Answering hours questions, as some ELDs falsely flag errors when new rule options used

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Updated Nov 22, 2021
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Answers to several hours of service questions in this edition of the Overdrive Radio podcast, including:

  1. Can I use a three-hour nap and not get penalized on it in the 14-hour rule?
  2. How do you log a 20-load, back-and-forth load/unload trip where there’s scarcely a mile between load/unload sites?
  3. To use split sleeper, does it matter if the shorter period is longer than three hours? Is the pause value for the duty clock still there?

Also: A peculiarity of at least some ELDs makes it seem as if the shorter of the sleeper/off-duty periods hasn’t changed much at all when it comes to the ability to pause the 14-hour clock in the split cycle. And below, one provider’s efforts to improve the split experience in their app is summarized in a video from KeepTruckin’s Travis Baskin. Take a listen:

The short answer to question No. 1 above is yes, as regular Overdrive readers well know. Problem is, if you’re relying exclusively on your electronic logging device to calculate your hours, you might get a confusing picture.

In the updated BigRoad logbook app, for instance, log a three-hour off-duty or sleeper period as your first in the split pair, and the app will continue to count that period against your available on-duty hours until you complete the second, longer period of seven or more hours. This may not necessarily be a problem when it comes to enforcement of the rule, unless you’re just handing an inspector your device to check your logs before you get the opportunity to take that longer 7-8-hour period (and the inspector doesn’t understand the reality of the rule, either).

A similar concern is seen within the likewise popular-among-owner-operators KeepTruckin app. The issue left DialVan, Inc., safety director Sergio Hernandez and the fleet’s 60 or so owner-operators scratching their heads last week about the new regs. Their e-log software showed them in violation of the 14 after a 2-3-hour off-duty period that should not have counted against the 14 under the new rules.

KeepTruckin director of regulatory affairs Travis Baskin acknowledged the issue in this video posted two days ago to the company’s Youtube channel:

In KeepTruckin’s app, says Hernandez (and Baskin in the video), the software assumes a split sleeper is beginning only if a sleeper period of at least seven hours is taken first. If the shorter period is taken first on the off-duty line, however, as Baskin points out in his video, the app’s computation of your available hours on the other side of that period will not reflect the 14-hour-clock pause value of the break.

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The solution? In the short term, don’t believe your device if you’re intending to pause the clock and use the split, he says. Add the time you took off back to whatever the clock on the device tells you is available on-duty time.

In other words: Just know the rule, whether your device knows your intentions or not. (Find our resources and in-depth looks at some of the issues via this link.)

BigRoad did not respond directly to our inquiries for this post and the podcast. KeepTruckin’s Baskin did, but not in time for the podcast. We’ll follow up next week hopefully with details of any other fix for the issue if they’re available.

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