The new Hours of Service regulations are set to take effect July 1, in spite of legal challenges. Today, the court of appeals released its decisions, and the HOS case was not among them. As a result, the changes to the Hours of Service rules will go into effect Monday, July 1 (unless FMCSA officials change their minds at the last minute, which is unlikely).
We've put together a video series about the regulatory changes that transportation companies can use to inform themselves and to train their drivers.
In this installment, Associate Vice President Don Jerrell provides a two-minute overview of the new Hours of Service.
The rules of Hours of Service are pretty simple. Things get complicated when we get into the exceptions and exemptions (which are subjects of other HOS videos by HNI).
Once a driver has had 10 hours off — this could be off duty, time in the sleeper berth, or any combo of the two — then the driver can drive, up to 11 hours.
Once the driver hits 11 hours, he has to stop and take another 10-hour break.
If the driver doesn't hit 11 hours driving only, he can keep working and driving until the 14th hour of when he started. When the 14th hour has been reached, then the driver must take his 10-hour break.
Here's an example: If a driver starts at 7 a.m., performs multiple activities, and doesn't hit 11 hours of driving, once the clock strikes 9 o'clock (the 14th hour), the driver must be done working. At this time, the driver must take another 10-hour break before he can drive again.
There are three numbers to remember: 10 hours off, 11 hours driving, and the 14th hour.
Drivers add lines 3 (driving time) and 4 (on-duty time) on their logs. When hours are totaled, they cannot exceed 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days. Check with your safety director for the rule that applies to your motor carrier. The majority of companies are 70 hours in eight days.
If you're on a 70-hour, eight-day plan, what do you do today? You count your hours for today, count your hours in the last six days, add those hours together, and subtract from 70. That number is the number of hours available for tomorrow, starting after midnight tonight.
If you're on a 60-hour, seven-day plan, you count your hours for today, count your hours for the previous five days, add those hours together, and subtract from 60. That number is what you have for tomorrow.
Understanding and complying with the new regulations is essential. Don has recorded a training video series that runs approximately 30 minutes and consists of nine modules to assist transportation companies in this effort. Click here to request a free DVD or access link to watch the HOS training series to review and share with drivers.