Hours of Service violations, also known as HOS violations, is a common theme in the trucking industry. CMV drivers and fleet managers are often struggling with HOS violations, because penalties and fines for violating Hours of Service rules can quickly add up.
Additionally, Hours of Service compliance is a major factor in maintaining a good CSA score, which is crucial for every fleet. By fixing unnecessary HOS violations, fleets can maintain a good safety score, which results in fewer penalties and more business opportunities.
In this blog post, we highlight 6 common HOS violations and how to fix them.
Form & Manner violations are one of the easiest violations to avoid. However, over 70% HOS violations are usually related to Form & Manner violations.
Why are these violations so common?
They are common because Form & Manner violations are usually the easiest to spot by a roadside inspector. They are a set of clerical tasks that should be completed a driver’s log. Additionally, drivers must also include the following information recorded in their logs:
Understandably, this is a lot of information that drivers need to take care of on a consistent basis. Failing to do so will result in a Form & Manner violation. Maintaining paperwork manually is difficult and error-prone. Moreover, poor handwriting can also lead to longer inspections and even HOS violations.
There are two ways to easily avoid Form & Manner violations:
Although Form & Manner violations carry 1 point, these numbers can easily add up. Therefore, it is best to avoid these violations, which are, honestly, very easily avoidable.
The duty status graph on a log should always be up-to-date and current to the last change of duty status. Failing to do so results in a ‘not current’ violation.
After Form & Manner violations, the ‘not current’ violation is usually the second biggest HOS violation found in a roadside inspection. The reason is that drivers often forget to update their duty statuses. Also, some drivers prefer doing it at the end of the day, which is not the ideal way.
A ‘not current’ violation carries a 5-point violation, which is 5x higher than the regular Form & Manner violation we discussed earlier. It is the second most common HOS violation found in roadside inspections, so you can image how much damage can it do to your fleets.
The ‘log not current’ violation can be easily avoided by making sure that your drivers actively update any change in the duty status. The logs must be current all the time.
If it seems impossible, you should resort to electronic logging apps. E-logs eliminate the manual paperwork required for keeping duty status current. With one tap, drivers can update their duty status — when they start their shift and when they finish their shift at the end of the day.
Additionally, electronic logging devices or ELDs are connected to the vehicle of the engine and, therefore, are capable of automatically updating duty status. Automating this process with ELDs completely eliminates the possibility of falling behind.
After ‘Form & Manner’ and ‘Logs Not Current’ violation, driving beyond the 14-hour limit is the most common violation found in roadside inspections.
Generally, most CMV drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours a day. These 11 hours must be completed within a 14-hour window. It is not uncommon for drivers to lose track of their time and drive beyond the 14-hour period.
Keeping track of remaining time, while on the road, is difficult for drivers. They already have a tough job that requires a lot of concentration and focus. Asking them to also keep track of the 14-hour window is a bit too much to ask. But it is what it is, and federal regulations require drivers to stay on top of it every single day.
One solution to fix the 14-hour rule violation is to set an alarm. Drivers can set up an alarm that rings 14 hours after they have started their shift.
Otherwise, if you are using an electronic logging app, you really don’t have to worry about the 14-hour violations anymore. E-logs app, based on your duty status, automatically track 14-hour driving shifts and alert drivers in case of upcoming violations.
It is important to note that 14-hour violations carry 7 points, which can seriously affect a fleet’s CSA score.
After the 14-hour rule violation, the 11-hour rule violation is the most common HOS violations recorded in roadside inspections. It signifies the fact that keeping track of remaining hours is by far the biggest concern for drivers.
Most CMV drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours per shift. However, drivers often forget that their 11-hour shift is up, and they continue driving which results in a violation.
The 11-hour violation also carries 7 points. If a driver forgets the 11-hour window as well the 14-hour window, the violation points really start adding up.
The solutions are exactly the same as they are for avoiding the 14-hour violation. We suggest going for an electronic logging app or ELD that automatically tracks the total number of hours and alerts drivers with audible notifications to keep things simple and easy.
After the above-mentioned violations, false record violations is the biggest HOS violation found during roadside inspections. Falsifying HOS records is actually more common than you think.
More often than not it happens because some drivers do a week’s worth of logs in a single sitting. They are bound to alter some records because they can’t be certain if they drove within correct time limits.
It is a serious violation that require a lot of focus. Falsified logs carry 7 points. Additionally, over 70% of the time, a false report of driver’s duty status will result in an out-of-service violation.
The only way to stop false record violations is to stop falsifying records. By making sure that drivers are recording latest changes to their driver status as they go, the chances of false record violations can be significantly minimized.
In the end, failing to provide a record of duty status for the last 7 days is another HOS violation that is commonly found during roadside inspections.
The violation carries 5 points, but more often than not results in an out-of-service violation.
Drivers have to carry all the extra paperwork to make sure they are not missing anything. Keeping all the paperwork organized in a neat folder will also help during roadside inspections.
Before drivers start their shifts, it’s a good practice to check their previous 7 days logs to ensure everything is in the right place.
If you are afraid of losing all the extra paperwork, use an electronic logging app. You won’t have to manually take care of paper logs. The e-log app can do it for you. Almost all e-log apps automatically store the previous seven days of logs, which can be instantly presented during roadside inspections.