Hours-of-Service FAQ

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 2, 2012
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

We’ve received a number of questions about the new Hours-of-Service regulations. This week’s Fast-Fax is dedicated to answering the most frequently asked.

Has the Rule Been Published in the Federal Register Yet?
Yes, the rule has now been published, meaning that implementation can begin. If you would like to read the rule in full, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has published it on their website. You can view it here:

When is it Being Implemented?
Now that the Final Rule has been published in the Federal Register, there is a set time-table for rolling out the rule to carriers. The effective date in the Final Rule is given as February 27 2012. This has caused some alarm with readers but you shouldn’t worry for now. Only a few minor aspects of the rule will go into effect then, the rest will go into effect in 2013. Here is a timetable of the implementation.

The following Provisions of the rule will become effective on February 27, 2012:

  • On-Duty Time: Under the rule going into effect on February 27, on duty-time does not include any time resting in a parked CMV. In a moving property-carrying CMV, on-duty time does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth. This provision also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
  • Penalties: Starting on February 27, driving (or allowing a driver to drive) 3 or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. This provision also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
  • Oilfield Exemption: “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”

The rest of the rule, as described in Fast-Fax 718, will become effective on July 1, 2013. (This includes the 11 hours of driving time; the mandatory breaks every 8 hours and the limit on 34- hour restart rule.)

I have to take a half-hour break every 8 hours? What if that doesn’t fit my schedule?
You can’t drive for eight hours without going off duty for 30 minutes. However, you can take the break at any time within those 8 hours and reset the clock. For example, your day could be 8 hours on duty, half an hour’s break, then another 3 hours on duty to bring you to a total of 11 hours for the day. Alternatively you could work 6 hours, then take the break, then work another 5, or any combination in between.

What about the times I am loading or unloading or dealing with a client out of my truck?
Unfortunately, these situations don’t count as ‘Off-Duty’ time. When you take the 30-minute break you need to stop working; go into your sleeper berth or go to a truck stop, do anything non-work related.

I Keep Hearing That the Rule Allows 11 Hours Driving Time, I Thought it was 10?
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in 2010, FMCSA put in both 10 and 11-hour days, saying that they would choose which is better when they published the Final Rule. When the rule was published, they decided to stick with the 11 hours.

Is There Going To be a Lawsuit?
There is a lot of talk right now from both sides of the debate — carriers and safety advocates — but, as yet, no action. If there is a lawsuit, we will let you know. Even if there is, it may not stop the rulemaking process. The presiding judge could stop the rule while the deliberations go on, but he or she might choose not to. At this stage of the game, you should plan on the rule going into place — if it doesn’t, it doesn’t but it’s better to be prepared.

If you have further questions, please contact our Technical Writer, Alex Rose at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alex will try to answer all of your questions about this matter.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 719 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Cell Phones Banned for Commercial Drivers

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new federal law went into effect Tuesday banning commercial truck drivers from using their cell phones while on the road.

Texting while driving is already illegal in most states, but this law goes even further to any use of hand-held phones.

Jay Dent is learning a new trade -how to drive a semi-truck at Georgia Driving Academy in Columbus.

"You not only have a steering wheel you have to mess with, you also have a gear shift.  You've got turn signals.  You've got a clutch pedal.  You've got a brake pedal, fuel, mirrors you've got to look in all the time," said Dent.

However, there is one thing he and about four million other commercial drivers in the country will not be doing: using their cell phones.

Tuesday was the first day for the federal law banning truck and bus drivers from using hand-held devices while behind the wheel.

"It pretty much means hands-free.  So, you're going to have to have a Bluetooth or some other mechanism to communicate without actually having to make multiple key entries," said Brad Barber, Georgia Driving Academy's School Director.

Barber says curriculum now includes the new regulations.  He also says the fines drivers could face if they violate the law can add up.  Drivers could be fined up to $2,750 for each offense and could lose their license after multiple offenses.  If a company allows drivers to violate the new law, it could cost up to $11,000 for each penalty.

"I think it's something that's going to strengthen the safety of the truck driver and the industry itself.  Anything you can do to reduce accidents and potentially fatalities are a positive goal," said Barber... Continue reading...

DOT Supervisory Drug and Alcohol Training

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In recent months, we have received numerous inquiries regarding companies using aggressive marketing tactics to sell supervisor training to employers who may be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing requirements. Please note that the FMCSA is not familiar with these companies nor the training they are offering.

49 CFR §382.603 requires supervisors of CDL drivers to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use. The purpose is to qualify supervisors for determining when reasonable suspicion testing is needed.

The FMCSA does not certify trainers or training companies, nor does it pre-approve the curriculum presented. Employers are responsible for meeting the training requirement of 49 CFR §382.603 including ensuring that any training company/entity that they purchase training from provides training in the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. It is up to the employer to select which training to attend, keeping in mind the aforementioned guidelines.

J.J. Keller & Associates Names New CEO – James J. Keller

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James KellerJ.J. Keller and Associates Inc. announced that James J. Keller, the company’s president and chief operating officer, is succeeding his brother, Robert L. Keller, as president and chief executive officer effective Jan. 1, 2012. Robert L. Keller has held the role of CEO since 1988 and will remain as chairman.

Jim brings a lifetime of experience to the role, having joined the firm full time in 1968. Over the years, he has worked in a variety of positions, becoming the company’s president in 2006. During his tenure as COO, Jim was instrumental in the manufacturing/operations of the business as well as growth in the services division. Jim has a background in graphic arts and printing. He graduated from Neenah High School and Madison Technical College and is a certified Master Printer. He is also vice president/treasurer of the J J. Keller Foundation Inc.

“Jim is a passionate and no-nonsense leader,” says Marne Keller-Krikava, vice president-strategy and business planning. “He is an absolute advocate for the customer and the J.J. Keller brand. He spends each and every day reinforcing these ideals as well as the organization’s ‘Associate Principle’ of shared responsibility, shared results. Having an experienced captain like Jim at the helm offers us the ideal opportunity for a seamless transition.”

The company says this announcement is a strategic step in a broader well-orchestrated multi-phase succession plan that positions and prepares the organization for the next generation of leadership and growth.

“Jim’s role as president/CEO in the near-term is a key part of our succession plan,” says Robert Keller. “We have taken a thoughtful and long-term approach to our planning with the intention of keeping the business private and in the family. We believe this allows us to remain true to our core principles of excellent customer care, the associate principle and to continue as a vibrant part of the local community.”

Robert L. Keller will continue as chairman, presiding over the board of directors. In addition to leading the board, he will be involved in preparing the next generation of leaders throughout the execution of the succession plan. He also will remain as president/chairman of the J.J. Keller Foundation. Bob started with the firm as a young boy of 12 and has served in nearly all roles throughout the firm including the top leadership role for over a quarter century. During his tenure he led the firm in growth from about $10 million to $200 million over those years. The company currently employs about 1,100 associates.

J.J. Keller is a third-generation family business, founded by John J. Keller in 1953. Robert and James are both second generation who have worked in nearly every aspect of the company during their long tenure.

Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12 Percent

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Thursday, January 5, 2012
Contact: Dave Smallen
Tel: 202-366-5568

BTS Releases North American Surface Trade Numbers for October: October 2011 Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Rose 12.0 Percent from October 2010

Trade using surface transportation between the United States and its North American neighbors, Canada and Mexico, was 12.0 percent higher in October 2011 than in October 2010, totaling $79.0 billion, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico, the United States’ North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, in October 2011 rose 28.7 percent in two years from October 2009, and 8.7 percent from October 2008.

The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with Canada and Mexico in October increased by 18.2 percent when compared to October 2006, and also increased by 65.9 percent when compared to October 2001, a period of 10 years. Imports in October were up 57.8 percent since October 2001, while exports were up 76.4 percent. See Transborder Press Releases for historic data.

Surface transportation includes freight movements by truck, rail, pipeline, mail, Foreign Trade Zones, and other. In October, 86.1 percent of U.S. trade by value with Canada and Mexico moved via land, 9.6 percent moved by vessel, and 4.3 percent moved by air.

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico surface transportation trade both increased compared to October 2010 with U.S.-Canada reaching $46.4 billion, a 14.1 percent increase, and U.S.-Mexico reaching $32.6 billion, a 9.1 percent increase.

See BTS Transborder Data Release for summary tables, state rankings and additional data. See North American Transborder Freight Data for historic data.

Trucking Companies on a Hiring Campaign for the New Year

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Written by Jessica Duff
Today's THV

Little Rock, Ark. (KTHV) -- Despite weak economic growth and high unemployment, some companies are still experiencing a shortage of employees. In fact, recent studies project the trucking industry will face a shortage of 135-thousand drivers by then end of the first quarter 2012.

Several trucking companies across the U.S. are experiencing a shortage and have been for the past year. And with thousands of our military coming back home, many will be looking for a job. Trucking companies are also targeting a younger generation, moving away from the average age of 45 - 55.

A combination of all these factors has trucking companies directing their campaign in a different direction to combat the shortage.

In the past year, the trucking industry has seen a drastic decline in employees.

"Just about every one of the primary motor carriers out there is looking for truck drivers to fill their truck shortages," says Dennis Hilton, Vice President of Safety for Cal Ark International.

Hilton says the shortage affects more than just the trucking companies...
Continue reading.


CSA 'Raising All Boats,' Says Schneider's Osterberg

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By Wendy Leavitt, director of editorial development, Fleet Owner

On the one-year anniversary of CSA, it would be tough to find anybody who thinks it has been an absolutely perfect fit. There is, however, a growing wave of optimism about its effects on the trucking industry as a whole.

Don Osterberg, senior vice president, safety, security and driver training for Schneider National, is among those who are encouraged by the initial results.

“As I think about this one-year anniversary, I really am encouraged,” he told Fleet Owner in a recent interview. “I was convinced it would be an effective program, a step up from SafeStat, and it has been. Our experience has confirmed what we expected. CSA has improved accountability [for the industry.]


“We have a third party that helps us report CSA violations,” he noted, “and we have seen a significant sloping of the trend line when it comes to inspections with violations, especially when it comes to fatigued driving. CSA is ‘raising all boats.’ Because you are compared to other fleets similar to yours, you have to improve faster than your competitors to actually reduce your own score.

“It remains to be seen if CSA will actually improve highway safety, but my instincts are that it will,” Osterberg added. “We had made the EOBR decision before CSA was rolled out and I am delighted that we did. Even with our very careful auditing of our paper logs, using EOBRs for hours of service is still so much better. In fact, my number one recommendation for fleets that want to improve their fatigued driving BASIC is to go to EOBRs and electronic logging.”

Osterberg is also convinced that CSA will help to develop a valuable new sense of professionalism among truck drivers...
Continue reading.