DOT Hours of Service

The Department of Transportation (DOT) hours of service regulations are strict guidelines for how long a fleet vehicle driver can operate a vehicle, and how long he or she must rest on every shift. Merchants Fleet has an array of potential solutions for making tracking and managing hours of service easy. Our DOT compliance programs have provisions for staying on top of hours of service, as well as driver vehicle inspection reporting, driver qualification management, and training and consulting. Get the details on our compliance services. We are your one-stop provider for all fleet management needs.

What Are the DOT Hours of Service Regulations?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the Hours of Service of Drivers Final Rule in December 2011. This rule went into effect in February 2012, and now applies to all drivers of commercial motor vehicles. A commercial motor vehicle is any involved in commercial or interstate commerce business, and that either weighs 10,001 pounds or more, transports 16 or more passengers not for compensation, transports nine or more passengers for compensation, or transports hazardous materials. The details of the DOT hours of service rule are as follows:

  • Property-carrying drivers. May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours. May not drive over 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. May only drive if eight hour or less have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Passenger-carrying drivers. May drive a maximum of 10 hours after eight consecutive off-duty hours. May not drive after being on duty for 15 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty. May not drive more than 60/70 hours on duty in a 7/8-day period. Drivers with a sleeper berth must take at least eight hours in the berth (may split into two periods if neither is less than two hours).

Contact Merchants Fleet for a one-on-one consultation and DOT hours of service information for your particular fleet and drivers. There are certain stipulations and exceptions you should be aware of to avoid incurring penalties. Failure to abide by the hours of service regulations puts your drivers in danger, and can lead to expensive fines and fees. Breaking federal driver laws can also damage your organization’s reputation.

DOT Hours of Service Compliance Made Easy

Merchants Fleet has the technology, equipment, and customized solutions you need to always comply with DOT and FMCSA regulations. You never have to worry about your drivers breaking the rules or undermining your authority with our in-depth, personalized compliance solutions.

For example, we offer telematics and GPS tracking installations on your vehicles to give you a real-time look at everything you need to know about your fleet – including how long your drivers have been on the road. Learn more about telematics. Telematics are just one of the many solutions we offer to keep track of your drivers’ behaviors and habits. To gain control over your DOT hours of service, get in touch with our team at 866.653.2737.