Update: Changes in Hours of Service for Fleet Truckers!

As a fleet owner, you should be aware of the changes and updates going on in the industry. For example, did you know there was a change in hours of service?

Here is a summary of the new hours of service rules, which go into effect on July 1, 2013:

<strong<Mandatory Driver Rest Breaks: A driver may drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes.</strong<

On-duty time: This does not include any time resting in a parked vehicle. In a moving CMV, on-time duty does not include up to 2 hours in the passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth.

Limitations on the 34 hour restart rule: The 34 hours must include two periods between 1 am – 5 am (home terminal time) and the restart can only be used once per week.

Oilfield exemption: A logbook or electronic equivalent must indicate the “waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields as off duty. This can be identified in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”

Penalties: Allowing a driver to drive 3 or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered a violation. Therefore, this act is subject to the maximum civil penalties. These penalties can also apply to passenger-carrying drivers.

 

So who will these rules affect and apply to? Pretty much anyone who drives commercial motor vehicles must follow the regulations. More specifically, if a fleet vehicle fits any of these descriptions, it must follow the new hours of service rule:

  • A vehicle that is used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce.
  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more.
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, not for compensation.
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers, including the driver, for compensation.
  • A vehicle considered a CMV that is involved in transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards through Interstate or intrastate commerce.

At Wolpert Insurance, we believe that knowing these new rule changes will help your company remain productive and safe. Paying attention to these kinds of updates can also help your drivers avoid fatigue while driving. If your employees were to continue driving while tired, this would put everyone on the road at serious risk of being involved in a collision. This is why you should reduce this risk by allowing for breaks as regulated and by having our fleet insurance for protection. Contact us today at 800-299-6819 for more information about our services and customizable products!

 

Operating a Commercial Truck Safely Around Other Vehicles on the Road

Did you know that fatality rates for all vehicles have dropped over the past 35 years? Although this is a positive statistic, there are still issues surrounding commercial trucks and cars sharing the road. As of 2010, when it came to rear-end collisions, a car hit a truck 76% of the time. The last thing you want to happen to your trucking company is a serious accident or injury to an employee or other driver due to ignoring the signs.

Truck drivers carry great responsibilities because they have to watch out for smaller vehicles. Such pressure can bring about stress. Dealing with poor drivers, heavy traffic, and long hours on the road is a normal day on the job for a trucker. However, rather than putting your fleet in dangerous situations, provide them with some of these tips to ensure a safe ride:

  • Get enough rest before getting behind the wheel. If you are drowsy, do not drive, or you will put others at risk.
  • Before each trip, you are required by DOT regulations to perform a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and trailer. This is the first line of defense in accident avoidance and staying safe. Learn how to examine your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before traveling.
  • Other drivers on the road may not be aware of the size of your truck’s blind spots. Therefore, make it your responsibility to watch out for vehicles in your blind spots. This can help reduce crashes.
  • Watch out for signs of highway construction and remain alert.
  • Leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In fact, you should always have an “out” or collision avoidance route planned in the back of your mind. Large trucks require more stopping distances than other cars due to their size and weight. So if you are in a situation where your “out” options become limited, it is best to slow down and provide enough space in front of your to avoid a collision.
  • Always wear a seat belt when driving and make sure your passenger is wearing one too for safety and control.
  • If you come upon an aggressive driver, avoid them as best you can and don’t give into road rage.

Participating in increasing public safety awareness of sharing the road can help reduce accidents. At Wolpert Insurance, we hope you take these tips into account next time you train and educate your drivers about sharing the road. In addition, another way to protect your trucking company from mishaps is with our custom truck insurance products and services to meet your requirements. Trust in Wolpert Insurance to find the right combination of coverage at a competitive rate. We understand the trucking business and the unique needs you have as an owner-operator. Don’t let your fleet remain unprotected any longer, get the security you deserve! Don’t hesitate to contact the agents at Wolpert Insurance today.