Hours of Service Rules for Commercial Drivers

Who's Subject to What?

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Senior Risk Consultant
+1 763 746 8284
+1 651 425 8338
April 25, 2018Minnesota

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces several rules regarding how many hours a commercial driver may operate his or her vehicle as well as how many hours he or she can be on duty before taking a break. FMCSA drafted these hours of service (HOS) regulations to reduce drowsy driving and the accidents caused by it. Commercial drivers need to be aware of these rules to avoid fines and out-of-service orders.

A carrier and its drivers are subject to HOS regulations in Minnesota if they operate vehicles that are:

  • Over 10,000 pounds GVW or GVWR operating in interstate or intrastate commerce
  • Designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) operating in interstate commerce
  • Designed or used to transport 9-15 passengers, including the driver, in interstate commerce for direct compensation
  • Designed to transport 8 or more passengers, including the driver, operating for-hire in intrastate commerce
  • Any size transporting hazardous material of a type or quantity that requires the vehicle to be placarded

Passenger Carrier HOS Rules

Passenger carriers may not permit or require a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive a passenger carrying vehicle after:

  • More than 10 hours driving time following eight consecutive hours off-duty
  • Being on duty 15 hours following eight consecutive hours off-duty
  • Being on duty 60 hours in any seven consecutive days if the carrier does not operate every day of the week
  • Being on duty 70 hours in any eight consecutive days if the carrier operates every day of the week

Property Carrier HOS Rules

Property carriers may not permit or require a driver to drive and no driver shall drive a property carrying vehicle after:

  • More than 11 cumulative hours following 10 consecutive hours off-duty
  • The end of the 14th hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off-duty (for any period) • More than 8 hours have passed since the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes
  • Being on-duty 60 hours in any seven consecutive days if the carrier does not operate every day of the week
  • Being on-duty 70 hours in any eight consecutive days if the carrier operates every day of the week

NOTE: For property carrier drivers, any period of seven or eight consecutive days may end with the beginning of any off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours.

Carriers must maintain true and accurate records showing a driver’s hours of service. Drivers who are subject to the hours of service regulations must record their daily activities on a record of duty status (RODS), unless they meet all of the conditions for the 100/150 air-mile radius driver or are otherwise excepted/exempted.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Rule

The ELD was mandated by congress to help create a safer work environment for drivers. It was also designed to make it easier to accurately handle records of duty status (RODS) information. The ELD synchronizes with a commercial vehicle’s engine to automatically record driving time, which provides an easier way to get more accurate hours of service recording.

ELD Rule Implementation

Motor carriers and drivers subject to the ELD rule were required to start using ELDs by Dec. 18, 2017, unless they were using grandfathered Automatic On-board Recording Devices (AOBRD). AOBRDs may be used until Dec. 16, 2019, if the devices were put into use before Dec. 18, 2017.

By Dec. 16, 2019, all carriers and drivers subject to the rule must use ELDs. Motor carriers and drivers must choose only ELDs that are self-certified and registered on the FMCSA website.

ELDs must have the capability of either telematics data transfer or local transfer.

A carrier using ELDs must ensure that its drivers possess onboard their commercial motor vehicle an ELD information packet containing the following items:

  • User’s manual for the driver describing how to operate the ELD
  • Instruction sheet describing the data transfer mechanisms supported by the ELD and step-by-step instructions on how to produce and transfer the driver’s hour-of-service records to an authorized safety official
  • Instruction sheet for the driver describing ELD malfunction reporting requirements and record keeping procedures during ELD malfunctions
  • Supply of blank driver’s records of duty status (RODS) sufficient to record the driver’s duty status and other related information for a minimum of 8 days.

The user’s manual, instruction sheet, and malfunction instruction sheet can be in electronic form.

A driver must provide the information the ELD requires as prompted by the ELD and required by the motor carrier. A driver must manually input or verify the following information on the ELD:

  • Commercial motor vehicle power unit number
  • Trailer number(s), if applicable
  • Shipping document number, if applicable

Exceptions to the ELD Rule

The ELD rule allows limited exceptions, including:

  • Drivers who operate under the short-haul provision (see below)
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days in any 30-day period
  • Drivers who conduct driveaway/towaway operations in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000

Short-Haul Provision - 100 Air-Mile Radius Driver

Drivers who operate within a 100 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location, are not required to maintain RODS if all of the following requirements are met:

  • Driver returns to the normal work reporting location and is released from work within 12 consecutive hours
  • Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver has at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty separating each 12 hours on-duty
  • Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver has at least 8 consecutive hours off-duty separating each 12 hours on-duty
  • Property-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver does not exceed 11 hours maximum driving time following 10 consecutive hours off-duty
  • Passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver does not exceed 10 hours maximum driving time following 8 consecutive hours off-duty
  • Carrier maintains true and accurate time records showing the time the driver starts work, is released from work, total number of hours worked, and for drivers used for the first time or intermittently, the total time worked during the preceding seven days

150 Air-Mile Radius Driver

Drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles that do not require a Commercial Driver’s License for operation – and who operate within a 150 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location – are not required to maintain RODS if all of the following requirements are met:

  • Driver returns to the normal work reporting location at the end of each duty tour
  • Driver may drive a maximum of 11 hours after coming on-duty following 10 or more consecutive hours off-duty
  • Driver may not drive after the 14th hour after coming on-duty 5 days a week or after the 16th hour after coming on-duty 2 days a week or since a 34-hour restart
  • Carrier maintains true and accurate time records showing the time the driver starts work, is released from work, total number of hours worked, and for drivers used for the first time or intermittently, the total time worked during the preceding seven days

Drivers meeting the requirements of the short haul provision are not subject to the 30-minute rest break requirement in 49 CFR Section.

Record Retention Hours of service records (ELD or AOBRD data, logbooks or time sheets) and supporting documents must be maintained and retained by the carrier for a period of at least six months.

To get more information on complying with the ELD rule, contact your local Marsh & McLennan Agency loss control representative.

Source: MN Department of Transportation