Hours of service questions and answers

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by LogsRus, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Data_man

    Data_man Light Load Member

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    Have any of you drivers ever asked why companies ask you to run illegal and then demand that you hand in a legal log or get fired? The answer is liability. All companies know that most drivers never think 10 feet beyond the front of their tractor and the companies use this to their advantage. They know that most drivers have low self esteem and that by letting drivers think that they are hero's by running illegal logs and speeding makes the company more money while putting the driver in jeopardy of losing their license or unable to advance to a good paying driving job. If you are ever involved in a fatality accident, I did not say caused a fatality accident, where say someone travels across the center line or medium and hits you head on then everything in your in your truck as in regards to your paper work will be taken as evidence and your driving records for the last few years will be reviewed by lawyers for a lawsuit against you and your company. Do you think your company will take responsiblity for any illegal logs that is in your possession inside of your cab during a lawsuit? Ask your company to put in writing any illegal request that they ask you to perform and see how quickly they call you stupid for asking for a document that will involve them as will as you.
     
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  3. Jeffronic

    Jeffronic Bobtail Member

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    Feb 17, 2008
    Spring Grove, PA
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    Forgive me if this was already covered, but where I work they tell us not to start our on duty time until we log into our trip. In other words, they often tell us our departure time will be 1300, but the load may not actually be ready until 1800. We are paid for the time we have to wait in the drivers room, but they tell us not to log that time.
    In this scenario they could basically require me to put in a 19 hour day, or even a 21 hour day if using the 16 hour rule. They claim that they checked it out, and that it's legal.
    Somehow that doesn't sound right to me. If I'm on duty, then I'm on duty. If not, I would be at home. Right?
    Can anyone shine some light on this gray area?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  4. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

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    If you're hanging out in the driver's lounge - and you have no responsibility for your freight during that time (now you wouldn't, because its not loaded yet...) then it's quite legal to log that as off-duty, not driving.

    Look at it this way... you're 11 and 14-hour clocks are a valuable resource - don't burn them for no reason.
     
  5. sazook

    sazook Road Train Member

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    If you're doing work (non-driving) for compensation, whether it's part of your employment as a truck driver, or another job that you have on the side, that time must be logged as On Duty - Not Driving. It seems to me that since he is clocked in, and being made to sit in a drivers lounge to wait on his load, not free to leave, and being compensated for this time, that would have to be On Duty time.
     
  6. newly crusin

    newly crusin Medium Load Member

    Data_man,

    I agree with you on this point,
    If the company driver that does what you state above, and they are that stupid to run illegal logs just to satisfy some manager to keep their job,
    there is a problem there....

    You are 100% correct,
    if involved in an accident caused by a vehicle hitting the drivers rig,
    not caused by the company driver,
    that driver will have serious problems if ever an audit is completed in the future....

    I agree w/you on this point, the company will not stand behind this type of driver at all....

    Most company's driver never once or even at all think about this type of scenario....

    crusin
     
  7. wildbill123

    wildbill123 Heavy Load Member

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    A small company I'm might be going to work for says that the DOT likes to see an entry about every four hours on line 3. Do the regs require this or can you log it a straight 8, 10, or even 11 hours of driving ?
    I couldn't find anything in the regs regarding an entry every four hours.
    TIA
     
  8. kajidono

    kajidono Road Train Member

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    It's a reg that doesn't exist anymore. You used to have to flag load checks every three hours or 150 miles. I put a break or two in there since I take them. Every other job is required to take breaks and I don't see any reason to run all day long every day.
     
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  9. CondoCruiser

    CondoCruiser The Legend

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    Somewhere you have to log a pretrip inspection and checking in with the shipper.
     
  10. Data_man

    Data_man Light Load Member

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    May 29, 2008
    Southern IN
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    The question here are you able to leave the break room or property because if you are required to be on call during this time, on call being that your bills or load will be ready at any time and you are waiting, then you have to log this as on duty because you are waiting on bills. If you have already been dispatched on this trip and just waiting for the load to be loaded than good proving this in a court of law if the need ever arises. Ask the company to put this in writing that you don't have to log this time on the bottom line and if they refuse or hesitate then it's a good bet that they know it's should be logged on the bottom line. If the company does give you a letter, you will still be responsible to make sure that it is legal, not the company. Read you DOT manual from front to back, especially, the part of on duty waiting for a load or dispatch. If you are getting paid to wait then it would be a good guess that you should be on-duty. If it was my log then I would be on-duty.
     
  11. ironpony

    ironpony Road Train Member

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    Goes back to the definition of "On-duty time," 395.2....

    "...On-duty time shall include:
    (1) All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property, of a motor carrier or shipper or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless the driver has been relieved from duty by the motor carrier..."

    This definition doesn't mention anything about whether the driver is being compensated or not. It does require the motor carrier to specifically "relieve the driver from duty." I'd say that's covered as being "off-duty" when they tell Jeffronic, "not to log that time."

    Being an employee of the company, he's following his employer's instructions concerning logging and HOS. Jeffronic is covered as far as the FMCSA is concerned, and if any question of the legality of the instruction is brought-up the responsibility for it goes back on the carrier.

    As far as the length of the duty-day is concerned, it depends on when you start your 14-hour clock (at least for us OTR types.) I'm not familiar with the 16-hour clock, but I assume it works the same way. As soon as you've clocked-in (assuming a time-clock is involved,) I'd say you've started your duty day, and that should be logged. OTOH, these are the instructions provided by your employer. If you want a job, you'd do well to follow them. Disagree? Either play whistleblower, and deal with whatever fallout that may bring, or find another job.
     
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