It is important to mention that truck drivers during their period of on-duty, that is to say during the period of consecutive 11 hours of driving they can take their required 30 minutes break.
For example, if the truck driver has been driving for 8 consecutive hours then he can make a combination, and take a break of 30 minutes, and after the beak, he will be able to hit the road for three more hours of consecutive driving.
3. 60 hour/7 day & 70 hour / 8day Duty Limits
The third maximum duty limit comprises 60-70 hours limit, these on-duty hours are based on the period of 7-8 day period. This 60-70 hours limit is based on a more flexible period; it is not fixed like a weekly hours driving limit.
Yet these hour limits mostly stand for the truck drivers that are working for trucking companies that are not operating with their trucks on a daily basis.
An interesting fact about this on-duty limit is that if the truck driver operates for 60 consecutive hours, he should take off-duty time for 7 consecutive days.
4. On-Duty Time VS Off-Duty Time
Namely, the time that truck drivers are spending on the road, at a plant, at a facility, terminal, as well as the time that they are spending inspecting and servicing the trucks is considered to be on-duty time.
Therefore, as we can see on-duty time includes many more obligations and duties that the truck driver has to do, not only the time that he spends driving on the highways.
When on-duty, truck drivers should pay particularly attention to the hours of service rules, or more precisely they should be careful for the following few things:
- To respect the 11 hour driving limit; Each truck driver is limited to drive maximum 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty;
- After truck drivers come on duty, they are allowed to drive only 14 consecutive hours;
If you think about it, you will realize that the travel time the truck driver spends on getting to his direction, while not performing any driving on the highways, can be also considered as on-duty time.
Whereas, the concept of off-duty time is the free time that truck drivers get to pursue their own activities.
More precisely off-duty time is the time when truck drivers get the chance to recharge their batteries, to perform the activities that make them happy and all that is with only one purpose, which is to maintain their safety on a high level. After all, safety is what matters the most.
First and foremost, off-duty means absolutely no work at all. When a truck driver takes off-duty time, should not perform any work in the capacity. Also, it is prohibited for truck drivers during their off-duty time to perform any compensated work for a company that is not a trucking company.
So, the duties that truck drivers have to perform on a daily basis, such as is fueling should not be done during the off-duty time of the truck driver, instead, those duties should be recorded in on-duty time.
5. What Is A Driver’s Daily Log?
Driver’s daily logs are the evidential material that includes the overall daily activity of the truck driver. Nowadays we can still see a lot of truck drivers that are using paper logs instead of ELD’s. Somehow, most of them have got used to filling their logs in that manner.
Frankly speaking, many truck drivers are used to filling their daily activity on paper logs, but at the end of the day, this pattern can put truck drivers in an unwanted situation.
What do I mean when I say that truck drivers can find themselves in an unwanted situation? Well everyone knows that paper logs are not inspected daily by the Department of transportation-DOT, and that can lead truck drivers to forget to fill these logs.
Thereupon, the requirements for daily logs include:
- The address of the Home Terminal;
- The address of the Main Office, altogether with the address of the motor carrier;
- Every truck driver must document the breakdowns and accident that he has been involved into;
- Each daily log must include truck driver’s signature;
- When filling the daily logs truck drivers are not allowed to use abbreviations for the city names, whereas when the States may be abbreviated;
- If the truck driver is transporting different types of loads he must list all items on the paper log;
- All in all, if the truck driver makes some additional changes he must initial them;
Yet, each truck driver can admit that he has experienced at least once a returned daily log, and the main reasons why that can happen is if:
- He fills in an incorrect address;
- If there are missing documents/ shipping documents;
- If he fills incorrectly the On and Off Duty hours;
- As well as, if the truck driver makes mistake in regards of the beginning and the ending city;
In other words, the daily logs are an essential part of truck driver’s work. Each truck driver should be diligent when it comes to maintaining his daily logs. At the end, we can see that the purpose of the daily logs is to provide protection to the trucking company, truck drivers, as well as to the customers and loads.
6. Electronic Logging Devices- ELDs
Electronic Logging Devices have been implemented in trucking businesses with the aim for trucking companies to maintain a safe work environment for their truck drivers. The ELDs are devices that enable truck drivers to share records of duty status- that is to say RODS data.
Later-on, Electronic Logging Devices must be used by:
- Truck drivers who are still using paper logs;
- The carriers who are still using the benefits of AOBRDS;
As a matter of fact, the release date when ELD Mandate is expected to take effect is scheduled to 16th December 2017.
Well, speaking of the new rules and regulations that have been issued by FMCSA we must admit that they have caused a huge impact on the entire trucking industry and especially on truck driver’s efficiency.