don't do restarts either unless I'm forced to wait over a weekend or holiday. What peeves me off is when I do sit for 34 hours, I atleast want my 70 back in consolation. Not sit around for a few more hours waitin on 5 am so I can hit rush hour at whatever city I'm near.

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.
Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

And the fact that my fuel stops usually are 8.5 to 9 hrs apart makes it very annoying. That's not really a problem inherent in fmcsa regs though. I don't do restarts either unless I'm forced to wait over a weekend or holiday. What peeves me off is when I do sit for 34 hours, I atleast want my 70 back in consolation. Not sit around for a few more hours waitin on 5 am so I can hit rush hour at whatever city I'm near.

Like I said I don't do 34. I have, but they have not been of my choice. Like right now. I will get a 34 but only because my truck is in the shop.

Driving in rush hour can be avoided to a large extent. If I can't over night near a city where I will pass through before morning rush hour, I will either put in a little extra drive time and go to the other side of the city. Or stop earlier and my trip will take me through after rush hour.

My normal day starts at 5am no matter what time zone I am in. And except for Chicago, I have yet to run into a city where rush hour is going on at 5am. In Chicago, rush hour is 24 hours a day almost.

Don't get me wrong, this is not perfect by any means. But most time, about 80+% it has worked for me.

My stops are not always my fuel stops. There are more medical issues with driving than cardiac arrhythmias. There are things called blood clots in the legs due to setting too long in one place.

We have to keep an eye on our health. No one else does. There are tons of issues we face today that truckers of years gone by didn't deal with.

Our stress factor is about 100 times more than drivers 10 years ago. The traffic alone is hugely increased. And the people behind the wheels of vehicles are in such a hurry, they care about no one but themselves. Steering wheel holders included.

So any time you can do something to help your health, take advantage of it.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own. Joe S.

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.
Jopa's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

And the fact that my fuel stops usually are 8.5 to 9 hrs apart makes it very annoying. That's not really a problem inherent in fmcsa regs though. I don't do restarts either unless I'm forced to wait over a weekend or holiday. What peeves me off is when I do sit for 34 hours, I atleast want my 70 back in consolation. Not sit around for a few more hours waitin on 5 am so I can hit rush hour at whatever city I'm near.

double-quotes-end.png

Like I said I don't do 34. I have, but they have not been of my choice. Like right now. I will get a 34 but only because my truck is in the shop.

Driving in rush hour can be avoided to a large extent. If I can't over night near a city where I will pass through before morning rush hour, I will either put in a little extra drive time and go to the other side of the city. Or stop earlier and my trip will take me through after rush hour.

My normal day starts at 5am no matter what time zone I am in. And except for Chicago, I have yet to run into a city where rush hour is going on at 5am. In Chicago, rush hour is 24 hours a day almost.

Don't get me wrong, this is not perfect by any means. But most time, about 80+% it has worked for me.

My stops are not always my fuel stops. There are more medical issues with driving than cardiac arrhythmias. There are things called blood clots in the legs due to setting too long in one place.

We have to keep an eye on our health. No one else does. There are tons of issues we face today that truckers of years gone by didn't deal with.

Our stress factor is about 100 times more than drivers 10 years ago. The traffic alone is hugely increased. And the people behind the wheels of vehicles are in such a hurry, they care about no one but themselves. Steering wheel holders included.

So any time you can do something to help your health, take advantage of it.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own. Joe S.

That's it. I quit. Too much to think about . . . no, wait, still have some bills to pay . . . OK, I un-quit but it's still getting WAY too complicated . . .

Jopa

smile.gifshocked.png

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.
Wine Taster's Comment
member avatar

I think some of the rules are a bit crazy. On the other hand, I appreciate the rules to keep drivers from running 20 hours a day. I really don't want to be on the road with someone that has been pushing it that hard day after day.

As for the rules, I think there should be just a little wiggle room. The way the are written, it makes it hard for drivers to get and decent milage to make a living. The split sleeper berth rule is almost useless the way it is written. They used to let you split up the hours however you wanted. I think that was much more flexible. You could stop outside of a city when traffic was heavy. Take a four hour nap and then get back on the road. Drive a few hours and stop for another break if you needed to.

The rules are so rigid that I have a hard time staying to 9 hours a day. Flatbedding eats a ton of time tarping and chaining and strapping. We spend hours of our clock doing these things for very little additional pay.

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.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

And the fact that my fuel stops usually are 8.5 to 9 hrs apart makes it very annoying. That's not really a problem inherent in fmcsa regs though. I don't do restarts either unless I'm forced to wait over a weekend or holiday. What peeves me off is when I do sit for 34 hours, I atleast want my 70 back in consolation. Not sit around for a few more hours waitin on 5 am so I can hit rush hour at whatever city I'm near.

You don't have to hit rush hour at 5 am with everyone else. You can start later in 5 he morning after rush hour. Like 9 or 10 am.

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I've always hated the 14 hour rule.....I think that was a terrible idea. It takes away so much flexibility from drivers.

I'm a huge fan of driving 2-3 hours and taking at least a 5 minute break to go inside and get something to drink. Makes you feel like a million bucks again when you get back out there. I'm also a huge fan of taking mid-day naps. Even 20-45 minutes is a great way to break up the day and feel a million times better.

I think the 14 hour rule takes away a driver's flexibility and forces them to push through when a short break would make them much safer for the rest of the day.

And the 30 minute break thing is a bit odd. If you would build in some flexibility you wouldn't have to force people to take a short break. You're forcing them to keep driving until their shift is done with the 14 hour limitation but then forcing them to take a break with the 30 minute rule.

How about not micromanaging every d*mn minute of every person's day, huh??????

People always like to think they know what's best for everyone. But just how fine-grained can that really get? We've gotten to the point where they're dictating right down to the small details of millions of people's days - when you must sleep, when you must take a break, how long you can drive - I mean, right down to 30 minute intervals?

That's ridiculous. You can't pigeonhole everyone into such a tightly structured schedule. People are not that similar.

For instance, I'm a morning person. And even though I have no schedule I have to keep I choose to get up at 2:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m. every day to start working. I could easily sleep in until 10:00 everyday which is exactly what most people I know would do....and that's fine.

The 14 hour rule is also forcing way more trucks to be on the road fighting traffic during the day and then fighting over parking when the day is done. Traffic wouldn't be nearly as bad if we could get more drivers using the highways at night. And it doesn't have to be overnight schedules. Just let night-people drive until 3:00 a.m. if they like and let morning people like myself start out at 3:00 a.m. if they like. Get rid of the 14 hour rule so people can start, end, and break up their day the way they see fit.

With long wait times and odd appointment times at customers, highly fluctuating traffic patterns throughout the day, and such a variety of natural sleep preferences that people have we need more flexibility in the rules.

For what it's worth, I think with modern technology (e-logs, truck computers, Qualcomm , GPS, etc) it would be easy to incorporate a system that either limits the total number of hours a driver drives (like the current logbook system) or you could cap the number of miles a driver could drive.

What if you set the daily limit at 700 miles and the weekly limit at 3,400 miles? Just let people drive whatever schedule they like, but limit the miles they can drive. I mean, what the point in pushing out 2,100 miles in 3 days when you know you can only drive another 1,300 over the next four days? It makes more sense to pace yourself a bit.

I do love the 34 hour reset. I think the requirement for two night periods is once again micro-managing people too much, but overall the reset is great. It could also be incorporated into a system that puts a cap on the number of miles driven in a week. Once you drive 3,400 you need to take a 34 hour reset before you get a fresh 3,400. And by capping the daily limit at 700 miles you couldn't get 3,400 in fewer than 5 days, so effectively the reset would put you at the end of the 7 days. It works out pretty well.

I also have some ideas about how to change the training structure that would make it better for everyone - students, trainers, and companies alike. I should start a thread for that just to see what we can come up with.

smile.gif

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.

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.

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.

Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

And the fact that my fuel stops usually are 8.5 to 9 hrs apart makes it very annoying. That's not really a problem inherent in fmcsa regs though. I don't do restarts either unless I'm forced to wait over a weekend or holiday. What peeves me off is when I do sit for 34 hours, I atleast want my 70 back in consolation. Not sit around for a few more hours waitin on 5 am so I can hit rush hour at whatever city I'm near.

double-quotes-end.png

You don't have to hit rush hour at 5 am with everyone else. You can start later in 5 he morning after rush hour. Like 9 or 10 am.

You're right. I don't HAVE to do anything but die and pay taxes. However I was referring to he occasion where I have already been forced to sit for 34 hrs yet haven't completed a restart because it's not 5 am yet. Have 2 choices. Sit that whole time and not get my hours back. Or wait x amount of additional hours until it's 5 am. Oh, and the 3 rd choice you gave. Wait x additional hours for 5 am and then wait 5 MORE hours for rush hour to end. At that point I'm getting close 2 whole days.

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.
Scott B.'s Comment
member avatar

Brett, I think you're reply belongs on a political website. It's wasted on a trucking website. I am getting sick of tired of every facet of American life being dictated by some schmuck from somewhere between Baltimore and Richmond. Politicians have to support stupid regulations lest someone else say they are against safety. See it all the time. If someone doesn't support nationalized healthcare they are said to believe the poor don't deserved healthcare. If they don't want the state to provide contraception they are anti- women. If they don't support ludicrous trucking ndustry regulations they are anti- safety blah blah blah.

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