In a nutshell, hours of service (HOS) regulations refer to how many consecutive hours on the road commercial drivers are allowed to spend before they need to take mandatory rest periods. Both the Canadian government and the U.S. Department of Transportation put hours of service regulations in effect to reduce the amount of road accidents caused by driver fatigue, since truck drivers are known to do some very long hauls.
One of the main responsibilities of a dispatcher working for a transportation company is to keep track of driver hours and ensure that the fleet stays safe.
Read on to learn more about the Canadian HOS regulations, and find out how dispatchers help drivers and transportation companies comply.
Dispatcher Training Teaches the Fine of the Hours of Service Regulations
The Canadian HOS regulations apply to anyone who operates a commercial motor vehicle. This is mainly truck drivers, however, also includes commercial, city, and school bus drivers. The goal is to limit the amount of hours drivers spend on the road each day, and to prevent fatigue by requiring drivers to take minimum daily rest periods. Here’s a few of the important points covered in the Canadian HOS Regulations:
- Drivers are allowed 13 hours of driving time after having 8 hours off.
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break after being on duty for eight hours.
- Depending on the company, drivers have to take a certain amount of off-duty time every week.
- Drivers must maintain a log book that documents their hours and stops.
There have been many changes over the years to the finer details of the HOS regulations. During your dispatcher course, you will learn the latest HOS information. A good way to simplify HOS regulations is to look at them like a stopwatch. When a driver clocks in for work, the stopwatch starts, and then stops when he or she clocks out. Of course, it’s important to remember that all drivers must clock out within 13 hours.
Maintaining HOS Compliance: An Important Role for Dispatcher Training Grads
One reason transportation dispatcher schools teach students all about HOS regulations is because a major part of the dispatcher role is route planning. Once you become a dispatcher, customers will place orders that need to arrive at a certain time, and driver hours will be one of the things you have to consider in order to get freight safely from point A to point B.
In the transportation business, timing can be a sensitive thing. When dispatchers plan routes, they also have to plan for the unexpected. When truckers go long distances, there will inevitably be traffic, engine problems, weather and even collisions to consider.
Dispatchers are important to the industry, because they are capable of factoring in enough time for drivers to comply with the HOS requirements, drive safely and still provide customers with punctual pickups and deliveries.
Are you interested in enrolling in a dispatcher training program that will provide you with the latest information on industry regulations?
Visit ATC to learn more about our programs or to speak with an advisor.