For companies that own a fleet of vehicles that perform business or organizational-related activities, drivers will need to follow certain laws and regulations. Keep in mind that the distance these trucks travel and their weight influence the specific policies to enforce. The last time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updated the House-of-Service rules was in 2014. Since then, there has been one rule suspended, but five still remain in effect.
- 11-hour driving limit
- 14-hour driving limit
- Rest breaks
- 60/70-hour limit
- Sleeper Berth Provision
Property-carrying drivers can drive up to 11 hours if they have been off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours. If your company transports passengers, a 10-hour driving limit is enforced as long as the driver has been off duty for eight consecutive hours. The 14-hour limit means drivers cannot drive if they have been on duty for more than 14 hours. A 15-hour limit applies to drivers who are transporting passengers.
Two regulations that are often overlooked by fleets in numerous industries are Rest Breaks. This regulation mandates a driver can only drive if it has been eight hours or less since he or she was either last off duty or in a sleeper berth period for at least 30 minutes. Do keep in mind, though, that this Rest Break regulation does not apply to drivers using short-haul exceptions found in 395.1. The Sleeper Birth Provision requires those using sleeper berth to have at least eight consecutive hours in the berth as well as 2 additional consecutive hours off duty or in the berth, for a total of eight hours of rest.
For companies looking for ways to reduce their operational expenses, keeping track of the fleet is exceptionally important. Not only can this help to improve fuel efficiency and boost profit margins, but it can also lower insurance premiums by analyzing and addressing driver rest patterns. The better rest drivers get, the less likely they are to be involved in accidents, and the fewer accidents they have, the lower insurance rates for their employers will be.
Happier drivers, lower insurance costs, improved safety for other drivers, everybody wins.