Hours of Service Explained HOS FMCSA

In this video we are going to cover Hours of Service Explained or HOS Compliance.

We will cover the regulations in place from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA which governs Interstate Regulations. Later on, in future videos (New Hours of Service Explained) we will cover Individual State Regulations which apply to Intrastate regulations or regulations that apply only within the state itself for transportation which does not cross state boundaries.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are issued by the FMCSA and they regulate Commercial Motor Vehicles (Hours of Service) or CMVs. Section 390.5 defines a commercial motor vehicle as “any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, of 4,536 kg, which is 10,001 pounds, or more, whichever is greater; or Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers, including the driver, for compensation; or Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations we put in the screen.

Section 390.5 uses the word subchapter, you have to look at the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations CFR Title 49, Transportation, which is broken up by mode. You can find here all the information you need.

Using the verbiage from Section 390.5, unless specified in Parts 350-399 the subchapter, the term CMV is referencing the definition in Section 390.5. Based on this, the driver and vehicle are subject to driver qualifications, vehicle inspection and maintenance, equipment, USDOT numbers, markings, insurance, hours of service, and the like.

The regulations have a few instances of when a CMV definition would differ from Section 390.5. Parts 383, 382, and 380, which we have on the screen, have their own definition of a commercial motor vehicle, i.e., specifically defined elsewhere. Basically, these definitions include only vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license, CDL.

Remember that if you are placarded, it doesn’t really matter what the weight of the load is as you must be compliant with HOS rules. Also, there are some other circumstances that can earn you a violation such as fatigued driving; driving after you have been declared OUT OF SERVICE by law enforcement; or using paper-logs for more than 8 days. Other violations include not having the manual or instructions for ELD you are using, not filling in your manifest or trailer number on the ELD, not signing your logbooks, not having the last 7 days of logbooks with you at all time, and not having blank paper logs in the case of an ELD Malfunction.

We are going to explain to you how it works, what you can do, and what will create a Roadside Violation if you are stopped by a law enforcement.

When you start working as a CDL driver for a company, first of all, you must have the records of your previous 7 days. Remember, even on your first day, with a fresh start in a new company, you could be stopped by any law enforcement and they will ask you for the previous 7 days of Logbooks. You will be required to sign a Statement of On Duty Hours for the previous 7 days with the company and you may have had a 34-hour reset, but you will have to prove it if asked.

If you want to know what to do, if you are just starting in a new company, just hit the link below to see our Teachable videos and you will have step by step tutorial that, if followed, will save you from receiving a violation.
Coming back to HOS, the first rule we are going to talk about is the 11 hours driving rule. This rule is simple, from the moment when you start your day, you are allowed to drive for 11 hours. This means you must be prepared and make the appropriate arrangements to stop your truck before 11 hours are completed.

It is very important to show your responsibility and professionalism as you should allow yourself enough time to stop for your rest break before the 11 hours are up. Plan your day, know where the next Truck Stop or rest area will be and the approximate time you will arrive there. Drivers can call ahead and make reservations at most major truck stops like Flying J, Pilot Travel Centers, Love’s, Petro, TA Travel Centers, and many more.

As a best practice, it is always better to stop prior to going over the allotted time. Even when your company provides you with different tools (such as Personal Conveyance) that you can use to avoid Violations, it depends on you and it will depend on the law enforcement officer to interpret what happened. He may determine that you should receive a Roadside Violation for driving over the 11 hours limit regardless of the story you give. He could also put you Out-of-Service (OOS) for 10 hours.

The second rule is the 14-hour rule, this a rule which begins the moment you go On Duty. While a driver can be On Duty for more than 14 hours, they cannot drive after 14 hours on duty. This is all-inclusive, which means that the ability for the driver to drive expires at exactly 14 hours after they first go On Duty (for the Pre-Trip Inspection). Nothing extends this 14-hour rule. For example, if you start your day at 8 am today, you cannot drive after 10 pm tonight. If the driver does continue working in some “non-driving” capacity, they must take a 10-hour rest period after being On-Duty before driving again.

Pro-tip, always remembers that nothing, not even Adverse Driving Conditions can extend the driving time beyond the 14-hour rule.

The next rule is the 10 hours rest. This means that after 11 hours of driving or 14 hours being on-duty, the driver must rest for 10-hours before being able to drive again. This is a very important rule because if you move the truck during the night or if you start a little early and prior to the full 10 hours off duty, you could be in a Violation the entire day on your ELD.

You can also visit our Teachable site and you can find out more about the 10-hour rule such as what to do if the driver has accidentally moved the truck during the 10-hour rest period, or what can be done to ensure the driver does not accidentally start their day before the completion of the 10 hours of rest. Lastly, we will explain why many drivers cannot use Split Sleeper Berth time without having Violations.

The next rule is the 30 Minute Break Rule. This is a break that you must take within the first 8 hours of driving. It is important to know that the driver actually has 7 hours and 59 minutes to drive. Once a driver reaches 8 hours they will already be in Violation.

Remember that if you have an early break longer than 30 minutes, the system will ask for another break after 8 hours of this break. So, don’t think the system is wrong if it requires a second break period. The rule says that there should not be any period of driving or on-duty hours, or a combination of both for more than 8 consecutive hours without a 30 minutes break.

Pro-tip, the best way to never have to worry about this is to take a 30-minute break after 5 or 6 hours on the road, so you won’t need to have another break during your day.
The next rule is the 60- or 70-hour rule, this says that depending on what rule your company decides to operate with, whether the 60-hour rule for 7 days or the 70-hour rule for 8 days. This represents the maximum time that you can work in a 7- or 8-day period.

This means that if you work on the 8-day rule, after 70 hours of being on-duty and driving, you will need to take a rest for 34 hours to reset your time. At any time, you can use the option of a 34-hour reset during those 70 hours and it will restart your time completely. If you work for 8 days and you don’t reach the 70 hours, then on the ninth day you will have the same time that you had on the first day of those 8 days, plus the remaining time from the 70 hours.

If you want to know exactly how this works, we have a teachable video (Hours of Service Explained) that will show you an example and it will help you count your time so you know how much time you have left to work.

The FMCSA is currently reviewing the HOS compliance rules in a motion to relax the rules a bit. Since August 2018, they have sought public comment on the issue and have received a huge response. There has been a lot of requests from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) in particular pertaining to such issues as the 30 Minute Break, The Sleeper Berth Rules and more. Trucker Nation petitioned the Agency to revise the prohibition against driving after the 14th hour of the start of the shift and numerous other requests. The FMCSA has sent an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking but nothing has gone into effect as of yet. We will keep you informed if there are any Rule Changes.

Thank You for viewing this video, Hours of Service Explained, remember to like and subscribe, visit our teachable site and our Website.