Why Is It So Important To Obey The Hours Of Service (HOS) Rules and Regulations?

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Safety is everyone’s top priority, including the people that are operating in the trucking industry; so in order for truck drivers to stay safe on the road they should obey the HOS- Hours of Service rules and regulations.

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The Hours of Service rules and regulations have been issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration. Being the lead federal government agency, FMCSA cares about the regulation of the commercial motor vehicles, therefore the HOS rules and regulations that they have issued apply only to truck drivers.

Another essential point of the HOS’s rules and regulations is that they are in fact developed to set a limit of the daily and weekly hours that the truck drivers are spending on the road, altogether with these rules the FMCSA wants to set also a regulation about the minimum amount of time that truck drivers have to spend resting.

Fundamental for these rules is like I said before the safety of truck drivers and the safety of all drivers on the road.

Seldom, I have dedicated this article to all the aspects that HOS’s rules and regulations cover.

Let’s leaf through the information that I have selected for you!

1. What Are The Hours Of  Service Regulations?

The hours of service are in fact the hours that a truck driver can spend behind the wheel, performing the transportation process from the pickup up to the final destination point.

Henceforth, the first time that these rules and regulations were implemented in the trucking industry was back in the 1930s. Since its introduction, these rules have remained the same up until 2015, when FMCSA issued new rules and regulations in regards of truck driver’s on-duty and off-duty time.

Yet, the new rules that this organization issued not only that were touching the truck driver’s on-duty and off duty, but also there were new changes made in regards of drivers daily log.

The final rule that was issued by FMCSA included a whole new change for keeping all the important data and information that the truck driver, as well as the trucking company should have in their register, that change turned out to be the ELD- Electronic Logging Device.

Source: www.ultrashiptms.com

Source: www.ultrashiptms.com

The ELD mandate brought enormous operational and cultural change in truck driver’s lives.

The people that were using paper logs since the 30s took this change really hard, but at the end of the day all truck drivers are well aware that all of them should start with the implementation of these devices by December 2017.

In addition the trucking companies and truck drivers that have already implemented these electronic logging devices have stated that they find them way more practical and useful than the old school log papers. ELD’s are the best solution that can ease truck driver’s life, these devices are allowing more precise logging and tighter delivery schedules.

2. Who Must Comply With The HOS?

Based on FMCSA’s findings all drivers that are driving a commercial motor vehicle must follow HOS’s rules and regulations.

To put it in perspective, all commercial motor vehicles-that is to say trucks and trailers that are operating in interstate commerce and have the following characteristic must comply with the HOS:

  • Every truck that weighs 10,001 pounds including the loads;
  • Likewise every truck that has a gross combination weight rating of more than 10,001 pounds;
  • Trucks that are engaged in the transportation of hazardous materials;
Source: www.shutterstock.com

Source: www.shutterstock.com

The factors that I have listed play a crucial role in the overall transportation that is taking place on our highways, yet one more factor that under de facto puts the truck driver in a position where he must comply HOS’s rules and regulations is the interstate transportation process.

Well, speaking of the interstate transportation, I must not forget to mention that when a truck driver enters in interstate commerce, he must make logs on a regular daily basis, also the truck driver has to have logs with him at least for the last 7 days.

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Moreover, not every truck driver knows that when he is operating in interstate commerce for a short period of time, and is using for example the schedule of 60/7 straight proportionally when he finishes operating with the interstate commercial operation he must follow the same HOS’s rules and regulations in the week ahead.

Wherefore, if you are operating in intrastate commerce only then you won’t have to worry about the Federal HOS’s rules and regulations, because in that case these rules and regulations do not apply to you.

Still, we must not forget that each state has similar rules and regulations when it comes to the hours of service and State safety rules that each truck driver must obey.

3. What Are The HOS Limits?

HOS limits are actually the rules and regulations that have been issued by FMCSA in order to achieve better safety on the roads. Likewise, the hours of service are mainly focused on the time that truck drivers are spending behind the wheels, altogether with other duties that this job brings.

FMCSA has issued three maximum duty limits that each truck driver should obey, those three maximum duty limits comprise:

  • 14 hour driving window limit;
  • 11 hour driving limit;
  • 60 hour/7 day & 70 hour / 8day duty limits;

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1. 14 Hour Driving Window

To begin with the 14 hour driving window regulation that has been issued by FMCSA. Correspondingly the truck drivers that have been on-duty for a 14 consecutive hour period are not allowed to drive more hours, that is to say they are not allowed to drive again.

So, after the truck driver reaches the end of his 14 consecutive hour period of driving, he should take 10 consecutive hours off duty.

2. 11 Hour Driving Limit

When it comes to the 11 hour driving limit, truck drivers are allowed to drive for a total of 11 hours for a period of 14 hours.

Therefore, the truck drivers that have reached a limit of 11 hours have to take a rest of 10 consecutive hours before hitting the road again.

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