Questions about Hours-of-Service, Inspections,
Logbooks & More Answered by Law
Enforcement Officials (as of April 2011)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on March 10, 2011.
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POSSIBLE CHANGES TO HOS
Q: I hear talk that there might be changes made to the hours of service rules. If it is true, what are they looking to change and when? Thank you – Scott in Pennsylvania
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, California: FMCSA recently held another listening session in Arlington, Virginia on February 17, 2011. It will be awhile before the HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking goes through the review process and back to the OMB (Office of Management and Budget). Time is usually built in for states to adopt changes, which is generally about three years. However, some states will be able to enforce upon the date in the Final Rule, since they automatically adopt “amended” federal regulations. Visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov for more details.
E-LOGS AND DAILY RECAPS
Q: I recently switched to e-logs. The system gives me the amount of my available drive time and on-duty time, how much of my 70 hours has been used (and is remaining), but it does not give a daily recap of each of the four lines. Is a daily recap of the four duty status lines required on e-logs like it is with paper logs? Thanks – Roger in Iowa
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant with Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, Nebraska: As far as your daily totals for each of the 4 duty statuses, 49 CFR 395.8 lists the required information for a logbook, and one of those items is the total hours (far right edge of grid). The criteria for “automatic on-board recording devices” is specified in 49 CFR 395.15. Under paragraph (c) it states: “The duty status and additional information shall be recorded as follows.” It goes on to list the required information. You’ll find it is the same as for your logbook with 395.15(c)(12) requiring total hours. The new criteria for “electronic on-board recording devices” for CMVs manufactured after 6/4/2012 is found in 49 CFR 395.16 and again, the information required to be recorded is the same as a logbook, with hours in each duty status for the 24-hour period and total hours included as one of the requirements found in 395.16(b)(9). When it comes to your logbook’s daily recap of hours in regards to the 60/70-hour rule showing how many hours a driver has available to use, it is not a regulatory requirement for the recap to be completed.
WORKING OVER 14 HOURS
Q: If our driver drives one hour to a location and then goes to “On Duty Not Driving” and then works past his 14 hours (but does not drive), and then is taken home, is that okay to do? Thank you – Joey in Texas
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, Texas: In Part 395.3(a)(2) a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for more than 14 hours, but it doesn’t say anything about working beyond the 14th hour. So, once the driver reaches their 14th hour, they are not allowed to drive. By you sending someone out to pick the driver up, the driver avoids being in violation of the rules.
PRE & POST TRIP INSPECTIONS
Q: How long should it take to do a good pre- and post-trip inspection on a tractor and trailer that hauls Hazmat? Thank you for your time and dedication – Hugh in California
A: Provided by Officer Amy Bachelor, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, California: While there is no “set” time designated for pre- and post-trip inspections, there are, however, numerous items on the vehicle that are required to be inspected before and after a trip. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, starting with Part 392.7, lists those items. Each of these items, regardless of the load, requires time to ensure proper mounting, fit, pressure, display, etc. Repetition, practice and skill are vital aspects of conducting a thorough inspection. Do not shortchange the amount of time needed to properly inspect a vehicle, as it is necessary for your safety and the safety of the drivers around you.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted© by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on March 10, 2011.