In a past blog we gave you the FACTS about HOS.

In a past blog we gave you the FACTS about HOS

Now we get to go a little deeper into the rules so you can better understand them.

Today we are going to focus on property-carrying vehicles.  We will write a whole other blog for vehicles that carry passengers!

On Duty time

What is considered “On Duty” time?

Pretty much anything that you get compensated for.

  • When you fuel the vehicle that is on duty when you pretrip and post trip the vehicle those are both on duty.
  • All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched unless you have been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;
  • All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any truck, including fueling it and washing it at any time;
  • All driving time, as defined in the term driving time;
  • All other time in or on a commercial motor vehicle other than: (i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Section 397.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; (ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth; (iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth;
  • All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck; or handling paperwork for shipments;
  • All time taking care of your truck when it is broken down;
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, or urine sample for drug/alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site;
  • All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car; and
  • All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant.

The bottom line is that on-duty time includes all time you are working for a motor carrier, whether paid or not and all time you are doing paid work for anyone else.

The definition of on-duty time is found in Section 395.2.

Travel Time

“Travel time” refers to the time you are being transported to a new location as part of your job, while not performing any driving on the trip. 

Any travel time you do at the direction of your motor carrier is considered on-duty time. 

However, if you take at least 10 consecutive hours off duty once you get to your destination, you may count all of the time, including the travel time, as off-duty.

Example: Your company sends you on a bus for 8 hours to pick up a truck and drive it back. You are simply riding the bus and not doing any other work for your company. 

Before driving the truck you take 10 consecutive hours off duty. In this case, you may count all of the travel time as off duty as well.

Example: You ride with a coworker to a job site 1 hour from the yard. You are not doing any work besides riding to the job site. Once you get to the job site you start working.

All time for today would still be considered “On Duty” time because you did not take 10 consecutive hours off duty once you got to the job site.

The regulation on travel time is found in Section 395.1(j).

Off Duty Time

By understanding the definition of on-duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off-duty time. In order for time to be considered off-duty, you must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue activities of your own choosing and be able to leave the place where your vehicle is parked.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off-duty time.

Sleeper Berth

Drivers may split their required 10-hour off-duty period, as long as one off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least 2 hours long and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours. When used together, neither time period counts against the maximum 14- hour driving window.

If you drive a truck that has a sleeper berth that meets the requirements of the safety regulations, you may use it to get the required off-duty time in three ways:

  1. You may spend time in your sleeper berth to get some, or all, of the 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time. 

When getting your 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time, what is most important is that you do not go on duty or drive during those 10 hours. At the end of the 10 consecutive hours of combined sleeper and/or off-duty time, your 11-hour driving and 14-hour duty-period limits would completely restart.

  1. You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14-hour limit. 

Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours does not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, allows you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

  1. You may also use the sleeper berth in a different way to get the “equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.” 

To do this, you must spend at least 8 consecutive hours (but less than 10 consecutive hours) in the sleeper berth. 

This rest period will not count as part of the 14 hours. 

A second, separate rest period should be at least 2 (but less than 10) consecutive hours long. 

This period may be spent in the sleeper berth, off duty, or sleeper berth and off duty combined. 

It does count as part of the 14 hours. 

It does not matter which rest period you take first. 

After you complete your second required rest period, you will have a new point on the clock from which to calculate your hours available.

 This new “calculation point” will be at the time you completed your first required rest period.

Drivers may split their required 10-hour off-duty period, as long as one off-duty period (whether in or out of the sleeper berth) is at least 2 hours long and the other involves at least 7 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth. 

All sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours. When used together, neither time period counts against the maximum 14- hour driving window.

Remember that you are allowed to do non-driving work after the 14-hour limit is reached, just no more truck driving (but the additional on-duty time would count toward your weekly 60 or 70-hour limit).

Each time you take one of the two required rest periods, you will need to recalculate the on-duty and driving hours available. 

You could continue using the sleeper-berth regulation and recalculating your hours available until you have 10 consecutive hours off duty. 

After 10 consecutive hours off duty, you have 11 hours of driving time and a 14 consecutive-hour driving window available again.

This regulation is found in Section 395.1(g).

14 hour on-duty limit

Your on-duty clock starts when you first start your day.  And does NOT pause until you take 10 congestive hours off duty. 

Even if you are off duty in the middle of the day, for lunch, that counts against your 14 hours.

Let’s say that you start your workday at 6 am. Work until noon, take ½ hour off duty for lunch, come back and work until 5pm, then take ½ hour off duty for dinner. You can work as long as you would like, but you can NOT operate a CMV after 8pm.

Even though you took an hour off duty in the middle of the day your 14-hour clock started at 6 am when you first came on duty.

On a side note, FMCSA has talked about allowing a 3-hour “pause” of the 14-hour clock but of the time this was written has not added that to the regulation. 

The 11-hour driving limit for property-carrying vehicles 

You may not operate a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) for more than 11 hours.  You can still work, you can drive a vehicle that is not a CMV but you can not operate a CMV after you have been driving a CMV for more than 11 hours.  

Example: You have had 10 consecutive hours off. 

You come to work at 6:00 a.m. and drive from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. (7 hours driving). 

You take a 30-minute break as required, and then can drive for another 4 hours until 6:30 p.m. 

You must not drive again until you have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. 

You may do other work after 6:30 p.m., but you cannot do any more driving of a commercial motor vehicle on a public road.

Thirty-Minute Rest Break

If you have 8 hours of drive time then you should take a 30-minute rest break.  This can be logged as on-duty not driving, off-duty, or sleeper berth.

 

For example, if the driver started driving immediately after coming on duty, they could drive for 8 consecutive hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 3 hours for a total of 11 hours. 

In another example, this driver could drive for 3 hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 8 hours, for a total of 11 hours. 

This time does count against the 14-hour driving window, as allowing off-duty time to extend the workday would allow drivers to drive long past the time when fatigue becomes extreme. 

FMCSA does not enforce the 30-minute rest break provision against any driver that qualifies for either of the “short-haul operations” or livestock or insect haulers.  

There is also an exemption for anyone hauling oversize loads.

This regulation is found in Section 49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)

34 Hour Restart

You are allowed to “restart” your 60- or 70-hour clock calculations by taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty (or in the sleeper berth) or some combination of both. 

After you have taken at least 34 consecutive hours off duty, you have the full 60 or 70 hours available again. 

The use of a “valid” 34-hour restart resets a driver’s “weekly” hours back to zero. 

In addition, the driver may perform other on-duty tasks, such as loading or unloading and paperwork, after reaching the 60/7 or 70/8 hour limits. 

They simply can NOT legally drive a CMV on a public road when the limit has been reached. 

The 34-hour restart is an optional, not a mandatory regulatory provision.

These regulations are found in Sections 395.3(c)(1) and (c)(2).

60/70-Hour Duty Limit

The 60/70 hour rule is sometimes thought of as a “weekly” limit. 

However, this limit is not based on a “set” week, such as Sunday through Saturday. 

The limit is based on a “rolling” 7 or 8-day period. 

The oldest day’s hours drop off at the end of each day when you calculate the total on-duty time for the past 7 or 8 days. 

For example, if you operate on a 70-hour/8-day schedule, the current day would be the newest day of your 8-day period and the hours you worked nine days ago would drop out of the calculation.

As an example, in the table, the driver has accumulated a total of 67 on-duty (driving and on-duty) hours in an 8-day period. 

If this driver is operating on the 70-hour/8-day rule, they would be in compliance with the HOS rules in this example. 

Once the driver reaches the 70-hour mark, the driver cannot operate a CMV until they have taken enough off-duty hours. 

In this particular example, when the driver reaches the 9th day of the cycle (the second Monday), the hours from Day 1 of the cycle (the first Sunday) would drop off, and the driver would then be calculating his or her hours for Days 2 through 9 (Monday–Monday). 

These same principles apply for the 60-hours in 7-day HOS rule as well.

You are required to follow one of these two limits:

  1. If your company does not operate vehicles every day of the week, you are not allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle after you’ve been on duty 60 hours during any 7 consecutive days. 

Once you reach the 60-hour limit, you will not be able to drive a CMV again until you have dropped below 60 hours for a 7-consecutive-day period. 

You may do other work, but you cannot do any more driving until you are off duty enough days to get below the limit. 

Any other hours you work, whether they are for a motor carrier or someone else, must be added to the total.

  1. If your company does operate vehicles every day of the week, your employer may assign you to the 70-hour/8-day schedule. 

This means that you are not allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle after you’ve been on duty 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days. Once you reach the 70-hour limit, you will not be able to drive again until you have dropped below 70 hours for an 8-consecutive-day period. 

You may do other work, but you cannot do any more driving until you get below the limit. 

Any other hours you work, whether they are for a motor carrier or someone else, must be added to the total.

That sums up HOS for Property carrying vehicles.

Hopefully, you found this helpful.