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FMCSA, HOS, ELD, hours of service, BigRoad Mobile App, ELD Compliance, DashLink ELD, Electronic Logbook, Load Matching, long haul, adverse driving conditions

How Do Bad Driving Conditions Reflect On HOS?

‘Tis the season of bad weather and adverse driving conditions that can affect your Hours of Service. Here is what to expect and what to do in your BigRoad app when you encounter such weather.

What is officially considered as ‘driving in adverse conditions’?

Snow, fog, sleet, or a traffic shut-down can all put a damper on your work day and your hours of service. They will generally slow you down during the day, including your pre-trip inspection, your actual drive time, and waiting time at destinations to be loaded or unloaded.

These conditions permit to add extra 2 hours to your drive time on top of what is officially allowed under the adverse conditions rule.

But what is considered ‘adverse’ by the FMCSA?

Bad driving conditions must be situations that you did not know about when you started your run. This can be related to bad weather or the traffic situation. These do not include your regular congested traffic during typical “rush hour” periods.

FMCSA also doesn’t count the ongoing poor weather, as you are aware of it prior to starting the trip.

Another thing is, if you’re using the adverse conditions rule and gain extra 2 hours of drive time, you must not drive after the 14th hour since coming on duty and must have the minimum 30-minute rest break provisions. (Check section 395.1(b) of Part 395.)

When driving in Canada

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A driver who encounters adverse driving conditions in Canada while operating the vehicle during a trip South of latitude 60°N may extend the permitted 13 hours of driving time and reduce the 2 hours of daily off-duty time by the amount of time needed to complete the trip provided:

a) the driving, on-duty and elapsed time in the elected cycle is not extended for more than 2 hours;

b) the driver still takes the required 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time; and

c) the trip could have been completed under normal driving conditions without the reduction.

15 hours of driving time, provided that:

 a) the extension of the driving time is no more than 2 hours;

b) the driver still takes the required 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time; and

c) the trip could have been completed under normal driving conditions without the extension.

A driver who extends their driving, on-duty or elapsed time because of an emergency or adverse driving conditions should record the reason for doing so in the "Remarks" section of the daily log, which is not required in the U.S. but is recommended. (See section 76 (2) and 76 (3) of the Federal Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations - SOR/2005-313.)

When driving in the U.S.

shutterstock_693905746_webThere are 3 scenarios in the U.S. that you should be aware of.  In each scenario, you would have to manually enter an edit in the log in the BigRoad application that reflects the current situation.

You should annotate the specific condition in the remarks section and include the city, town, or village, and State abbreviation when a change of duty status occurs.

I also recommend that you print a copy of the Official Notice by the State proclaiming the emergency and keep that document in your truck to readily provide to a safety official upon request.

You should also always explain these unusual circumstances or log entries that may be unclear when reviewed later by DOT.

Driver Providing Emergency Relief (§390.23)

When conditions warrant, all states have mechanisms that allow government officials to declare a state of emergency, thereby activating authorities and resources that are unavailable in non-emergencies.

Parts 390 through 399 shall not apply to any motor carrier or driver operating a commercial motor vehicle to providing emergency relief, subject to the following time limits:        

  1. Regional emergencies

Effective only when:

a) An emergency has been declared by the President of the United States, the Governor of a State, or their authorized representatives having authority to declare emergencies;

b)The FMCSA Field Administrator has declared that a regional emergency exists which justifies an exemption from parts 390 through 399 of this chapter.

Except as provided in § 390.25, this exemption shall not exceed the duration of the motor carrier's or driver's direct assistance in providing emergency relief, or 30 days from the date of the initial declaration of the emergency or the exemption from the regulations by the FMCSA Field Administrator, whichever is less.

  1. Local emergencies

Effective only when:

a)An emergency has been declared by a Federal, State or local government official having authority to declare an emergency; or

b) The FMCSA Field Administrator has declared that a local emergency exists which justifies an exemption from parts 390 through 399 of this chapter.

This exemption shall not exceed the duration of the motor carrier's or driver's direct assistance in providing emergency relief, or 5 days from the date of the initial declaration of the emergency or the exemption from the regulations by the FMCSA Field Administrator, whichever is less.

  1. Tow trucks responding to emergencies

(i) Effective only when a request has been made by a Federal, State or local police officer for tow trucks to move wrecked or disabled motor vehicles.

(ii) This exemption shall not exceed the length of the motor carrier's or driver's direct assistance in providing emergency relief, or 24 hours from the time of the initial request for assistance by the Federal, State or local police officer, whichever is less.

Upon termination of direct assistance to the regional or local emergency relief effort, the motor carrier or driver is subject to the requirements of parts 390 through 399 of this chapter, with the following exception:

A driver may return empty to the motor carrier's terminal or the driver's normal work reporting location without complying with parts 390 through 399 of this chapter.

However, if you inform your motor carrier that you need immediate rest, you must be permitted minimum of 10 consecutive hours off duty before you return to the terminal or a location.

Having returned to the terminal or a destination, you must be relieved of all duty and responsibilities.

Direct assistance ends when you or a commercial motor vehicle are used in interstate commerce to transport cargo not destined for the emergency relief effort, or when the motor carrier dispatches you or the vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.

When the driver has been relieved of all duty and responsibilities upon termination of direct assistance to a regional or local emergency relief effort, no motor carrier shall permit or require any driver to drive until the driver has met the requirements of §§ 395.3(a) and (c) and 395.5(a) of this chapter.

Emergency Driving Conditions § 395.1 (b) (2)

This is when you are operating a commercial motor vehicle during a declared emergency, but are not directly providing emergency relief during this time.

In case of any emergency, you may complete your run without being in violation of the provisions of the regulations in this part, like you would if the state of emergency hasn’t been declared by the authorities.

  

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