Dupré Logistics


Watch Your Clock: New Hours of Service Regulations

Monday, July 22, 2013

Last week we highlighted important changes made by the USDOT to the Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations. While many shippers are not fully aware of the impact of these changes, a failure to properly prepare, plan and manage for them will result in higher costs and breakdowns in your supply chain.

In an industry that is already under stress resulting from growing volume demands, decreased capacity of drivers and aging infrastructure and equipment the net result of the HOS will be to further reduce capacity and increase potential fault lines.

The two major changes focus on when truckers can “restart their clocks,” and when and how they must take rest breaks. While adding the requirement of a 30-minute mandatory break in a 14-hour driver day may sound small, keep in mind:

  • This has the impact of further reducing capacity in an already stretched system by almost 5%.
  • The rest break requirements begin when a driver goes “on duty,” not when he begins driving. This means that if a driver comes on duty and waits for the their truck to be loaded for the first two hours, then heads out and drives for five hours, hits traffic and to make up for it pushes through for 2 more hours –they are out of compliance and you are at risk for penalties.

The restart provision has even more potential to negatively impact on schedules and costs. While the 34-hour restart rule is not new, per se; the requirement of two windows between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 am is. The net result of this is that small mistakes can lead to losing a full driver day.

While these issues are significant in their own right, the real risk comes with how the new regulations impact each other. Here’s an example:

Let’s say a driver is running through the day into the night, and he stops at 10:00 PM because he’s out of time for the day as a result of the 14-hour day; and he want to begin 34-hour restart.In this example there is no negative impact from the regulations.

Now, let’s say the driver doesn’t stop until 1:30 AM before his time finishes up. His first night does not count towards his 34-hour restart.This results in 52-hour restart.

For companies that ship around the clock and are not managing their time carefully or working closely with their motor carriers, they are apt to suffer anticipated delays in their supply chain, greater disruption and higher cost (plus some really upset customers).

What impact would a call have telling you that the truck won’t be there to pick up your load today because the driver came in ½ hour later than expected two days ago?!

Join us next week as we share some best practices for managing the new HOS regulations.

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