In this module, you’ll learn what you need to do when hiring, training, and monitoring drivers.
Hours of Service governs the maximum driving times and minimum off-duty times of commercial bus and truck drivers. Records of the daily driving and other work activities must be recorded in a prescribed format. These records must be maintained and made available to a Peace Officer or Inspector upon request.
Every day in Alberta during 2014, approximately:
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators estimates that up to 20% of all fatal collisions involve driver fatigue.
The rules go beyond just preventing drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. Not enough rest impacts driver's cognitive skills, motor skills and response time. Fatigue causes collisions every day in Alberta.
It’s the law. The Hours of Service (HOS) Rules are prescribed in Alberta’s Driver’s Hours of Service Regulations (AR317/2002) or for federal carriers the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulation. You are obligated to understand the rules yourself and teach your drivers the rules. You must monitor the driver logs/time records to make sure they are accurately completed and in compliance with the hours of service requirements.
You are responsible for preventing drivers from driving if:
Remember: if you do not ensure that your drivers obey the hours of service rules:
The activities performed by the driver are classified into four categories:
We will discuss in more detail later in the course on what each Duty Status includes.
In Alberta, the provincial hours of service regulation applies to carriers who are required to hold a Safety Fitness Certificate and operate solely within the province of Alberta, including:
The Provincial Hours of Service requirements do not apply to the following vehicle types:
Hours of Service regulations for provincially regulated carriers have:
Driving Time means the time during which:
On-Duty Time means the time the driver is:
Off-Duty Time means any period of time that the driver is not on-duty.
Off-Duty in Sleeper means off-duty time spent in a sleeper berth.
Mandatory Off-Duty Time (also Known as Work-Shift Limits)
A "work shift” is the period that begins when a driver goes on-duty at the end of a period of at least eight hours off-duty time, and ends when the driver starts the next period of at least eight consecutive hours off-duty.
In the example above the driver starts his shift at 04:00 hrs after taking an 8 hour off duty period.
The drivers “shift” ends at 20:30 hrs. when the driver starts the next 8 hour off duty period.
The eight or more consecutive hours off-duty time required to restart a work shift may be a combination of off-duty time and sleeper-berth time.
A driver can use a sleeper berth to split the required consecutive off-duty hours into two periods. The sleeper berth must meet all construction and environmental standards specified in Section 1 of the Alberta Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulation.
Sleeper Berth means a facility that:
If the vehicle has a sleeper berth that meets the prescribed specifications , the driver can split the mandatory off-duty time into two sleeper-berth periods if:
Sleeper-Berth Split ExampleWork-shift Rest Periods
A driver may continuously drive a vehicle:
Example of Rest PeriodOff-Duty Time Reduction
The 8 hours that is required to end a shift and start a new shift may be reduced from 8 if the driver meets the conditions below:
NOTE: A driver’s time off duty using the above provision may only be reduced once in any period of 7 consecutive days.
Example of Time ReductionAdverse Driving Conditions
A driver who encounters unexpected adverse driving conditions while operating a commercial motor vehicle may exceed (by not more than 2 additional hours) the number of hours that the driver is permitted to drive under this Regulation only if the trip as originally planned could not have been completed within the driving time or the time on duty specified in the regulation.
“Adverse Driving Conditions” means conditions that make driving hazardous, such as:
Where the safety of an occupant of a vehicle, the goods being transported by a vehicle or a vehicle itself is in jeopardy, the driver of the vehicle may exceed the number of hours that the driver is permitted to drive under this Regulation in order to reach a place of safety for the person, goods or vehicle, as the case may be.
The daily log requirements are similar whether you are operating solely within Alberta or operating across jurisdictional boundaries. There are circumstances when a driver may be exempt from maintaining a daily log. In these cases the driver must be in compliance with the driving limitations despite being exempt from keeping a daily log.
The daily log requirements are explained later in the module.Exemption From Keeping a Daily Log
A daily log is not required to be maintained where all of the following conditions exist:
If one or more of the conditions under which a person is excused from maintaining a daily log no longer applies:
Illustration of the 160 km radius:
In Alberta, the Federal hours of service applies to:
The Federal Hours of Service requirements do not apply to the following vehicles:
In this section, the expression “commercial vehicle when driven for personal use” excludes use, by the driver, of the vehicle in the course of business as a motor carrier.
The "Commercial Vehicle Hours of Service Regulations Application Guide” is available, and can be viewed or downloaded from the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA)'s website.
When operating in other jurisdictions (such as the United States), a driver must recognize and follow the hours of service laws of that jurisdiction.
When a driver returns to and drives in Canada, the driver must follow Canada’s hours of service laws.
Alberta drivers operating in other Canadian jurisdictions will be required to comply with the Canadian hours of service rules. These rules will be explained in more detail in this training module.
Drivers operating in the United States are required to comply with the U.S. rules regarding Hours of Service. More information on the U.S. Rules can be found here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service. A summary of the rules can be found here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations.
Hours of Service regulations for federally regulated carriers have:
A "day” is defined as a 24-hour period that typically begins at midnight (or another hour designated by the carrier for the driver) and shall apply for the duration of the driver’s cycle.The 13-Hour Driving Time in a "Day” Limit
No carrier shall permit a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive, a commercial vehicle after that driver has accumulated 13 hours of driving time in a day. For the 24-hour period "day,” a driver cannot drive more than 13 hours.
There are two exceptions to this rule which will be covered later in the training:
No carrier shall permit a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive, a commercial vehicle after that driver has accumulated 14 hours of on-duty time in a day.
The 14 hours of on-duty time may consist of driving time, plus on-duty time when not driving. Examples of On-duty, not-driving time would be working in the operator’s office or facility, or loading or unloading the vehicle, inspecting the vehicle, waiting at the border and so on.
During the 24-hour period "day,” a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty more than 14 hours.The 10-Hours Off-Duty in a "Day” Rule
A carrier shall ensure that a driver takes at least 10 hours of off-duty time in a day. This off-duty time must include at least two hours of off-duty time (taken in blocks of not less than 30 minutes each).
Off-duty time means time when a driver is not working or driving (for example, taking a meal break). These periods can be added to, but not form, part of a period of eight consecutive hours of off-duty time, as required to start and end a workshift. The eight-consecutive-hour requirement will be described in more detail in Work Shift Limits.
During the 24-hour period "day,” a driver must be off-duty for 10 hours, which must include two hours that are not part of a mandatory off-duty period and are at least 30 minutes long.Daily Off-Duty Time – Example #1
Daily off-duty time must total at least 10 hours (made up of periods of at least 30 minutes). For example, 2 hours off-duty +1 hour off-duty+ 7 hours off-duty = the required 10 hours off-duty.Step 2:
Daily off-duty time must include two hours that do not form part of an eight-consecutive-hour, off-duty period required by Section 9. (They can be added to the period.)
In the above example:
The driver is in compliance with the daily off-duty requirementDaily Off-Duty Time – Example #2 Daily Off-Duty Time – Example #2
In the above example:
The driver is in compliance with the daily off-duty requirement on Day 2Deferred Time Provision
If a driver is unable to take 10 hours off-duty time in a day, then up to two hours of daily off-duty time can be deferred to the following day. This deferral option can be exercised every second day if the driver chooses.
In order to defer daily off-duty time, a driver must meet the following conditions:
The driver must declare in the "Remarks” section of the daily log clearly indicating the day from which the off-duty time has been deferred, and the day to which it was deferred.Off-Duty Deferral – Example
The driver is in compliance with the daily off-duty deferral provision.Work-Shift Limits Mandatory Off-Duty Time (Also Known as Work-Shift Limits)
A "work shift” is the period that begins when a driver goes on-duty at the end of a period of at least eight hours mandatory off-duty time, and ends when the driver starts the next period of at least eight consecutive hours off-duty.
The eight or more consecutive hours off-duty required to restart a work shift may be a combination of off-duty and sleeper-berth time. A driver may also take the required eight consecutive hours of rest in the sleeper berth, or split the sleeper-berth time into two periods. (The sleeper-berth option is covered in detail in the next section.)Sleeper Berths
A driver can use a sleeper berth to split the required consecutive off-duty hours into two periods while still complying with the daily off-duty requirements. The sleeper berth must meet all construction and environmental standards specified in Section 8 of the Federal RegulationsSingle Drivers
If the vehicle has a sleeper berth that meets the specifications below, the driver can split the mandatory off-duty time into two sleeper-berth periods if:
Single DriversSleeper Berth Example – Single DriverTeam Drivers
If the vehicle has a sleeper berth that meets the definition in the regulation, team drivers can split the eight hours of required off-duty time into two sleeper-berth periods if:
Because of the cumulative effect of being on-duty over several days and weeks, the hours of service regulations include a maximum on-duty time for seven- and 14-day cycles. The carrier will designate either a seven-day or 14-day cycle for drivers, and shall require that each driver follow it.7-Day Cycle
No carrier shall permit, and no driver on a seven-day cycle shall drive, a commercial motor vehicle after having been on duty for 70 hours in that cycle.14-Day Cycle
No carrier shall permit, and no driver shall drive, a commercial motor vehicle on a 14-day cycle after having been on duty for 120 hours in that cycle.
A driver who is following the 14-day cycle shall not drive again in that cycle after accumulating 70 hours of on-duty time, without having taken at least 24 consecutive hours of off-duty time.Cycle Reset
When a driver on a seven-day cycle takes 36 consecutive hours off-duty, that cycle ends and a new one starts.
When a driver on a 14-day cycle takes 72 consecutive hours off-duty, that cycle ends and a new one starts.
Once a driver can start a new cycle, they may switch their cycle or switch the starting time of their day.
Note: The cycle reset is not mandatory!Cycle Switching
Once a cycle has been designated, the driver may not switch to the other cycle unless the appropriate reset provision has been satisfied.Cycle Switching and Resets
If a driver wants to switch cycles or to reset their current cycle of accumulated hours back to zero, they must take the following number of hours off-duty:
NOTE: A driver is only in violation when driving in excess of the cycle of cumulative hours permitted.Mandatory 24 Hours Off-Duty
Despite the cycle the driver is following, no carrier shall permit, and a driver must not drive, every driver must have at least one period in the preceding 14 days where they had 24 consecutive hours off-duty. This does not have to be an entire day off-duty. A driver could meet this requirement by taking 12 consecutive hours off-duty on one day and 12 consecutive hours off-duty the next day. The example below illustrates this requirement.
In the example below both periods would be considered 24 hours consecutive off duty.Adverse Driving Conditions
A driver who encounters adverse driving conditions while operating a commercial motor vehicle may:
However, the 16-hour elapsed time cannot be exceeded due to adverse driving conditions.
If, as a result of this extension, the driver exceeds the on-duty time for the cycle permitted under the seven- or 14-day cycles, the cycle requirements under those sections must be met by the end of the following day.
If a driver extends his or her driving or on-duty times due to adverse conditions, the reason for the extension must be entered in the "Remarks” section of the daily log, or on the time record required by a carrier for a driver who is not required to complete a daily log.
Carriers are required to make sure that drivers maintain true and accurate daily logs. This is best done by having a monitoring system ensuring that drivers complete logbooks as required by legislation and are not falsifying them. A sample of a log that meets the requirements of the regulations is contained in the appendix at the end of this module.
The daily log must contain the following required information. A driver shall, at the start of each day, enter the following information in the daily log:
A driver shall, over the course of each day, enter the following information in the daily log:
A driver shall, at the end of each day, enter the following information in the daily log:
The graph grid has to be completed in the prescribed manner.
Under the Federal regulation, a driver is not required to keep a daily log for the day if:
If a driver is not required to keep a daily log, the carrier shall keep a record for the day showing:
For the purpose of the hour at which each duty status started and ended, if the driver is on duty within a municipality such that a number of periods of driving time are interrupted by a number of periods of other on-duty time of less than one hour each, the periods of driving time and the periods of other on-duty time may be combined.
The exemption from having to keep a logbook does not exempt a driver from being in compliance with the remainder of the Hours of Service regulations. It applies only to the requirement of the driver maintaining a logbook. If any of the above conditions exempting the driver from keeping a log book end, then the driver must maintain a daily log for each day he/she does not qualify for the exemption.
A driver must begin to prepare a daily log for the day immediately after becoming aware that the terms of the exemption cannot be met. The daily log must cover the entire day, even if the driver has to retroactively record changes in status that occurred between the time of reporting for duty and the time in which he/she no longer qualified for the 160-kilometre radius exemption.
The driver is required to enter in the "Remarks” section the number of hours of off-duty and on-duty time that accumulated each day during the previous 14 days, or on one daily log that clearly indicates all required information. A driver may carry the record of duty status for the previous 14 days, instead of entering in the current daily log the times they were on- and off-duty for the previous 14 days.
An electronic or mechanical recording device is allowed instead of the driver maintaining a manual daily log, as long as the device records time and movement of the vehicle. The device must automatically record the number of times that it is disconnected, and keep a record of the time and date of these disconnections. The device must also keep track of, and record, the total on-duty time remaining in the driver’s cycle, as well as the total accumulated on-duty time in the cycle. The device must be capable of storing all of this required information, as well as the information that must be included in a manual daily log. The device must be able to display the stored information in a readable format on demand. The driver must be ready to manually prepare log forms should the device not work. When requested by a peace officer, the driver must be prepared to complete manual daily logs using the information stored in the device for the period of the declared cycle.
Carriers maintain electronic-data downloads of driver log information for a minimum period of six months, thereby meeting the record retention requirement.
A driver who is required to keep a daily log must have in his or her possession:
NOTE: Drivers will be permitted to record multiple days off-duty on one daily log. (For example, one daily log indicates April 20, 2009, to April 21, 2009 – off-duty.)
If a driver was exempt from keeping a daily log for any of the preceding 14 days, there are three options available:
The driver must record, in the "Remarks” section of the current daily log, the number of on-duty and off-duty hours for each day of the preceding 14 days for which the driver was not required to keep a daily log.
The driver may carry the time records required to be kept for any day for which a daily log is not available.
Drivers can produce any combination of the current log with on-duty and off-duty hours recorded in the ”Remarks” section for any day that a daily log was not required in the previous 14 days, and the duty status records or daily logs.
For example, if the driver’s preceding 14 days included the following activities:
The driver would have the option of surrendering the following:
Option 1 – The current daily log and a daily log for each of the preceding 14 days.
Option 2 – Any daily log required to be completed in the preceding 14 days (current, days 1, 6, 7, 10, 11, and recorded on the current log the number of on-duty and off-duty hours for days 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 , 9 , 12, 13 and 14).
Option 3 – Any daily log required to be completed in the preceding 14 days (current, days 1, 6, 7, 10, 11, and recorded on the current log the number of on-duty and off-duty hours for days 2, 3, 8, 9, 14, and carry the time records completed for days 4, 5, 12, and 13).
When requested by an Inspector, the driver must produce his or her logs and trip documentation without delay. Documentation includes anything in the driver’s possession that an Inspector may use to determine compliance.
The driver is required to submit each completed original log to the carrier within 20 days of being produced. The driver must also submit any supporting documents for that daily log as well.
A driver who is employed by two or more carriers is required to provide each carrier with a copy of all daily logs. This lets each carrier monitor the driver's hours of service for dispatch purposes.
Carriers are also required to keep a copy of driver's logs at their principal place of business for at least six months. If the carrier has more than one terminal, and the daily logs are turned in to the driver’s home terminal, then the carrier must ensure that they are deposited at the principal place of business within 30 days of receiving them.
The carrier is required to maintain driver logbooks and support documents for a period of at least six months. If a driver is exempt from keeping logbooks, the operator is responsible for retaining the appropriate time records and supporting documents. These records must be kept at the operator’s principal place of business in Alberta and they must be neat and orderly. The operator is required, upon request by a Peace Officer to produce these records during normal business hours. An officer is not required to give the operator prior notice of inspections.
Carriers are required to monitor the compliance of each driver to the regulations. An operator that determines that there has been non-compliance with the regulations shall take immediate remedial action and record the dates on which the non-compliance occurred, the date of issuance of a notice of non-compliance and the action taken.Proactive Measures
A proactive approach is a key component of the hours of service management program. Carriers need to develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the regulations. In order to demonstrate due diligence, the operator has the ability to undertake corrective action through the application of its disciplinary process.
Effective training of operational staff responsible for driver supervision and dispatch, in addition to driver training, is an integral component of a safety management program. Personnel must have knowledge and understanding of the regulations and be aware of the policies, procedures and available options.
To achieve a high level of compliance, you need effective training of new drivers and re-training of those who have demonstrated a continuing pattern of violations. This will also ensure minimal intervention from enforcement agencies.
Carriers must ensure that drivers are only dispatched when there are a sufficient number of on-duty hours available for use. Therefore, a system to monitor a driver’s available on-duty time is essential. One example of an Hours of Service tracking system is when a driver calls the company dispatcher on a daily basis with the accumulated hours for the previous day and the dispatcher keeps a record of these hours. From the information provided by the driver, the dispatcher is able to calculate the driver's available hours remaining in the declared cycle.Reactive Measures
The operator must have the necessary tools available to react when violations of the regulations and associated company policies are identified. Tools that can help identify and modify inappropriate driver behaviour include a self-audit program, timely reviews of driver records, driver disclosures/non-disclosures and the carrier profile. Corrective measures may include re-training and/or disciplinary action, as identified in the operator's disciplinary process. Failure to take corrective action means that the cycle of non-compliance will continue.Corrective Action
Corrective action may take the form of re-evaluation and assessment, retraining or the application of the disciplinary process leading up to and including dismissal. Corrective actions should be part of an operator's safety plan. Employees must be aware of its existence in the safety plan.
An operator may choose to have new employees acknowledge that they have been informed of the disciplinary policy at the time of hire, in addition to having a copy of the policy in plain view for all employees to see.
The disciplinary process should be progressive in nature. For example, it could start with a documented verbal warning and then escalate to a written warning signed by the driver followed by suspensions and ultimately termination. Carriers should identify offences that would result in immediate termination.
A self-audit is an integral component of an operator's safety program. It provides the operator with the ability to readily identify areas of non-compliance. Audits involve the review of driver logbooks, supporting documentation such as fuel and lodging receipts and any other relevant record or information. You need to document the findings to support any corrective/disciplinary action taken. The sample size of the self-audit will vary according to the size of the company. A small operator may choose to audit all driver logs, but a large company may audit a portion of the drivers for a selected period of time.
Driver logbooks should be audited to ensure that:
Under the Hours of Service legislation, there are many different ways of reviewing an hours of service log to determine if it is in compliance. A four-step process is offered here. All steps must be in compliance:
1. Check the Day (start time of the 24-hour period must be specified by the operator):
Regular time (including use of sleeper berth)
2. Check the Work Shift(period between the end of one period of eight hours or more off-duty and the start of the next period of eight hours or more off-duty):No sleeper berth used
The driver may not drive after the elapsed time before and after each eligible sleeper period exceeds 16 hours.Team drivers using sleeper berth
The driver may not drive after the elapsed time before and after each eligible sleeper period exceeds 16 hours.
3. Check the Cumulative Cycles (cycle must be specified by operator):7 day cycle
Drivers and operators in violation of the Hours of Service regulations may be charged. Violations of these regulations by a driver or the carrier that result in convictions are included in the carrier profile. An accumulation of these convictions, solely or in combination with convictions for any other type of offence under the Traffic Safety Act, may result in the carrier being identified for further monitoring and enforcement options.Out-of-Service Declarations
Drivers on the road who cannot produce the requested records are subject to being placed out of service. Drivers driving beyond the Hours of Service limitations are subject to prohibition of driving by an officer, until such time that they have enough hours available to proceed.
Drivers may be placed out of service for 10 consecutive hours for violation of the daily driving and on-duty rules.
If a driver fails to comply with the off-duty time requirements, they may be placed out of service for the number of hours needed to correct the failure.
Drivers may be placed out of service for any of the following violations: