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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Riding ‘shotgun’ can be a blast, but log it properly!

Article thanks to Links provded:
Drivers are not always ‘off duty’ when sleeping
Posted August 24, 2015
When a driver moves to a passenger seat to get some rest, he or she may naturally assume that the time can be logged as “off duty.” That is not always the case, however, and logging the time improperly can lead to violations of federal hours-of-service rules and an out-of-service order for the driver.
Do your drivers know how to log time spent on a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) when they’re not driving? Training drivers on this issue can be critical for staying in compliance. The following is an overview of the federal rules that apply, but keep in mind that state requirements may vary.
Stationary vehicles
When a driver is resting in a vehicle (of any type) that is NOT moving, the time can be logged “off duty.” This can be especially useful for a straight-truck, day-cab, or motorcoach driver who does not have access to a sleeper berth but is able to rest or sleep in a passenger seat.
The key to logging this time as “off duty” is that the driver must be resting, with no responsibilities or obligations to the company. For example, even if a driver is “just sitting” in a vehicle but is waiting in line for his/her turn at the dock, is attending to the load, or is required to stay alert and watch for something to happen, then the driver is “on duty.”
There is no limit to the amount of time a driver can log “off duty” while resting in a parked vehicle. For example, a driver could spend 8 to 10 consecutive hours or more resting in the vehicle and this would satisfy the requirement for 8 to 10 consecutive hours of rest.
Finally, any time spent resting in a sleeper berth must be logged as “sleeper berth” time; it cannot be logged “off duty” even though the two are often interchangeable for compliance purposes.
Moving vehicles
In a moving vehicle, the options to go “off duty” are more limited. Except as noted below, all time spent riding in or on a moving vehicle (CMV or non-CMV) at the direction of a motor carrier must be logged “on duty,” even if the driver is able to rest.
Travel-time exception: A driver who is traveling for work but who is not driving or assuming any other responsibilities to the company can log the travel time as “off duty,” but only if he or she gets 8 to 10 hours off duty upon arriving at the destination (8 hours for bus drivers, 10 hours for truck drivers). For example, if a driver rides in a car for 6 hours and then gets into a heavy truck and starts driving, the 6 hours spent traveling must be logged “on duty.” However, if he/she rides in the car, arrives at the destination and then rests for 10 hours before driving the truck, all 16 hours can be logged “off duty.” See Sec. 395.1(j).
Sleeper-berth exception: As noted above, all time spent in a compliant sleeper berth must be logged as “sleeper berth” time. If a driver is able to spend at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth of a property-carrying CMV, then he or she can log “off duty” for up to an additional 2 hours spent riding in a passenger seat on the moving vehicle immediately before or after those 8 hours in the sleeper berth. This basically is meant to give these drivers another option to obtain their 10 hours of rest. Instead of spending 10 consecutive hours in the sleeper, they can spend just 8 hours in the sleeper and then the remaining 2 hours can be spent riding in a passenger seat. Up to 2 hours can be logged “off duty” this way, but any time beyond 2 hours in the passenger seat must be logged “on duty” if the vehicle is moving. If the driver doesn’t get 8 hours in a sleeper, then all time in the passenger seat is “on duty” while the vehicle is moving (unless the travel-time exception applies).
Personal conveyance: Finally, note that those who are driving an unladen CMV for personal conveyance — such as to commute to and from work or to get to a local grocery store, restaurant, or hotel — can generally log that time as “off duty.” See Question 26 in the DOT’s guidance for Sec. 395.8.
Keep in mind that drivers must be free of all obligations and responsibilities when logging “off duty.” If a driver has to perform any type of work for a motor carrier, or paid work for a non-motor carrier, then he or she is “on duty.” Refer to the definition of “on-duty time” in Sec. 395.2 for details.

HOS Handbook: The Complete Guide for CMV Drivers
J. J. Keller's HOS Handbook: The Complete Guide for CMV Drivers provides the who, what, when, where, why and how-to of Hours of Service for drivers.

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