Hours of Service are regulations in the US that dictate the specific number of hours a commercial driver is legally allowed to work. There are both daily and weekly limits:
- Daily Limits - You can work a total of 14-hours per day. But, only 11-hours of this working time is allowed to be driving time. So if you work 5-hours loading cars, the max you can now drive today is 9-hours.
- Daily Limit Requirements - To be able to use your 14 working hours, you must be Off Duty or Sleeper Berth for 10-hours beforehand. Also, within the first 8 driving hours for that day, you must take a 30-minute Off Duty break.
- Weekly Limits - There are rule types know as a Cycle Rule. This refers to your work week and is commonly one of two options: 70-hours over 8 days, or 60-hours over 7 days. This weekly limit counts both your On Duty and Driving hours.
What about the ELD mandate? Am I exempt?
- You are required to have an FMCSA-certified ELD in your truck, if: the truck engine year is 2000 or newer and you do long-haul, traveling farther than 150 miles from your business address.
- Some industries have exemptions, such as movie production and agriculture. OOIDA is still petitioning the FMCSA for an exemption as well.
- Need an ELD solution so you can stay compliant with ELD/HoS? Super Dispatch has an ELD that is certified by the FMCSA that works directly in your app.
What happens when I run out of working hours? Is that it?
- Resetting Your Daily Limit Clock - If you have run out of your Daily Limit for working hours, you will need to take a 10-hour Off Duty or Sleeper Berth break before you work again for another 14-hours. It is a common mistake to forget your 30-minute break during your first 8-hours of driving, too. So double check!
- Resetting Your Weekly Limit Clock - If you have exceeded your 7-day, 60-hour or 8-day, 70-hour weekly limit, you will need to take a 34-hour Off Duty or Sleeper Berth break before you can continue work again.
Are there other rules I should know about? (Unfortunately, yes.)
- DVIRs, aka Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports - At the end of each working day, a driver must complete a DVIR- it is a driver inspection of truck (and trailer) components and verifies the entire setup is safe to drive on the road. If there are even small defects, you must take note of them and indicate whether or not they require repairs in order for the truck/trailer to be operated safely. The driver's signature is typically taken upon the completion of a DVIR.
- Shipping Document Numbers - Each day that drivers are doing work, hauling cargo, they need to provide some sort of document number that verifies the driver is doing work. An invoice ID, order ID or load ID satisfies this requirement.
- Log Certification - After each working day has been completed, drivers need to "Certify" their logs. By "certifying" drivers are placing their signature on that day's logs, legally saying "these entries are true and correct." This is a daily task.
- Backup Paper Logs - In the case of an ELD or eLog malfunction, drivers actually must keep enough paper logs in their truck. If you don't have them on hand, it's actually something you could get fined for.
- DOT Reference Card - If you do not have or need an ELD, this is optional. But if you do need/have an ELD, you must have a DOT Reference Card in your cab. The card is largely a formality, but one key part instructs officers how to check your Hours of Service records with your specific ELD.
How do I remember all of this? Let Super Dispatch help:
- Super Dispatch's HoS - our mobile application supports a free, fully functional Hours of Service section where drivers can log their hours, get reminders to take their break or stop driving, certify logs, complete DVIRs and more. Dispatchers can view DVIRs, driver logs, send suggestions and run reports from the dashboard as well.
- Super ELD - is an FMCSA certified ELD, developed by Super Dispatch that works directly inside the mobile app and dashboard, and costs just $99. It auto-fills your Shipping Document Number, reminds you to certify logs, automatically detects and logs driving, collects DVIRs, and ships with a DOT Reference Card.