HOURS OF SERVICE: WHAT IT MEANS FOR DRIVERS?
WHAT IS HOURS OF SERVICE?
Hours of service is a regulation which states that the drivers and truckers can only work for a certain number of hours each day or a week or some other period. This is mandated by mainly the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in the United States.
HOW DOES HOURS OF SERVICE WORK?
According to the regulations outlined by the FMCSA, here is a breakdown of the hour of service rules for property-carrying drivers:
11-Hour Driving Limit
The driver is eligible to drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
This allows the driver 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours (after logging at least 10 off-duty hours)
The driver may not drive more than eight consecutive hours without a 30-minute rest break.
This “weekly limit” prohibits drivers from being on-duty for more than 60 hours during any 7-day (consecutive) period, or more than 70 hours in a 8-day (consecutive) period.
WHO MUST FOLLOW HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS?
If you are engaging in interstate commerce and the following:
- Your truck weighs more than 10,000 lbs
- Your truck has a gross vehicle weight rating/gross combination weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs or
- Your truck is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placards
Driver fatigue is the most common cause of truck accidents. Medical professionals and work safety analysts found a way to statistically reduce accidents on the road by mandating break periods and limiting driving time.
The HOS controls have existed for decades in preventing approximately 1,400 crashes and 560 injuries, and saving 19 lives each year based on a study conducted in 2013.
HOURS OF SERVICE HISTORY
|Year Enforced||Driving Hours||On-Duty Hours||Off-Duty Hours||Min Duty Cycle||Max Hours On-Duty Before 30 Min Break|
HOURS OF SERVICE REACTION
Hours of Service laws have had a history of causing a burden on truck drivers and fleet owners. While they are meant to keep drivers off the road when fatigue is likely to set in, it puts many trucking companies in a pinch regarding how they operate their business. The top issued voiced by trucking companies consist of:
- Drivers exceeding the speed limit to race against the 14-hour rule
- Dealing with the available hours after traffic and inclement weather
- Waiting for a receiver to unload the trailer – utilizing hours of possible drive-time from their day
- Finding a close, safe place to park in order to get the required 10 hours of off-duty time
Many suggest a fix by lengthening the 14-hour limit or possibly incorporating a “pause button” during delay instances experienced on a regular basis.
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