Hours of Service • General Regulation

One of the many regulations set forth by the FMCSA is the hours of service regulation (HOS).  The HOS regulations are for Interstate commerce, driven by commercial truck and bus drivers.  This regulation governs the working hours of anyone driving a commercial vehicle.  Some of the general rules of the HOS are as follows:

  • Vehicle must weigh 10,001 pounds or more
  • Vehicle is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (not for compensation)
  • Vehicle is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (for compensation)
  • Vehicle is transporting hazardous materials that require placards

Different rules may or may not apply to intrastate vehicles.  Vehicles used for intrastate commerce will follow the HOS rules of their respective state.  In most states the rules are the same or very similar.  You can determine your state’s regulations by contacting your state’s department of transportation. Even if you commute out of state only occasionally you will need to follow the HOS rules to be in compliance.  The HOS rules are for the safety of everyone on the highways so it’s important to stay compliant.

The Hours of Service final ruling first became effective on December 27, 2011, however, on December 16, 2014 the requirements for use of the 34-hour restart  were suspended.  This part of the HOS ruling will stay suspended until the final restart study is given to Congress to look over.  For more insight on this ruling please visit fmcsa.gov.

Drivers of commercial vehicles  are required to keep a log of how many hours worked and how many hours rested.  There are limits for daily hours as well as weekly hours.  Even though the main purpose of this rule is to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, it can often cause a loss of money to the transportation company.  Hopefully Congress and the FMCSA can come to a final agreement that will benefit the companies while maintaining the safety of drivers and the public on the highways.

Hours of Service

Image: Hours of Service FMCSA study, by FMCSA

Safety should always be our first concern so it is very important for all commercial vehicles to obey the laws set forth by the FMCSA.  For more information you can visit the FMCSA website.


Leave a reply