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New Hours of Service (HOS) rules from the FMCSA that will significantly affect the time your drivers can be behind the wheel are coming in the next year. Specifically, new rules affect restart breaks and consecutive driving hours. Failure to comply can come with hefty fines – for companies and for drivers.

"Companies will need to plan for these new HOS rule changes that begin in July 2013," said Steve Jansen, Donlen's Manager Regulatory Compliance and Truck Services. "One of the major changes is what the FMCSA calls 'restart breaks.' Under the new rule, drivers will be required to be off duty 34 consecutive hours after every 60 hours driving in the last 7 days. In addition, the 34-hour off duty period must include two back-to-back days in which the driver is off between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m."

"For example, if a driver comes in from a trip at 2:00 a.m., he'll have to be off duty for 51 hours in order to get those two required periods in" he went on to say. "Furthermore, there are rules governing when drivers can use the restart break. Consequently, some motor carriers may have to adjust their schedules."

So why 34 hours and the 1:00 to 5:00 a.m. rule? "An FMSCA study indicated that rest during this time period is tied to optimal performance of drivers," Steve said.

Another change is that driving beyond 14 consecutive hours on duty will be prohibited, and after those 14 hours, drivers must have 10 consecutive hours off. Carriers will need to pay close attention to the hours of service for their drivers to avoid the potential for fines.

"Fines for what the FMCSA calls egregious violations − three or more hours beyond the mandated 14-hour limit – can be up to $11,000 for the carrier and $2,750 for the drivers," Steve said. "So if I'm your boss, and you call me and tell me you're feeling fine and rested, and I tell you to keep going knowing you're over the FMCSA limit, I've just made my company liable for that $11,000 fine."

This is why carriers must not only be vigilant in auditing driver logs, they must also clearly communicate rule changes to drivers. We'll be posting more about these and any other regulatory changes as we move closer to the effective date.

If you need assistance with these and other regulatory compliance matters, including help with driver communications, contact Steve at 847-412-4961.

About Steve Jansen: Steve has more than 25 years of experience in the transportation arena, and is a recognized industry expert on regulatory matters. He holds a CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council, Hazardous Material certification; International Registration Plan (IRP) Education Fundamentals Certification; IRP Advanced Plan Administration; and TMI's COURSE III - Heavy trucks and tractors.


To watch a FREE webinar recording of current FMCSA Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) standards, or to view a list of questions received during the live session, visit > http://www.donlen.com/csa-fleet-webinar-compliance-safety-accountability-for-cmv-drivers-questions-and-answers.aspx

Steve Jansen, Donlen's CSA expert, clarifies the rules and dispels the myths. This informative session will provide critical information to help you:

  • Maintain compliance
  • Avoid fines and business disruptions
  • Keep your drivers safe
  • Preserve your company's reputation

Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week

Choose from the vast pool of quality pre-owned vehicles available for lease. Easily search thousands of available vehicles from within FleetWeb [See Figure 2, below] and realize benefits of this innovative leasing program:

2011 Nissan Sentra S*

  • Estimated Mileage: 39,574
  • Exterior Color: Red
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $11,278

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The same vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only.

Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

Figure 2: Hertz Value Lease in FleetWeb


FleetWeb® Tips

Easily search for any of your fleet vehicles with more than just a Donlen Vehicle Number (DVN) using the Vehicle Information Center in FleetWeb.

  • Type Vehicle Info in the search field at the upper right
  • Click the Advanced Search Criteria link
  • Enter search criteria in any of the fields
  • Click Search


Driver's Corner

It's a crisp fall day. Colorful leaves are floating to the ground, and a light rain has given way to the sun. Driving down a quiet street, you approach a stop sign, step on the breaks – and slide through the sign and into the intersection! Wet leaves present several driving hazards, including poor stopping ability. They can also hide potholes and street markings. If the street is covered with leaves, use the same precautions you would use on ice or snow – slow down, allow extra stopping time, and be careful on turns. Here are a few more tips to keep everyone safe as the weather changes.


And Finally...

And finally, if you're looking to check out some groooovy cars, head to your nearest comic convention. DC Comics and Kia are partnering to create seven cars based on Justice League characters that feature artwork by legendary comic book artist Jim Lee. First up, a Batman-themed Optima, which debuted at New York Comic-Con last week. The rest will be seen over the next ten months at various comic and auto shows, and all will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the program. Holy cow, Batman, that's one cool car. We're thinking FridayFleet needs an official superhero car. What do you think? Until next week, when we'll see you here at the same bat time, same bat channel.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on October 19, 2012


About Donlen Corporation
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (www.donlen.com), with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry's most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain's Chicago Business "List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago" each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on "The Global Outsourcing 100®" list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources "101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago" each year from 2007-2012. Donlen's innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld "2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity," named to "2012 InformationWeek 500" for innovative technology; the Stevie® "2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution," the Silver Award for "2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year," and the "2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year."