With the upcoming changes to HOS and CMEs, it’s hard to keep all the information straight. The American Trucking Association has put together this helpful tip list to help you prepare for HOS changes that will go into effect on July 1!
1. Start NOW: While the changes officially went into effect on January 27, 2012, the FMCSA said the rules wouldn’t be enforced until July 1 of this year. The ATA recommends drivers start implementing the changes now. “If caught off guard, unaware drivers may be confused about the requirements and potentially incur violations that could generate fines and that will affect carrier CSA scores,” the ATA explains.
2. Use a personal approach: Many people learn better on a one-on-one or face-to-face classroom environment. Seek out HOS training sessions or classes. If possible, attend a training session and ask questions.
3. Use real-world examples: The FMCSA features log book examples of what the changes might look like. If these examples aren’t helpful to you, develop log book examples based on your typical and/or exceptional driving week.
4. Pre-Plan And Re-evaluate Your Route: This is something you probably already do, but you may have to make some changes to your typical route to account for the decreased driving time. “Whether you are using route optimization software or planning a route manually, it is imperative to update your protocol to reflect any HOS changes. With truck parking scarce, it may be challenging to find somewhere a driver can rest and it may have to come sooner, or later, than expected,” the ATA states.
5. Educate yourself and your customers: Do your homework. If you have questions about the changes, there are resources that address the most frequently asked questions. “Driver managers will need to alter their procedures and the sales staff will need to work hard to adjust shipper and broker expectations. Flexibility will need to be built into business relationships to ensure continued efficiency and productivity,” the ATA states.
HOS Training Resources:
ATA’s Summary of HOS Changes
ATA’s HOS Comparison Chart
FMCSA’s Summary of HOS Changes
FMCSA’s Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service, Updated February 2013
FMCSA’s Logbook Examples