Safety Focus of the Week: DOT Hours of Service Regulations
This weeks safety focus is the DOT Hours of Service regulations. The purpose of the regulations is keep the work hours for drivers of commercial motor vehicles to reasonable levels to protect the traveling public. ECI supports this objective and is obligated to enforce the regulations. Unfortunately, these regulations can be rather complicated. Therefore, we have instituted requirements like documenting work hours on time cards to assure that we comply with certain requirements, as explained below.
The HOS regulations can be applicable to more than just the CDL drivers since the definition of a commercial motor vehicle includes a vehicle with a GVRW of 10,001 lb or greater when the vehicle is used in interstate commerce. This may put the driver in a situation where the hours of service need to be documented for the previous eight days. For a CDL Driver doing interstate commerce, the requirement would be to fill out a daily mileage log, which is a major effort and must always be done to precise accuracy. A driver of a commercial motor vehicle between 10,001 and 26,000, can do it much simpler by recording the time while one is on duty. This is the reason for ECI’s policy to document start and stop times on the timecard. If you are subjected to a DOT stop where your hours of service are reviewed, you need to notify the office that the DOT inspector requires your timelog and make arrangements to have your applicable timecards electronically transmitted to the inspector. If you know that you are traveling in an HOS situation, you should carry the previous weekly timecard with you and you need to update the current weekly timecard as your shift changes.
We have posted some HOS guides on the ECI Document Library:ECI Document Library