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Take Control Over Your Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations

HOS mock audits from NTCI help you navigate the complexities, operate with confidence, and avoid serious consequences.
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Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations Are Serious

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers to ensure they don’t drive for too many hours straight and to help reduce the occurrence of truck-related crashes due to fatigue.

Hours-of-Service violations are weighted more heavily due to their direct impact on road safety, driver health, and overall industry integrity. Violations of these regulations can lead to penalties for both the driver and the carrier — from fines to shut-down orders.

Don’t leave your HOS documentation up to chance. Our industry veterans at NTCI have the experience you need — so you never have to worry about compliance again.

Common HOS Violations

Driving Beyond the 11-Hour Limit
The rule generally states that property-carrying drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Rule Violation
This rule generally prevents property-carrying drivers from driving beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty. Rest periods do not extend this 14-hour window.

Rest Break Violation
A driver must take a 30-minute rest break after 8 cumulative hours of driving time.

Driving Beyond the 70-Hour/8-Day Limit
This rule restricts drivers from driving after accumulating 70 hours of on-duty time over an 8-day period.

Logbook Not Current
Drivers must keep their record of duty status (RODS) current to the last change of duty status.

Form and Manner Violations
This pertains to incorrectly filled-out log sheets or electronic logging device (ELD) records.

False Logs
This is when drivers provide inaccurate information in their logbook or ELD, often to hide HOS violations.

Driving After Being on Duty for 60/70 Hours in 7/8 Consecutive Days
Similar to the 70-hour/8-day limit but applies to a 60-hour/7-day limit for companies that don’t operate every day of the week.

Failing to Retain the Previous 7 Days of Logs
Drivers are required to have in their possession the record of duty status for the current day and the past 7 days.

Not Having an ELD When Required
Most trucks manufactured after the year 2000 are required to have an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) unless they meet certain exemptions.

Our Compliance Services

Mock Audits

DOT Compliance Review

Enhanced Consultative Program

On-Site Training

DOT & Audit Management

Fleet Safety Managed Services Program

Failure to Comply with HOS Regulations Can Be Costly

Because HOS violations are weighted heavily, violations have serious consequences. From safety issues to penalties and fines, HOS violations have the power to destroy your bottom line or even close your doors for good.

$6M+ Settlement

J.B. Hunt agreed to pay over $6 million to settle allegations of HOS violations and other safety-related issues. The allegations included allowing drivers to falsify their logbooks and exceeding driving hours. (2014)

$3.4M Settlement

FedEx Ground reached a settlement of $3.4 million with the FMCSA over allegations of HOS violations. The FMCSA had accused FedEx Ground of allowing its drivers to operate in excess of HOS limits and failing to maintain accurate records. (2019)

$3M Settlement

Con-Way Freight agreed to pay $3 million to settle allegations of hours-of-service violations. The company was accused of pressuring drivers to violate hours of service regulations to meet delivery schedules. (2015)

Why are HOS violations weighted more heavily?

Driver Fatigue and Safety
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HOS regulations are designed to prevent driver fatigue and promote road safety. Fatigue is a significant factor in accidents involving commercial vehicles. When drivers operate for excessive hours without adequate rest, their reaction times, alertness, and overall driving performance can be impaired, increasing the risk of accidents.
Public Safety
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The transportation industry involves the movement of large and heavy vehicles on public roads. Accidents involving commercial vehicles can result in substantial damage to property, severe injuries, and loss of life. Prioritizing HOS compliance helps minimize the potential for accidents and enhances public safety.
Level Playing Field
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HOS regulations aim to create a level playing field among carriers and drivers. If some companies consistently violate HOS rules by allowing their drivers to exceed driving limits, they gain a competitive advantage by delivering goods faster. This can lead to a race-to-the-bottom scenario where companies compromise safety for profit.
Driver Health and Well-Being
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Adequate rest is crucial for driver health and well-being. Long hours of continuous driving can lead to physical and mental strain, negatively impacting drivers’ health. Compliance with HOS regulations ensures drivers have the necessary rest periods to maintain their health and work effectively.
Regulatory Consistency
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HOS regulations are established based on research, safety considerations, and consultation with experts in the field. Consistent enforcement of these regulations ensures that drivers and carriers are adhering to industry-wide standards designed to maximize safety.
Industry Reputation
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High-profile accidents involving commercial vehicles can tarnish the reputation of the entire transportation industry. Enforcing HOS regulations helps prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, contributing to a positive industry image.
Prevention of Falsification
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HOS regulations require accurate record-keeping of driving and rest periods. Falsifying logbook records to hide violations is a serious offense. Prioritizing HOS enforcement discourages drivers and carriers from engaging in dishonest practices.
Avoiding Litigation and Liability
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Violations of HOS regulations can expose carriers and drivers to legal liability in the event of accidents. Complying with these regulations reduces the risk of legal action and associated costs.
NTCI Consultant Tip:

“California closely abides by the Federal regulations, but has a few additional requirements. Hours of service, 90/45 day periodic maintenance inspections, terminal inspections, motor carrier permits, and driver qualifications may seem daunting, but once in compliance with the California requirements, Federal compliance will be easy.”

– Jason Lamborne, Senior Safety Consultant

Protect Your Drivers and Your Business With HOS Mock Audits From NTCI

An HOS mock audit from NTCI is a thorough examination of a commercial motor carrier’s paper and electronic logs. The extent of this type of focused audit may include the review of one or more of the following records:

  • Trip Sheets
  • Bill of Lading
  • Mileage Reports
  • Toll Receipts
  • Scale Receipts
  • Fuel Card Reports

Our consultants have an average of 20+ years of motor carrier law enforcement experience, and we help you navigate the complexities of HOS regulations as they relate to your business. Our goal is to verify that drivers and carriers are adhering to the prescribed limits on driving hours and mandatory rest breaks to promote road safety, prevent driver fatigue, and avoid serious consequences.

What’s Included in an HOS Mock Audit
Document Review
A thorough review of relevant documents, including driver logs (paper or electronic), timecards, trip records, payroll records, mileage, tolls, scales, fuel receipts, and other documentation related to the driver’s activities
Recordkeeping and Documentation
An evaluation of the accuracy and completeness of driver logs, time records, and other documentation to verify that drivers are correctly recording their driving hours, rest breaks, and duty status changes
Hours of Service Compliance

A comparison of recorded hours of service against the applicable regulations to identify any instances of non-compliance, such as exceeding driving hours, failing to take required rest breaks, or operating without proper rest periods

Rest Breaks and Off-Duty Time
An assessment of whether drivers are taking the required rest breaks and off-duty periods as mandated by regulations, including instances of insufficient rest and inadequate breaks
Carrier Management
For carriers, the audit may extend to assessing the company’s management practices, policies, and procedures related to hours-of-service compliance
Driver Qualification Files
A review of driver qualification files to ensure that drivers have the required qualifications, licenses, medical certifications, and training necessary for their roles
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)
A review of ELD data to ensure proper functionality, data accuracy, and compliance with ELD regulations for carriers using ELDs
Driver Duty Status Changes
An examination of driver duty status changes, such as switching from driving to on-duty or off-duty status, to verify that these changes are accurately documented and match the actual activities performed
Falsification and Accuracy
A check for signs of log falsification, such as inaccurate entries or attempts to manipulate records to hide violations
Corrective Actions and Penalties
If violations or issues are identified, the carrier or driver may be required to take corrective actions. Penalties, fines, or other enforcement measures could be imposed, depending on the severity of the violations.

Your HOS Regulations Questions: Answered