ELD Solutions for Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations

Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) across the United States involves more than just steering a wheel – it requires a deep understanding of the intricate road rules, particularly compliance with federal hours of service (HOS) regulations. In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of HOS compliance, exploring who must adhere to these rules, the specifics of HOS regulations for CMV drivers in the US, the necessity of electronic logging devices (ELDs), and the critical distinctions between HOS regulations in the US and Canada.

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What Are the HOS Rules for CMV Drivers in the US?

To ensure safety and compliance, CMV drivers must adhere to a set of HOS rules. These rules are enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and it is essential for truckers to understand and follow them to avoid fines and maintain profitable operations. Here’s an overview of the essentials: 

  • Maximum driving hours. Drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
  • 14-hour window. Drivers are not permitted to drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off-duty. This includes driving and non-driving work-related activities.
  • Rest breaks. Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving.
  • Maximum on-duty hours. Drivers are allowed to be on-duty for a maximum of 14 hours after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
  • Weekly driving limit. Drivers are limited to 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. They can restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off-duty.

Exceptions include adverse driving conditions, special rules for oilfield operations, and emergency declarations, each offering limited flexibility in specific circumstances.

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Who Must Follow HOS Rules?

In the United States, the HOS rules apply to CMV drivers involved in interstate commerce. This includes drivers of trucks, buses, and other large vehicles used for business purposes. Specifically, drivers must follow HOS rules if their vehicle:

  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds.
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation.
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver) and is not used for compensation (such as school buses).
  • Is used to transport hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding.

Who Needs an ELD to Keep HOS Records?

ELDs are essential tools for accurately recording a driver’s driving and duty time, ensuring compliance with HOS regulations. Drivers who keep HOS records, or records of duty status (RODS), are required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) if their vehicle:

  • Is involved in interstate commerce.
  • Is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as defined by federal regulations. This includes vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds, vehicles designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation, vehicles designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers (including the driver) and not used for compensation, and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials in quantities requiring placarding.

However, Some drivers and vehicles are not required to use ELDs and can continue to use paper logs or logging software. Here are a few exemptions:

  • Short-haul exemption. Drivers who operate within a 150 air-mile radius of their work reporting location are allowed to use time cards instead of elogs.
  • Drive-away-tow-away operations. Drivers transporting a vehicle as part of a shipment are exempt if the vehicle driven is part of the shipment.
  • Pre-2000 exemption. Vehicles manufactured before the year 2000 are not required to use ELDs. 
  • Occasional use exemption. Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days within any 30-day period do not need electronic logbooks.
  • Agricultural exemptions. Certain agricultural operations are exempt from the mandate during planting and harvest seasons.

It’s important for drivers and carriers to be aware of these exemptions and ensure they meet the specific criteria outlined by the FMCSA to qualify for exemption from the ELD requirement.

Achieving Compliance with HOS247 Electronic Logbooks 

Keeping pace with evolving regulations is non-negotiable in the world of trucking. Outdated ELD systems could lead to noncompliance issues, potentially causing drivers to be sidelined. At HOS247, we have been at the forefront of providing reliable electronic logging devices and a top-rated logbook app. Our commitment includes regular updates to our HOS247 Android and iOS apps, aligning them with the latest version of the HOS rules. By staying current with these regulations, we empower drivers and fleet managers to operate confidently, without the risk of unexpected compliance challenges. With HOS247, you can trust that your ELD solutions are always up-to-date and compliant with the latest industry standards.

HOS247 ELD app

Multilingual Customer Support 

At HOS247, we understand the importance of clear communication. Our dedicated customer support team speaks multiple languages, including Spanish and Russian. Regardless of your preferred language, we ensure effective assistance and support every day of the week.

Intuitive User-Friendly Software

Our ELD system offers a user-friendly interface for Android and iOS devices. The app design ensures effortless navigation, allowing drivers to manage logs with ease. Fleet managers can access the online portal from any internet browser and access all the necessary information to oversee operations and improve the workflow.

Dependable Hardware Replacement Warranty

We stand by the quality of our hardware. With HOS247, you benefit from a one-year hardware replacement warranty. In the unlikely event of any issues, we will promptly replace the device without an additional cost.

Flexible Plans and No-Contract Policy

Every business is unique, and we recognize the need for flexibility. Whether you prefer a monthly or yearly subscription, you have the freedom to choose. Plus, we uphold a no-contract policy, giving you the flexibility to modify your plan as your business evolves without being tied to long-term commitments.

Trial Period

Take advantage of our two-week trial period. It’s an opportunity to experience the efficiency, accuracy, and user-friendliness of our ELD system. Test it in your real-world operations, and if it doesn’t meet your expectations, you can return it hassle-free, ensuring complete satisfaction and confidence in your choice.

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US and Canada HOS Rules

Trucks and vehicles on the US Canada border

Understanding the disparities between US and Canadian HOS regulations is crucial for cross-border operations. Here’s a comprehensive table outlining the differences between HOS regulations in the US, the Canadian southern provinces and the Canadian northern territories:

Aspect US Regulations Canada South Regulations Canada North Regulations
Driving Time Limit 11 hours within a 14-hour on-duty window 13 hours within a 16-hour on-duty window 15 hours within a 15-hour on-duty window
Rest Breaks 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving No specific mandatory rest break requirements, but must take an 8-hour break No specific mandatory rest break requirements
Off-Duty Hours At least 10 consecutive hours off-duty At least 10 consecutive hours off-duty, with a minimum 8-hour off-duty break At least 8 consecutive hours off-duty
Weekly Limits (7 Days) Up to 60 hours in a 7-day period, or 70 hours in an 8-day period, followed by a 34-hour restart period Up to 70 hours in a 7-day period Up to 80 hours in a 7-day period
Cycle Options Cycle 1: 70 hours in 7 days, followed by a 36-hour reset period. Cycle 2: 120 hours in 14 days, with a required 72-hour reset period. Cycle 1: 70 hours in 7 days, followed by a 36-hour reset period. Cycle 2: 120 hours in 14 days, with a required 72-hour reset period. Cycle 1: 80 hours in 7 days, followed by a 36-hour reset period. Cycle 2: 120 hours in 14 days, with a required 72-hour reset period.
Splitting Off-Duty Time in Sleeper Berth Drivers can split 10 hours into two periods, no less than 2 hours each. Drivers can split 10 hours into two periods, no less than 2 hours each. Drivers can split 8 hours into two periods, no less than 2 hours each.
Personal Conveyance (PC) Limitations No distance limits, but must be used for personal reasons only. Limited to 75 km (46.5 miles) of PC per day. Must note PC on logs with odometer readings. Cannot conduct any work-related tasks during PC. No distance limits, but must be used for personal reasons only. Cannot conduct any work-related tasks during PC.

It’s crucial for drivers and carriers operating in both countries to be aware of these differences and comply with the specific regulations of the region they are operating in. Truckers should also be aware that federal rules and state or provincial rules coexist in the trucking industry. Federal regulations create consistent standards for trucks traveling between states, promoting safety and fair competition.

On the other hand, states and provinces have their own rules for carriers that operate within their borders. This flexibility allows states to adapt regulations to their unique needs, such as different road conditions. States also enforce the federal rules within their territories. For more detailed information, it’s advisable to consult the official websites of the FMCSA in the US and Transport Canada in Canada.

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Schrader Co
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“Great company to deal with. The support team is very responsive and competent. They provided a great deal of education for our company.”
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GMS Global Group
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“Customer service is great. They helped me to set up everything and showed how to edit my logs. Thank you.”

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Manuel Jenez
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