Calculate When Will I Be 70 1 2 Years Old FMCSA Hours of Service Compared to Other Countries

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FMCSA Hours of Service Compared to Other Countries

Over the past three and a half years, the U.S. trucking industry has experienced the costliest regulatory action in decades, imposing annual costs of $46 billion. The current discussion of requiring EOBR on all trucks would add another $2 billion to the figure.

There are about 500,000 trucking companies in the United States, up from 1.2 million in 2003. Of those 500,000, about 80% operate 20 trucks or fewer.

These small businesses, the backbone of an industrialized nation, as well as independent operators and owners are literally in a fight for survival against excessive regulation. Regulations that always seem to be accompanied by the term “security”.

The most vital regulation for the professional truck driver is the Hours of Service (HOS) rule. These rules determine how long a driver can drive and work, which has the biggest impact on their earning potential.

The most recent change in the HOS rule which will come into compliance on July 1, 2013 will limit a driver’s work week to 70 hours, will not allow the driver to use COGS after working eight hours until a break of at least 30 minutes has been taken and drivers who are maximizing their 70 hour work week will be required to take at least two rest periods between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. home terminal time. This will eliminate the current use of the 34 hour restart provision where the driver will only be allowed to use the provision once during a seven day period.

This addition of more downtime for drivers, along with the pressure to get as many miles and paid work as possible within 14 hours will ultimately lead to less safety. The 2pm rule, in my opinion, is the worst and most dangerous regulation to ever hit a professional trucker. Many motor carriers continue to push their drivers to the maximum of 14 hours with the maximum possible workload. Bottom line… the upcoming new HOS rules, while ignoring the fact that companies are pushing their drivers, are a recipe for disaster.

Most countries have hours of service rules imposed on truckers, especially industrialized countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and countries in the European Union. So how does the FMCSA Hours of Service rule for truckers compare to the HOS rule in other countries?

Australia

  • Drivers must rest for 30 minutes every 5 hours and stop for 10 hours of sleep for every 14 hours of work (including driving and non-driving duties).
  • After 72 hours of work (excluding rest or sleep time), a driver must leave the VMC for 24 hours.

Canada

There are two sets of hours of service rules, one for north above the 60th parallel and one for below.

  • Below 60 degrees latitude, drivers are limited to 14 hours of service per 24 hour period.
  • 14 hours includes a maximum of 13 hours of driving. Rest periods are 8 consecutive hours in a 24 hour period, plus an additional 2 hour rest period which must not be taken within 30 minutes.
  • The drivers work according to a concept of “cycles”.
  • Cycle 1 is 70 hours over a 7 day period and cycle 2 is 120 hours over a 14 day period.
  • A driver using cycle 1 must take off 36 hours at the end of the cycle before being allowed to start the cycle again.
  • Cycle 2 is 72 hours of rest before being allowed to start again.

Above the 60th parallel north

  • Because this region is so remote, north of the 60th parallel, Canadian rules on hours of service are virtually non-existent.

European Union

  • Non-stop driving time cannot exceed 4.5 hours.
  • After 4.5 hours of driving, the driver must take a break of at least 45 minutes.
  • The time can be divided into 2 breaks, the first of at least 15 minutes and the second of at least 30 minutes.
  • The daily driving time must not exceed 9 hours.
  • The daily driving time can be extended up to a maximum of 10 hours, but not more than twice a week.
  • The weekly driving time cannot exceed 56 hours.
  • The driver cannot exceed 90 hours of driving in a two-week period.
  • In each 24-hour period following the end of the daily rest or the previous weekly rest, the driver must take a new daily rest.

Mexico

Where the US rules are set by the government agency FMCSA, the rules for truck drivers in Mexico are set by constitutional mandate, which means they fall under the country’s labor laws.

  • A maximum work week of 48 hours without overtime. (Average work week of 40 to 45 hours).
  • Right to one day of rest with full pay for 6 days of work.
  • 3 shifts – Day shift (8 hours), Night shift (7 hours) and Mixed shift (7 1/2 hours).
  • The hours worked during these periods are considered overtime and the remuneration is doubled, but cannot exceed 9 hours per week.

United States

  • 11 hour driving limit
  • Can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest.
  • 2-hour limit
  • Cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after entering service, after 10 consecutive hours of rest. Hours of rest do not extend the 14 hour period.
  • 60/70 hour service limit
  • Cannot drive after 60/70 hours of service for 7/8 consecutive days. A driver can restart a period of 7/8 consecutive days after having taken 34 consecutive hours or more of rest.
  • Provision of berths
  • Drivers using the sleeper must spend at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper, plus 2 separate consecutive hours either in the sleeper, off duty, or a combination of the two.

Changes to the HOS rule, July 1, 2013:

  • 34 Hour Restarts – Must include two periods between 1am and 5am Home Terminal Time and can only be used once per week.
  • Rest Breaks – May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last rest period of at least 30 minutes.
  • Duty Time – Does not include rest time in a parked vehicle. In a commercial vehicle transporting goods in motion, does not include up to 2 hours in the passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in a sleeping berth.
  • Penalties – Driving (or allowing a driver to drive) 3 hours or more beyond the driving time limit may be considered a flagrant violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties.

As the American trucking industry continues to be bombarded with “safety regulations”, the real solution to the problem is not more regulations, but control of the real problem. As truck driver fatigue is presented as a major cause of truck accidents, together with other variables such as sleep apnea, the factual causes of driver fatigue are ignored.

Delaying drivers at shipper and receiver docks, dispatchers pushing drivers past legal hours of service, lack of safe parking and rest areas, anti-idling laws, and no APU system for the driver, the lack of time at home and having drivers away for months at a time; just a few of the many real causes of driver fatigue and safety factors.

The issue of truck driver fatigue and safety concerns will only be addressed when the FMCSA takes a close look at the practices of shippers and receivers and truck carriers that continue to push the professional VMC driver beyond human capability.

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