Hours of Service and Other Overlooked Areas

A challenge for some carriers that operate both in and out of the 160 km home terminal bubble is when to fill out logs and when they are not needed.

If the driver goes out of the 160 km area more than once per month, then a log should be completed daily (not a requirement, but a good business practice) as the driver has to be able to produce the previous fourteen days of log pages for any Police or Compliance Officer.

An area that always comes up in seminars and which is becoming a challenge for carriers operating within the 160 km range is how they keep the records for the specific driver. The old attitude was that Hours of Service records were not as important as keeping the information for log books. Nothing is further from the truth. The same cycle times and hours have to be maintained to ensure that the drivers are not operating beyond the allowable hours and that they meet the three basic requirements for the Hours of Service record keeping for operating within the 160 km radius.

1. The driver returns to the home terminal every night within sixteen hours of leaving.
2. The driver takes a minimum of eight consecutive hours off duty before returning to work.
3. The carrier maintains all the records for the driver, including the cycle times and off-duty times for the driver.

The carrier also has to keep accurate records for the driver if they ever have to defer hours or the driver has to use the adverse weather provision. This is a challenge for many local governments, especially during snow and ice events when the driver may be required to use the maximum allowable time for being on duty and driving.

It is up to both the driver and the carrier to monitor the allowable hours for being on duty and driving for the company’s drivers. Any violations are the responsibility of the drivers and the carriers. If a driver is over hours, the carrier must take action up to and including some level of discipline. The discipline must be in the Carrier Safety Plans for the drivers.

Drivers must understand the level of responsibility required for maintaining their Hours of Service while operating for the carrier and if the driver operates for more than one carrier, their hours accumulated for the additional carrier must also be included in the overall hours for the cycle. Drivers can use the deferral, but it must be recorded properly which is usually a Record of Service logbook or other document that will allow deferral for day one and day two.

Cycle times must also be monitored closely to ensure that the driver does not drive more than the thirteen hours or be on duty for more than fourteen hours without the required minimum eight consecutive hours off duty. The other two hours must be made up of increments of no less than thirty units at a time. These too must be recorded to ensure compliance for the day and the cycle.
It is up to both the carrier and the drivers to maintain the proper Hours of Service to ensure compliance for the carrier.

For more information about the National Safety Code or to register for a course visit BC Trucking Association

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