Hours of Service Rules and GPS Fleet Tracking

4 May 2015

The FMCSA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, rules for Hours of Service, usually referred to as HOS, are making a major impact on the trucking industry. The rules are aimed at reducing driver fatigue and the accidents it causes.

What the Rules Require

The HOS rules limit drivers to a 70-hour work week in an effort to make sure they get sufficient rest to drive safely. Studies done by the FMCSA predicted the new rules will save 19 lives and prevent 640 injuries due to 1,400 crashes each year.

Drivers can’t resume their work week after the 70 hours are up unless they take off for 34 consecutive hours. In addition, each driver must take a break at least 30 minutes long within the first eight hours of his work day and not work

The penalties for trucking companies who don’t comply are stiff:

Trucking companies can be fined $11,000 per offense

Drivers can be fined $2,750 for each offense

Red Tape and the 34 Hour Rule

The compliance issues are complex. For example, drivers can restart their work week if they get 34 consecutive hours of downtime. This must encompass at least two nights off that include the 1to 5 a.m. period.

As it now stands, the restart can be done just once a week, after 168 hours have passed since the time of the last restart.

Monitoring these stringent rules and documenting compliance is complex, taking time and effort.

Your Bottom Line

The American Trucking Associations, or ATA, has found that just filing the required red tape is costing the industry $189 million a year due to lost productivity.

In addition, 50% of the companies surveyed said they now need more drivers to haul the same amount of cargo as before the rules came into effect. More than that, two-thirds of the companies reported that fatigue levels have actually increased.

Staying Compliant

Telematics, which is the mix of computers and wireless technology to convey information, is revolutionizing the fleet industry. One of its prime focuses is addressing the Hours of Service compliance rules.

GPS fleet tracking software makes it possible to supply the data necessary to prove compliance. Here are four specific ways that the technology is helping companies monitor and improve their compliance, safety and accountability scores.

  1. Electronic driver logbooks certified by the FMCSA
  2. HOS manager portals to oversee that drivers are staying within the regulations
  3. Electronic driver vehicle inspection reports
  4. Easier driver and manager communication

The devices are easy for the driver to use, saving time over manual entry in logbooks. The screens are made for easy data entry and quick transmission to company headquarters.

LiveViewGPS has implemented an affordable solution to the Hours of Service (HOS), Electronic On Board Recording Device (EOBR) mandate.  Visit www.HOSLog.com for more info.

Learn more about the LiveViewGPS HOS Solution call us at 1.888.502.3636 to see how we are helping trucking companies adhere to the new Hours of Service rules. Email us at info@liveviewgps.com for general inquiries or contact our sales team at sales@liveviewgps.com

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