Understanding FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations

Understanding FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for creating and maintaining a series of standards and regulations that must be followed by commercial vehicle drivers and the companies that employ them. Among these regulations is the Hours of Service (HOS). The HOS regulations apply to anyone who is operating a commercial vehicle and if you operate a company that hires CMV drivers, you need to ensure the safety of your drivers by sticking to these guidelines. Here is an overview of the FMCSA Hours of Service regulations.

Who Must Follow the HOS Regulations?

A CMV (commercial motor vehicle) is considered as any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds, has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, is transporting 16 or more passengers, or is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding. Essentially, any CMV driver must follow the HOS regulations.

Why Was the HOS Created?

The main purpose of the HOS is for the safety of CMV drivers as well as other motorists on the road. Studies conducted by the FMCSA show that as a driver spends more hours on the road the chance of an accident occurring increases. The Hours of Service was designed to reduce the number of accidents involving CMV drivers due to driver fatigue.

What Does the HOS Entail?

The Hours of Service regulations divide a driver’s workday into 4 separate sections. The HOS then regulates how the workday should be divided. The four sections defined by the Hours of Service include On-Duty Time, Driving Time, Sleeper Berth, and Off-Duty Time. On-Duty Time includes Driving Time and any time spent performing tasks related to the job, including vehicle maintenance and inspection. Off-Duty Time refers to any time spent that does not involve the other 3 definitions. Driving Time is any time spent at the wheel and Sleeper Berth refers to time spent resting in the sleeper berth.

A driver may spend a total of 14 hours On-Duty, of which 11 hours may be spent driving the CMV, as long as this follows 10 consecutive hours of Off-Duty Time. Additionally, a driver may only drive for 8 hours before they require a 30-minute rest period – either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.

Make sure that all your drivers follow the HOS regulations. If you have any questions about HOS or any other FMCSA regulations, please contact us at Office Tenders today.




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