Avoiding Common HoS Violations

by Oct 25, 2021Compliance0 comments

Maintaining your fleet’s compliance means relying on your drivers to follow the rules. Unfortunately, either intentionally or not, drivers may operate outside of regulatory guidelines and put your business at risk. When this happens, you may be faced with fines up to $13,000 for these violations. 

During the 2020 International Roadcheck, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance found that Hours of Service violations were the number one issue. Nearly 35% of drivers made this error and were placed out of service. False logs were also in the top violations, with 455 instances recorded.

If you want to maintain HoS compliance, you need to educate and prepare drivers to avoid these violations. Below, we’ve included tips for keeping your fleet and drivers HoS compliant.

Preventing Hours of Service violations

1. Operate within hours of service limits

In the U.S., drivers can only be on duty for 14-hour shifts and can only drive for 11 of those hours. They have to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shift. Once they reach 14 hours, they have to take a sleeping break for at least 10 hours before they can drive again.

Drivers are also only allowed to drive 60 total hours over a 7-day period or 70 hours over 8 consecutive days. To reset this clock, they have to be in either “Off Duty” or “Sleeper Berth” status for at least 34 hours.

To avoid violations, drivers need to stay within these limits. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are strictly enforced and somewhat tricky. Make sure you and your drivers fully understand the requirements before using the exceptions.

You should also remind drivers to double-check their status to ensure they’ve logged off fully and aren’t still logging hours when they are off-duty.

2. Compliance review

Drivers must keep specified information with them to present to inspectors. This includes:

  • Record of duty status, including trip details such as driving hours, date, miles driven, and vehicle number
  • The logs for the past 7 days

If you use an electronic logging device such as Geotab Drive, you will automatically store the past 14 days of logs. You can also have drivers carry printouts of their logs to prevent issues with data transfers.

3. Roadside inspections

If drivers don’t have the right tasks completed and recorded in their logs, you can get a violation. Drivers that are manually keeping logs rather than using an ELD, or are falsifying logs will also incur violations.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, so be sure to review all of your compliance requirements to keep your fleet where it needs to be.

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