With new rules constantly being added and old rules changing, hours of service (HOS) compliance can get pretty complicated! Am I right? It’s hard to know what applies to you and your fleet – which could put you at risk of getting some pretty serious violations.
On Thursday, July 28 we held our Top Misconceptions of Hours of Service (HOS) webinar to help clear up common misconceptions and answer questions HOS. Here’s a recording of the webinar followed by answers to all of the questions we were asked live and that were emailed into us.
Questions and Answers
Q. We have 2 trucks currently that run only in the state of Florida. One truck is registered at a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 10,000lbs (gas vehicle) and the other is a diesel unit at 16,500 lbs. Are we required to keep log books and cross all scales? If we are required to keep logbooks, what would our hours of service be?
A. First of all, I’d double check your gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) to make sure you’re at 10,000lbs. GVWR is the maximum operation weight of the vehicle as specified by the manufacturer. This includes the truck, fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers, and cargo. 10,000lbs is the change point for the regulations. If you’re 10,000lbs and under, you don’t need to follow the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) regulations. If you’re 10,001lbs and up, you need to follow the CMV regulations. There a big difference between what’s involved over that 1lb. A detailed breakdown can be found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website here.
Florida has a set of intrastate HOS rules (under Florida Statute 316.302) that drivers need to follow when driving within the state. You can view that information here.
Q. Do occasional drivers (those drivers who drive less than 8 days in a 30 day period) need to do the full driver log?
A. Assuming that these are over the road (OTR) drivers on the 8 days (they are going outside of the short-haul zone). In this case, yes – they do need to keep complete driver logs for when they are outside of the zone.
When it comes to the ELD mandate, you’d qualify for an exemption – you would not need to run an electronic logging device but you would need to continue keeping the required logs (electronic or paper).
Q. Does the Federal Government require drivers that engage in interstate commerce be 21 years of age or older? Does this driver need a CDL?
A. We looked this one up with the FMCSA: a person must be at least 21 years of age to drive a CMV in interstate commerce regardless of the CDL. Specific requirements for CDLs can be found here.
Q. I’m moving to a smaller company and will have to keep manual logs. I’ve never done manual logs. What do I need to know?
A. For the most part, you should be fine! I’m assuming you’ve kept an electronic logbook in the past – you would do the same thing but just on paper. The same rules apply regardless of the form of log you produce. The biggest challenge will be actually drawing out your line and ensuring you’re noting your location at the time.
However, if you’re more comfortable with electronic logs, I’d suggest you talk to the company about it. You can continue using the BigRoad Mobile App for free and email or print your logs. You could see if they’d be interested in getting the entire fleet onboard. Get them to start a free trial of the BigRoad Web App (visit app.bigroad.com) to see what it’s all about!
Q. Our drivers stay within the 100 mile radius most of the time daily. Would we need to run ELDs? We do occasionally deliver outside of the radius. Would paper logs be sufficient for those runs and for how long? I believe it’s up to 8 times during a month.
A. If your drivers stay within the 100 air-mile radius, they do not need to run an ELD as they qualify for an exemption. However, if your drivers go outside of the 100 air-mile radius more than 8 times in any 30 day consecutive period, you’ll need to run an ELD. For example – if you run outside of the radius 6 times at the end of May and 6 times at the beginning of June, you need an ELD as you’ve done 12 runs within 30 consecutive days. Remember: it’s not monthly, it’s consecutive days (rolling days).
Q. Do you think the ELD mandate will be overturned?
A. We get this question a lot – unfortunately, we don’t have any ‘insider’ information about the status of the ELD mandate and OOIDA lawsuit. As a company, we’re taking the stance the the ELD mandate is going to stick and we’re here to help drivers and fleets get on the path to compliance now.
Regardless of whether or not the mandate goes through, many fleets are opting to use electronic logging devices for the many benefits that they have to offer. If you’re interested in learning more about BigRoad’s DashLink ELD, click here. With the mandate deadline less than 18 months away, we’re recommending you seriously consider making the switch to ELDs. This will give you the time you need to find a solution that fits your needs and give you time to properly train drivers on use.
Overdrive published a great article last month where attorney Brandon Wiseman was quoted saying that he feels the ELD mandate is going to stick.
Q. I am under 26,000lbs – will I be exempt from the ELD mandate?
A. Based on your weight, you’re over the 10,001lbs limit for the FMCSA Hours of Service rules so you’re currently required to keep paper logs/electronic logs. Based on this, you’re going to be required to run an electronic logging device (ELD). As a rule of thumb – if you’re currently required to keep logs (paper/electronic) you’re going to have to run an ELD…unless you qualify for an exemption.
Q. I am leased to a company. How long do they need to keep my logbooks and how long do I need to keep them?
A. As outlined by the FMCSA under part: 395 Hours of Service, drivers must carry a copy of the previous 7 days’ worth of logs with them for inspection purposes. Drivers must submit their log to the carrier within 13 days of completion.
The carrier must retain the logs and supporting documents for 6 months from the date they receive them (about 6.5 months from document date). There is no difference in the length of time they need to be kept based on their format.
Q. We have some drivers who have been using the BigRoad App on their smartphones. As a motor carrier, we still require paper logs. Does you system qualify as an AOBRD? If so, can individual drivers get the 2 year extension or is it fleet by fleet?
A. The ELD mandate deadline date is looked at on an individual (driver) basis – not by fleet. BigRoad Mobile App itself is not an AOBRD – it is an electronic logbook only as it does not connect directly to the engine and relies on the driver to manually enter information.
BigRoad’s DashLink is considered an AOBRD/ELD. DashLink connects to the engine of the truck and automatically tracks information. If using DashLink, drivers will qualify for the ELD mandate grace period. DashLink is fully field upgradable – when you’re ready to transition to full ELD, we can upgrade you while your units are in the field. With BigRoad, you can go with an AOBRD or ELD – it’s up to you!
Q. Does non-driving time (waiting for paperwork, loading/unloading, etc.) count against available drive time?
A. It would not count against the driving time – but it would count against your 14-hour on-duty window (depending on the situation).
For example, if you’re taking your 30-minute break, you’re really supposed to be removed from your working situation and actually take a break. If you’re at a dock where they are loading/unloading and you’re supervising the activities, you really shouldn’t count that as off-duty time as you’re technically still working (on-duty, not-driving). If you went into the sleeper, you could count that as off-duty time. But remember – the 14-hour window is still counting down.
Q. What happens if you’re running an ELD and you lose cell coverage, does the ELD stop working?
A. With BigRoad’s DashLink ELD – you do not lose data and it does not stop working. The ELD will continue tracking information from the engine and transmit it to the phone. If you lose cell coverage, you’re phone will stop updating the information to the BigRoad Web App while you’re out of cellular reach. Once you regain your connection, all of that information will be sent to the BigRoad Web App and populate right away.
Q. Is the ELD mandate going to effect pickup/trailer combinations the same as tractor-trailer drivers? We do have a DOT number.
A. Since you have a DOT number, I’m assuming you meet the GVW requirements to follow FMCSA hours of service regulations. In that case, you’re likely keeping paper logs today so you’d need to run an ELD unless you qualify for an exemption. For pick-up trucks, there is some concern about the ability to run an ELD due to the connection ports. We do have the OBD-II connector which is used in most pick-ups and civilian vehicles – so no worries there, BigRoad’s got your back! No special modifications needed.
Q. When is the ELD mandate coming into effect? Is a hard copy of the rules available to view somewhere?
A. There are a couple of important dates when it comes to ELD compliance. You have until December 2017 to implement an ELD to record your hours of service. If you’re currently using an AOBRD, you have an additional 2 years (until December 2019) to make the switch to ELDs.
A copy of the ELD mandate final rule can be found here. Get ready – it’s over 500 pages long!
Q. Are cattle-haulers exempt from the ELD mandate?
A. At this point there has been no mention of an ELD mandate specific exemption for livestock haulers. Any exemptions would likely be made directly to the FMCSA HOS rules. The livestock exemption extension that was pushed through last year will continue to be in effect until June 12, 2017.
Q. I have a mechanic that drives a 12,000lb+ vehicle. He does not have a CDL. He does drive out-of-state. Is he required to keep a log?
A. You’re over 10,001lbs so you do fall under the FMCSA requirements to keep logs.
Q. Has BigRoad been approved by the FMCSA?
A. The BigRoad Mobile App is compliant with the FMCSA requirements for an electronic logbook application. Our DashLink AOBRD is fully compliant with FMCSA AOBRD requirements. BigRoad is in the process of doing our due diligence to ensure that the DashLink ELD is 100% compliant with all requirements before we certify on the website (which will be in the near future).
Q. I’m renting a commercial vehicle and staying within 100 air-miles. Do I need to keep logs?
A. If you’re staying within the 100 air-mile radius, you qualify for the short-haul exemption and do not need to keep logs. However, the carrier needs to track when you start and end your shift.
Q. Do you have to have a printed copy of your last 7-days to show?
A. If you’re using an electronic logbook (not connected to the engine of the truck) like the BigRoad Mobile App, officers do have the right to ask you for a printed copy of these logs. We recommend that you always have a printer with you just incase. However, the majoirty of officers are comfortable looking at logs on the device itself.
If you’re using an AOBRD or ELD, you do not need to provide printed copies of your logs as the information is pulled directly from the engine. The officer has to view logs on the device (cell phone or tablet).
Q. We’re a small moving company with 8 trucks which get assigned to different drivers every day. Are we exempt from the ELD mandate?
A. You might qualify for an ELD exemption, like if you stay within the 100 air-mile radius or your drivers drive less than 8 days in the 30-day consecutive period. It doesn’t matter that drivers switch vehicles, they still need to keep logs in required.
Q. Is there a safe haven for drivers if they run out of drive time and still haven’t reached an area to stop for their 10-hour break?
A. Unfortunately, not really! It’s the responsibility of the driver and dispatch to ensure that the day is planned well and breaks are accounted for. If pulled over you could let the officer know what your situation is and see what they say – they might be ok and let you pull-off, or you might get a ticket!
Q. Does DashLink work with a tablet since it doesn’t have cell service?
A. Yes – it would! Couple of options here. You could use your cellular phone to create a mobile hotspot (WIFI router) and connect your tablet to that so data is sent in real-time. If you have zero cell service, you can continue the BigRoad Mobile App & DashLink, but you won’t have real-time reporting back to the BigRoad Web App which could cause some issues. Once you connect, the information would be updated but it would be later.
Q. What happens if you drove 6-hours to deliver, sat at the dock doors for 8-hours, and then couldn’t stay there?
A. It’s not a good situation that’s for sure. If it’s possible for you spend the full 8-hours in the sleeper, you could take advantage of the split sleeper rule to extend your drive availability.
Q. How are ELDs going to impact rental trucks?
A. There isn’t a specific exemption for rental trucks. If you need to keep logs under FMCSA HOS requirements in the rental truck – you’ll need to run an ELD. Rental companies may begin renting out ELDs or you could bring your own plug-and-play solution (like BigRoad’s DashLink) with you when driving a rental.
Get on the Path to Compliance
As you can see from the questions and answers above, BigRoad has solutions to meet the needs of small and large fleets. Connect with us today and get on the path to compliance. Get started with a personalized demo to see our solutions in action!