Am I Required To CLOCK OUT To Satisfy New 30 Minute Break Rule???

Topic 938 | Page 2

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Starcar's Comment
member avatar

The DOT officers are in the same sinking boat as all of us truck drivers. They have no one who is going to sit them down, and explain the new regs to them either. So they interpret the new HOS in whatever manner that makes sense to them. But unlike us drivers, it won't cost them and $$ or points if they get it wrong. AND if they ticket us using their bad interpretation of the rules, its hard to impossible to get the ticket ripped up,or dropped....because the judges understand the rules even less...so they go with the governing office...the DOT. There are no easy answers when it comes to HOS rules. When they started messing with them about 8 years ago, it all went to hell in a hand basket. But the worst thing is, that with all the states hurting for money, they see the truckers as a ready cash machine. And that holds true, since if you get a ticket, its hard to get back to that jurisdiction to go to court. Having said that, I will advise all drivers to invest in legal insurance. And don't go cheap on it, since you get what you pay for. The good companies will be able to have an attorney in any state go to court for you. With the new points system, you can't afford to just pay the tickets anymore.....

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

OK so I found this in the "Interpretation for 395.2" on the DOT website, and it is the closest thing I have found resembling an answer to my question.

Question 10: How does compensation relate to on-duty time?

Guidance: The fact that a driver is paid for a period of time does not always establish that the driver was on-duty for the purposes of part 395 during that period of time. A driver may be relieved of duty under certain conditions and still be paid.

So do this not say that a driver can be considered "off duty" (under certain conditions) and still be paid?

It seems to me that this little bit of "interpretation" settles the matter.

DOT does NOT decide the matter of whether or not I am taking a legal 30 minute break (ie OFF DUTY) based solely on whether or not I am being paid during this time.

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.

John D.'s Comment
member avatar

So if I am interpreting their interpretation correctly...

the first sentence means: "just because I am being paid does not mean that DOT automatically considers me ON DUTY"

the second sentence means: "I can be considered (by DOT) OFF DUTY and still be paid during that time"

I must admit that this "guidance" by DOT is still somewhat fuzzy. It seems that have left themselves discretion in their wording to still hang us (or hang ourselves is more like it) if they choose to.

Another interesting section from the "Interpretation for 395.2":

Question 1: A company told all of its drivers that it would no longer pay for driving from the last stop to home and that this time should not be shown on the time cards. Is it a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) from the last stop to home and not show that time on the time cards?

Guidance: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) do not address questions of pay. All the time spent operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for, or at the direction of, a motor carrier must be recorded as driving time.

The key phrase here (in my mind) is

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) do not address questions of pay.

So again, the DOT seems to be saying "whether the driver is being paid or not is NOT determinative of the issue of whether or not that driver is ON or OFF duty!"

Am I wrong?

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
  • 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.

    CMV:

    Commercial Motor Vehicle

    A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

    • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
    • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
    • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
    • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

    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.

    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 do this not say that a driver can be considered "off duty" (under certain conditions) and still be paid?

Correct. You can still get paid and be off duty or in the sleeper berth. There is no law that says you have to punch out during that time. But, like I said earlier, the law says you have to be off duty or in the sleeper berth so if you're being paid by the hour the company is well within their rights to have you off the clock.

Basically this comes down to whether or not the company wants to give you a paid break. It would be like getting a paid lunch. Just like the law says regular non-driving employees have to have a 30 minute break every 8 hours of work, so do drivers now. Non-driving employees normally punch out during lunch, but not always. It's a matter of company policy.

So you can try persuading them to give you a paid lunch, but legally they won't have to.

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.

406 Cowboy's Comment
member avatar

395.1: Scope of rules in this part.

(e) Short-haul operations —(1) 100 air-mile radius driver . A driver is exempt from the requirements of § 395.8 if:

(i) The driver operates within a 100 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location;

(ii) The driver, except a driver-salesperson, returns to the work reporting location and is released from work within 12 consecutive hours;

395.3: Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles. (ii) Rest breaks. Except for drivers who qualify for either of the short-haul exceptions in § 395.1(e)(1) or (2), driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes

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