Hours of Service (HOS)
Hours of service regulations, with a few exceptions, apply to all motor carriers, drivers, and commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) that transport property or passengers in interstate commerce.
The original hours of service rules underwent significant revisions in 2003 and again in 2008. The FMCSA released the most recent final rule on December 22, 2011. View changes compared to the current rule and questions and answers on the new final rule.
J. J. Keller will help you stay on top of the latest HOS developments by informing you of the latest news and reference materials. Our Motor Carrier Safety Report newsletter is another great way keep up with the most recent developments.
As a top supplier of log books, training materials, and log auditing solutions, J. J. Keller can also help you comply with hours of service rules.
We also offer Canada-specific log books and training that address Canadian hours of service regulations.
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As a top supplier of log books, training materials, and other log auditing solutions, J. J. Keller has the experience to help you comply with hours of service regulations. See below for compliance solutions.
HOS Handbook: The Complete Guide for CMV Drivers
Driver's Daily Log Books
Log Instruction Books
KellerSCAN® for Log Auditing Software
Log Checker® Software
Log Auditing Services
Hours of Service Training
Consulting & On-Site Training
J. J. Keller’s Encompass™ with E-Logs
Hours of Service and CSA
Hours of Service plays a pivotal part in the CSA Fatigued Driving BASIC. J. J. Keller offers a wealth of resources and solutions to help you address CSA and the Fatigued Driving BASIC. Get more information.
New HOS Regs
On December 22, 2011, the FMCSA released new hours of service regulations. The resources below can help give you insight into these new regulations.
How will you be impacted? Find out now!
For-hire, over-the-road carriers
Most Impacted. Reason: Irregular routes and schedules, combined with the driver and carrier’s desire to maximize the driver’s productivity when the driver is on the road, leads to this segment using the maximums available under the hours-of-service rules. This segment also has to interpret and apply the rules to a new operational environment daily, making any change problematic (there is no “operation pattern” that makes compliance easier for these carriers and drivers).
Line haul terminal-to-terminal operations that operate under normal HOS rules (including §395.8) and have terminal spacing and/or routes established to match the hours-of-service limits
Moderately Impacted. Reason: These carriers may see an impact, depending on their infrastructure age. The impact will depend on when the terminal spacing was done (older terminal patterns are still structured based on 10 hours of driving, so impact would be minimal). These carriers may also be impacted because of non-driving work the carrier is having the driver do after arriving at the terminal.
Regional carriers (carriers with 300 to 500 mile regional operations)
Moderately Impacted. Reason: These carriers tend to have trouble with sitting time (due to having to do a load and unload cycle at least once per day), meaning that their drivers typically have problems with the 14-hour regulation (which is expected to see only minimal changes). These carriers may see a favorable impact from the 16 hours twice weekly provision. Sidebar Note: Many regional drivers have difficulty getting 11 hours of driving consistently, unless they are using “flexible logging practices.” Because of this, these are the carriers that will be the MOST impacted by the EOBR regulations.
Private/dedicated carriers that operate “routes”
Moderately Impacted. Reason: These carriers will see an operational impact in that most routes have been structured to maximize the driver’s potential, while staying in compliance with the hours-of-service regulations. The change will require shortening some routes and retraining of driver to realize what changes in route routine would lead to compliance problems. Also, many of the private fleets have laid out their distribution facilities based on the hours of service. As with the terminal-to-terminal operations, the impact on these operations will depend on when the distribution facilities were established.
Moderately Impacted. Reason: Carriers such as repair companies, service companies, construction companies (other than their “transport” operations), railroads, etc. that limit their drivers’ hours for other reasons will generally be moderately impacted. If these carriers have a problem with the hours-of-service it is typically with the 14 hour rule, not the driving rule (these drivers drive out to worksite in the morning, take a lunch hour, and then drive back in the evening, total of 2 to 3 hours of actual driving). Therefore, any changes to the structure of the 14-hour rule will impact these carriers, but changes to the daily driving limit will not impact these carriers. However, these non-freight carriers may actually see a positive impact due to being able to spend more time at the job sites due to the increase from 14 to 16 allowed twice a week.
P and D (local delivery) and linehaul operations that operate under the 100 or 150 air-mile exception
Least Impacted. Reason: These carriers seldom maximize the driver’s potential hours under the hours-of-service regulations. Many are limited under contract to overtime after 8 or 40, motivating the carrier to limit their hours for economic reasons. Also, for operational ease and ease of compliance these carriers tend to self-limit their driver utilization at 12 or 14 hours (CDL versus non-CDL) per day to keep the drivers operating under the 100 or 150 mile exception as much as possible.
Impact of Hours-of-Service proposal
All carriers, with the exception of the carriers that operate entirely under the 100 and 150 mile exceptions will feel some impact from any change to the hours of service. The impacts include …
- Retraining all drivers.
- Retraining dispatch, compliance, and safety staff.
- Updating compliance software.
- Updating dispatch and optimization software.
- Reviewing operational routing and customer commitments.
- Reviewing of infrastructure (company facilities, fuel stops, etc.) compared to driver limitations that new rules could bring about.
- Reviewing revenue versus cost due to new operational model to determine if rates are still adequate.
An electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) is a device attached to a commercial vehicle that automatically records the number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle. The FMCSA has issued a proposed rule that would require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to install EOBRs to monitor their drivers' hours-of-service compliance.
For more information on the EOBR proposed rule, as well as J. J. Keller's EOBR device and electronic logbooks, visit our EOBR and E-Log Technology page.
Hours of Service in the Courts
Hours of Service regulations have been challenged several times in the court system. On October 13, 2009, the most recent HOS regulations challenge was settled out of court. The settlement required that the existing rules be reviewed and …
- New rules be proposed by December 26, 2010.
- New final rules be published by July 26, 2011.
After several delays, the final rule arrived at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on November 1, 2011 for review. FMSCA released the final rule on December 22, 2011, and published it in the Federal Register on December 27, 2011.