How To Secure Hours of Service?

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  • Post last modified:July 31, 2020
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The ELD mandate requires commercial vehicle operators to record Hours of Service (HOS) using electronic logging devices (ELDs) to replace paper logs and reduce instances of dangerous driving by fatigued drivers.

ELDs (also known as electronic logbooks or e-logs) connect to a vehicle’s engine and automatically record driver working time, providing a reliable way to collect HOS data.

It saves countless hours calculating each driver’s operating time. That is why fleet operators must use ELD-compliant fleet management system to ensure they have an accurate recording of drive time.

A fleet management software helps to streamline workflows and automate several processes within fleet operations providing data-based insights about Hours of Service (HOS) compliance, road safety, and more.

What are the Hours of Service (HOS)?

The Hours of Service rule was incorporated as a way for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to monitor working hours of a commercial vehicle operator and eliminate accidents caused by driver fatigue.

The HOS ruling determines the maximum number of consecutive hours a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver can drive or work before taking a mandatory rest break. This ruling helps to keep drowsy and tired truck drivers off the road.

To Whom Does the HOS Ruling Apply?

The HOS regulation applies to any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operator, where a CMV is defined as any vehicle that:

  • Weighs 10,001 lbs or more, including any load.
  • Transports hazardous materials in a quantity requiring a hazardous material placard (property-carrying vehicle).
  • Transports 16 or more passengers, including the driver, without compensation (passenger-carrying vehicle).
  • Transports 9 or more passengers, including the driver, for compensation (passenger-carrying vehicle).

HOS Regulations for CMV Drivers

The HOS regulations are described on the FMCSA website and need to be followed by CMV drivers. The HOS regulation limits the number of driving hours per day, and the number of driving and working on-duty hours per week for CMV drivers.

The driving limit or cycle limit restrictions include:

  • 14-Hour Shift Limit

Drivers have a 14-hour span to drive a maximum of 11 hours and take a mandatory break of at least 30 minutes every 8 hours or less.

This doesn’t apply to short-haul drivers. The 14-hour driving limit restricts drivers from driving more than 14 consecutive hours on duty, after 10 hours off-duty.

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit

 A driver can drive for a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.

  • 60/70-Hour Limit

This HOS rule limits driving time to 60 hours per 7-day period and 70 hours for 8 consecutive days. This means that drivers cannot continue driving once they’ve reached 60/70 hours of on-duty time in 7/8 consecutive days.

It is to be noted that the 70-hour/8-day rule is only available to commercial fleets that operate every day of the week. Otherwise, drivers need to use the 60-hour/7-day rule.

  • 34-Hour Restart

The 34-hour restart rule allows CMV drivers the opportunity to reset their 60-hour or 70-hour clocks back to zero at any time by taking at least 34 consecutive hours in a sleeper berth or off-duty. The 34-hour restart option is allowed only for drivers moving property, and not passengers.

Exemption to HOS Regulations

  • The Short-Haul Exemption

 Some commercial vehicle drivers driving within a 100-mile radius are exempt from keeping HOS logs. In other words, the short-haul exemption is for drivers who don’t drive outside a 100 air-mile radius from their normal work reporting location.

How Does A Fleet Management System Help in HOS Compliance?

    • When it comes to technology and staying compliant with regulations enforced by the FMCSA, it is essential to choose a robust GPS fleet management system.
    • There are several HOS regulations that a commercial fleet operator needs to adhere to, and a best fleet management software can help make HOS rules compliance easy. With regular updates in the software, you needn’t worry about any changes in the Hours of Service regulations at any time.
    • As a fleet operator, you need to keep accurate and up-to-date records of all your drivers’ hours to avoid hefty fines, or in some cases, the loss of license to operate.
    • Any operator found to violate the HOS regulation runs the risk of lowering its carrier safety rating or even being put out-of-service for a certain period.
    • Fleets that meet the HOS compliance requirements can help improve driver safety, and have a lower chance of accidents, injuries, and fatalities while operating commercial vehicles.
    • While selecting a fleet management system for your business, make sure to ask every vendor about how they can help you stay compliant with HOS regulations. It should offer top-rated fleet management hardware and software products to improve compliance capabilities for your fleet.
    • FMCSA-compliant ELD can be plugged directly to your commercial vehicle and helps transmit real-time data about your vehicle and the driver information including hours of driving, speed, and other information.
    • The software provides fleet operators the ability to administer drivers (such as adding or deleting drivers), monitor all drivers in the fleet, review and edit logs as necessary, set up custom inspection categories, view reports, and more. The software also provides back-office employees with a nearly real-time view of their fleet’s performance.
    • Using the all-in-one, user-friendly enterprise fleet management software ,drivers can record their HOS, access records of duty status (RODS), and complete electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) in one place.

Conclusion

With an efficient all-in-one fleet management tracking system ,you can easily capture, download, analyze and archive HOS data smartly and reliably.

It simplifies your struggle to always stay compliant with HOS regulations. It helps you to minimize errors and reduce the time spent completing a daily HOS log.

With all driving data being collected electronically, it is also easier for fleet managers to report on HOS limits and assign new driving jobs more efficiently.

So, are you using a fleet management software for small business to make a precise and reliable recording of hours of service and maintain HOS compliance?