TruckstopCanada News: HOS Basics
Posted on Tuesday, January 16 @ 19:08:37 CET by admin
By the time you read this, Canadian drivers will be operating under a new set of Hours of Service rules. They're more complex and more restrictive than the old rules, but they hold the promise of more opportunity for rest. The intent of the rule is to promote a more regular sleep/work rotation, while incorporating fixed minimum periods of off-duty time to ensure drivers get at least eight hours of off-duty time each day, plus, two additional hours of clock-stopped break time during a workshift.
Many of you will already have received training from your fleet people by now. Most of you will have at least seen or heard about the new rules, so as a reminder, we offer a run down of the significant changes to Canada's new HOS rules. This is not an exhaustive description of the new rules; just a few of the highlights. See your safety department for more information, or check out the web links we've provided at the end of the story.................>>
The new rules appear at first glance to be relatively simple, but drivers will find them quite contrary to the way they're used to managing and logging time.
Day Shift & Work Shift
Perhaps the biggest change - and potentially the most confusing - is the introduction of a "day" as a time reference. Under the old rules, there really was no defined end to the workshift. You were able to work and sleep in such a fashion that you could chalk up 16 hours of driving in a 24-hour period.
The new rule limits how much work you can do in a "day" (any 24-hour period), and it prescribes the minimum number of off-duty hours you must have each day. You may drive no more than 13 hours, and you must take at least 10 hours off-duty. While there is no limit to the number of hours you may remain "on-duty, not driving," after 14 hours on-duty you may not drive again until you've taken eight consecutive hours off-duty (see chart 1, page 36).
And layered on top of the daily limit is another new feature called the workshift limit - a 16-hour window of opportunity in which you can work and drive. You may be on-duty for up to 14 hours (including up to 13 hours of driving), and you may take two hours off-duty within the 16 hours. This is similar to the U.S. rules, except that stopping for a break in Canada will stop the clock for up to two hours.
You must take at least eight consecutive hours off before driving again if 16 consecutive hours have passed since the time you went on duty. For example, if you start work at 6 a.m., you will not be allowed to drive after 10 p.m. that day, and until you've had eight hours off.
Just Two Cycles
The weekly cycles have changed as well, leaving just two cycles to choose from: 70 hours in seven days, or 120 hours in 14 days. You must declare on the log sheet which cycle you are using, and you can't change cycles until you've taken the appropriate amount of time off to reset the cycle's hours to zero (36 hours off for the 70-in-7 cycle, or 72 hours off for the 120-in-14 cycle).
This is a significant change from the current rules, where a driver could switch from cycle to cycle, and had to be out of hours in all three cycles before being declared "out of hours".
Drivers may reset their ac*****ulated hours to zero by taking 36 consecutive hours off while using the 70-in-7 cycle, or 72 consecutive hours off while using the 120-in-14 cycle. Drivers using the 120-in-14 cycle must also take 24 consecutive hours off-duty prior to reaching the 70th hour in the cycle. And all drivers, regardless of the cycle, must have taken at least 24 consecutive hours off sometime during the preceding 14 days. Drivers may reset their hours to zero at any point during the cycle; you don't have to wait 'til you've ac*****ulated the full slate of hours.
The new Canadian rules have retained the split-sleeper option, but the rules for single and team drivers are slightly different. The mechanics of splitting driving and sleeper time remain the same as they are now, but single drivers need 10 hours in the sleeper split into two intervals - the shorter being no less than two hours - while team drivers must take a minimum of four hours in the sleeper each time for a total of eight. Team drivers will also need two additional hours off during the day.
The new rules also contain a provision where a driver may defer up to two hours of off-duty time to the following day, which would in effect allow the driver to return to duty two hours earlier than normal on that day. The trade off is that on the second day, the driver must add the deferred time to that day's off duty requirements.
So, if a driver chose to defer two hours to the next day, he or she would indicate that on the log sheet, and take eight hours off rather than 10. On the second day, the driver would need 12 hours off rather than 10.
There are also provisions in the new rules for drivers using ferry services (applicable only to trips of five hours or longer), and for drivers who work north of the 60th parallel. They're both a bit too complex to cover in the space we have here, so please see your supervisor for more details. We stress, this article covers just the basics. For more information, see your fleet supervisor or safety and compliance managers.
While there's bound to be some confusion in how to work under the new rules, we know there will be an educational enforcement period lasting somewhere between three and six months. Exactly how that will work remains to be seen.
As this issue of highwaySTAR goes to press, it is known that at least four provinces will not have the rules officially ensconced in their provincial statutes. That will create some difficulty in enforcement, but officials are currently working out a solution.
Good luck; you're gonna need it.
As of January 1, the highwaySTAR website will have an archive of information and
training material as well as links to sources of information on Canada's new HOS
regulations. See www.highwaystar.ca, as well as:
HOS Application Guide – guidance on how to interpret the new rules:
The official HOS rules: www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/mc/menu.htm#hos
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