Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Safety Manual

Module 9 - Hours of Service

Overview

The Carrier Safety and Enforcement Branch of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has prepared this guide to assist and ensure that truck and bus companies (commercial vehicle operators) operate safely and are compliant with the regulations that govern highway use. Ontario, other provinces, the Government of Canada and the transportation industry developed the rules and regulations to help reduce the number and severity of collisions. Each jurisdiction has used the National Safety Code standards as guides in drafting their own transportation safety legislation. This approach promotes uniformity across Canada and helps to ensure that the transportation industry remains as viable and sustainable as possible.

This guide applies to Ontario operators of commercial motor vehicles that are:

  • Trucks, tractors or trailers, or a combination of these vehicles, that have a registered gross vehicle weight or actual weight of more than 4,500 kilograms
  • Tow trucks, regardless of registered gross weight or actual weight
  • Buses with a manufactured seating capacity of 10 persons or more, excluding the driver
  • Accessible vehicles and school-purposes vehicles, depending upon use

The guide contains several modules, each dealing with a specific topic. To get a complete picture of compliance requirements, you should obtain the complete guide. If you intend to use certain parts of this guide only (for example, Module 1, "Getting Started”) it is recommended that you also obtain the modules "Introduction” and "Commercial Vehicle Operators’ Registration.”

This is a guide only and is not meant to be a substitute for the relevant statutes and regulations. This guide highlights some important legal provisions but is not an exhaustive description of all the laws that apply.

Hours of Service – Learning Objectives

As you work through this module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the Ontario regulatory requirements related to reducing driver fatigue, and when each applies.
  • Identify driving limitations.
  • Identify the provisions for required rest and deferred rest time.
  • Understand cumulative hour cycle rules.
  • Understand the exemptions.
  • Identify the required information for logbooks and record-keeping requirements for "local drivers.”
  • Describe and follow procedures for completing logbooks.
  • Describe the requirements for electronic on-board recording devices.
  • Identify the operator’s responsibilities including both proactive and reactive measures.
  • Understand enforcement and penalties for operators and drivers.

 

Hours-of- Service

Hours of Service governs the maximum driving times, and minimum off-duty times, of commercial  vehicle drivers (both bus and truck). Records of the daily driving and other work activities are required to be completed in a prescribed format, to be kept and made available to enforcement officials upon request.

Applications

In Ontario, hours of service applies to:

  • Operators who hold or should hold a CVOR certificate
  • Trucks, tractors or trailers, or a combination of these vehicles, which have a registered gross weight or actual weight greater than 4,500 kilograms OR
  • Commercial passenger vehicles (buses and vans) with a designed seating capacity of 10 or more passengers
  • Drivers of the above commercial vehicles

The "Commercial Vehicle Hours of Service Regulations Application Guide” is available, and can be viewed or downloaded from CCMTA's website.

Exemptions

The Ontario Hours of Service requirements do not apply to the following vehicles:

  • Tow trucks (although tow trucks require a CVOR certificate, Hours of Service requirements do not apply at this time.

  • A two- or three-axle vehicle being used for the transportation of primary products of a farm, forest, sea or lake, where the driver or the motor carrier is the producer of those primary products; OR a return trip after transporting the primary products of a farm, forest, sea or lake, if the vehicle is empty or is transporting products used in the principal operation of a farm, forest, sea or lake

  • A vehicle being used by a person in the lawful performance of his or her duties as an inspector

  • A cardiac-arrest emergency vehicle operated by or under the authority of a hospital

  • A vehicle engaged in providing relief in an emergency – a situation or impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions to life, property or the environment, whether caused by forces of nature, an accident , an intentional act or otherwise

  • A vehicle operated by or on behalf of a municipality, road authority or public utility while responding to a situation or impending situation that constitutes an imminent danger – though not one of major proportions – to life, property or the environment, whether caused by forces of nature, an accident, an intentional act or otherwise

  • A bus that is operated by or on behalf of a municipality as part of its public-transit service, either within the municipality or within 25 kilometres of the boundary of the municipality

  • A pickup truck, when driven for personal use, if
    • the vehicle has a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of 6,000 kilograms or less, and
    • is fitted with either
      • the original box that was installed by the manufacturer, which has not been modified
      • a replacement box that duplicates the one that was installed by the manufacturer, which has not been modified

Basic Requirements

Hours of Service regulations in Ontario have:

  1. Daily driving requirements
  2. Mandatory off-duty time and work-shift requirements
  3. Work-cycle requirements
  4. Record-keeping requirements

Ontario Driving Limitations

For the 24-hour period "day,” a driver cannot drive more than 13 hours.

Time Condition
1. Off Duty Time - other than time in a sleeper berth

2. Off Duty Time - in a sleeper berth
3. Driving Time
DRIVING = ≤ 13
4. On Duty Time - other than driving time


During the 24-hour period "day,” a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty more than 14 hours.

Time Condition
1. Off Duty Time - other than time in a sleeper berth

2. Off Duty Time - in a sleeper berth
3. Driving Time
NO DRIVING AFTER ON DUTY = ≤ 14
4. On Duty Time - other than driving time


During the 24-hour period "day,” a driver must be off-duty for 10 hours, which must include two hours that are not part of a mandatory off-duty period and are at least 30 minutes long.

Time Condition
1. Off Duty Time - other than time in a sleeper berth
OFF DUTY = ≤ 10
Off-Duty Periods must be at least 30 minutes long or they do not count toward the 10 hours.
2. Off Duty Time - in a sleeper berth
3. Driving Time

4. On Duty Time - other than driving time

Daily Limits


A "day” is defined as a 24-hour period that typically begins at midnight (or another hour designated by the operator for the driver) and shall apply for the duration of the driver’s cycle.

  • The 13-Hour Driving Time in a "Day” Limit
    No operator shall permit a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive, a commercial vehicle after that driver has accumulated 13 hours of driving time in a day.
  • The 14-Hour On-duty in a "Day” Limit
    No operator shall permit a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive, a commercial vehicle after that driver has accumulated 14 hours of on-duty time in a day.

    The 14 hours of on-duty time may consist of driving time, plus on-duty time when not driving.  On-duty, not-driving time can mean, for example, working in the operator’s   office or facility, or loading or unloading the vehicle, inspecting the vehicle, waiting at the border and so on.
  • The 10-Hours Off-Duty in a "Day” Rule
    An operator shall ensure that a driver takes at least 10 hours of off-duty time in a day.  This off-duty time must include at least two hours of off-duty time (taken in blocks of not less than 30 minutes each).  Off-duty time means time when a driver is not working or driving (for example, taking a meal break).  These periods can be added to, but not form, part of a period of eight consecutive hours of off-duty time, as required by Section 9 of the regulation.  The eight-consecutive-hour requirement will be described in more detail in Work Shift Limits.

Daily Off-Duty Time

Step 1:

Daily off-duty time must total at least 10 hours (made up of periods of at least 30 minutes). For example, 2 hours off-duty +1 hour of- duty+ 7 hours off-duty = the required 10 hours off-duty.

Step 2:

Daily off-duty time must include two hours that do not form part of an eight-consecutive-hour, off-duty period required by Section 9. (They can be added to the period.)


Daily Off-Duty Time - 10 hours

Each day must include two hours of off-duty time (≥ 30 minutes), which is not part of a mandatory eight-consecutive-hour, off-duty period required by Section 9.

Daily Off-Duty Time Example - 8 hours

In the above example, the driver would be in violation of the 10-hour, off-duty rule, despite being off-duty for 10 hours, because all the off-duty hours form part of the mandatory eight hours. Therefore, the driver did not take the additional two hours.

Deferred Time Provision

If a driver is unable to take 10 hours off-duty time in a day, then up to two hours of off-duty time can be deferred to the following day.  This deferral option can be exercised every second day if the driver chooses.

In order to defer daily off-duty time, a driver must meet the following conditions:

  • The deferred off-duty time does not form part of the mandatory period of eight consecutive hours.
  • Before the end of the second day, the driver takes a consecutive period of off-duty time consisting of the eight consecutive hours plus the off-duty time deferred from the first day (for example, if one hour of off-duty time is deferred from today, the driver must complete an off-duty period of at least nine consecutive hours by the end of tomorrow).
  • The total off-duty time in the two days must be at least 20 hours.
  • The total driving time in the two days must not exceed 26 hours.
  • The total on-duty time in the two days does not exceed 28 hours.
  • The driver may not use this deferral option when splitting the eight consecutive hours in a sleeper berth, in accordance with the sleeper-berth split provision.

The driver must declare in the "Remarks” section of the daily log clearly indicating the day from which the off-duty time has been deferred, and the day to which it was deferred.

Work-Shift Limits

Mandatory Off-Duty Time (Also Known as Work-Shift Limits)

A "work shift” is the period that begins when a driver goes on-duty at the end of a period of at least eight hours mandatory off-duty time, and ends when the driver starts the next period of at least eight consecutive hours off-duty.

  • The 13-Hour Driving Time in a Work-Shift Rule
    After a driver has accumulated 13 hours of driving time from the end of the most recent period of eight or more consecutive hours of off-duty time, the operator shall not permit, and the driver shall not drive again, unless he or she takes at least eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.
  • The 14-Hour On-duty in a Work-Shift Rule
    After a driver has accumulated 14 hours of on duty time from the end of the most recent period of eight or more consecutive hours of off-duty time, the operator shall not permit, and the driver shall not drive again, unless he or she takes at least eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.
  • The 16-Hour Elapsed Time in a Work-Shift Rule
    After 16 hours (all time) has elapsed from the end of the most recent period of eight or more consecutive hours of off-duty time, the operator shall not permit, and the driver shall not drive a commercial motor vehicle again, unless he or she takes at least eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.

Eight Consecutive Hours of Required Rest

The eight or more consecutive hours off-duty required to restart a work shift may be a combination of off-duty and sleeper-berth time. A driver may also take the required eight consecutive hours of rest in the sleeper berth, or split the sleeper-berth time into two periods. (The sleeper-berth option is covered in detail in the next section.)

Sleeper Berths

A driver can use a sleeper berth to split the required consecutive off-duty hours into two periods while still complying with the daily off-duty requirements. The sleeper berth must meet all construction and environmental standards specified in Section 8 of the Ontario Regulation 555/06.

Single Drivers

If the vehicle has a sleeper berth that meets the definition in the regulation, the driver can split the mandatory off-duty time into two sleeper-berth periods if:

  • Neither period is less than two hours.
  • The total of the two sleeper periods is at least 10 hours.
  • The off-duty time is spent resting in the sleeper berth.
  • The total off-duty time in the day is at least 10 hours.
  • The total driving time before and after each sleeper period does not exceed 13 hours.
  • None of the daily off-duty time is deferred to the next day.
  • The elapsed time before and after each sleeper period does not include any driving time after the 16th hour when the driver comes on-duty.
  • The total of the on-duty time before and after each sleeper period does not include any driving time after the 14th hour.

Work-Shift Limits Example

Team Drivers

If the vehicle has a sleeper berth that meets the definition in the regulation, team drivers can split the eight hours of required off-duty time into two sleeper-berth periods if:

  • Neither period is less than four hours.
  • The total of the two sleeper periods is at least eight hours.
  • The off-duty time is spent resting in the sleeper berth.
  • The total driving time before and after each sleeper period does not exceed 13 hours.
  • The elapsed time before and after each sleeper period does not include any driving time after the 16th hour when the driver comes on-duty.
  • None of the daily off-duty time is deferred to the next day.
  • The total of the on-duty time before and after each sleeper period does not include any driving time after the 14th hour.

Work-Shift Limits Example

NOTE: Because the eligible sleeper-berth periods require only a total of eight hours, team drivers must take an additional two hours of off-duty time to meet the daily 10-hour requirement. This time may or may not be sleeper-berth time.

Driving-Cycles Limits

Because of the cumulative effect of being on-duty over several days and weeks, the hours of service regulations include a maximum on-duty time for seven- and 14-day cycles. The operator will designate either a seven-day or 14-day cycle for drivers, and shall require that each driver follow it.

Seven-Day Cycle

No operator shall permit, and no driver on a seven-day cycle shall drive, a commercial motor vehicle after having been on duty for 70 hours in that cycle.

14-Day Cycle

No operator shall permit, and no driver shall drive, a commercial motor vehicle on a 14-day cycle after having been on duty for 120 hours in that cycle. A driver who is following the 14-day cycle shall not drive again in that cycle after accumulating 70 hours of on-duty time, without having taken at least 24 consecutive hours of off-duty time.

Cycle Reset

When a driver on a seven-day cycle takes 36 consecutive hours off-duty, that cycle ends and a new one starts.

When a driver on a 14-day cycle takes 72 consecutive hours off-duty, that cycle ends and a new one starts.

Once a driver can start a new cycle, they may switch their cycle or switch the starting time of their day.

Cycle Switching

Once a cycle has been designated, the driver may not switch to the other cycle unless the appropriate reset provision has been satisfied.

Cycle Switching and Resets

If a driver wants to switch cycles or to reset their current cycle of accumulated hours back to zero, they must take the following number of hours off-duty:

  • To reset a seven-day cycle, or switch from a seven-day cycle to a14-day cycle, take at least 36 consecutive hours off.
  • To reset a 14-day cycle, or switch from 14-day cycle to a seven-day cycle, take at least 72 consecutive hours off.

NOTE: A driver is only in violation when driving in excess of the cycle of cumulative hours permitted.

Mandatory 24 Hours Off-Duty

Despite the cycle the driver is following, no operator shall permit, and a driver must not drive, unless there has been at least 24 consecutive hours off-duty in the preceding 14 days.

Adverse Driving Conditions

A driver who encounters adverse driving conditions while operating a commercial motor vehicle may:

  • Increase the daily driving time beyond 13 hours by up to two hours; and the daily 14 hours of on-duty time by up to two hours; and reduce the required 10 hours of off-duty time in a day by a corresponding amount
  • Increase the driving time beyond 13 hours in the work shift and sleeper-berth splits by up to two hours; and the 14 hours of on-duty time in a work shift by up to two hours

However, the 16-hour elapsed time cannot be exceeded due to adverse driving conditions.

If, as a result of this extension, the driver exceeds the on-duty time for the cycle permitted under the seven- or 14-day cycles, the cycle requirements under those sections must be met by the end of the following day.

If a driver extends his or her driving or on-duty times due to adverse conditions, the reason for the extension must be entered in the "Remarks” section of the daily log, or on the time record required by an operator for a driver who is not required to complete a daily log.

 

Logbooks

Required Information

Operators are required to make sure that drivers maintain true and accurate daily logs. This is best done by having a monitoring system ensuring that drivers complete logbooks as required by legislation and are not falsifying them. A sample of a log that meets the requirements of the regulations is contained in the appendix at the end of this module.

The daily log must contain the following required information.

A driver shall, at the start of each day, enter the following information in the daily log:

  1. The driver’s name

  2. The date

  3. The name of the driver’s co-drivers, if any

  4. The start time of the day being recorded, if the day does not start at midnight

  5. The cycle that the driver is following

  6. The odometer reading at the start of the day, of the commercial motor vehicle to be operated by the driver

  7. Recorded in the "Remarks” section of the log, the number of hours of on-duty and off-duty time, as defined in this regulation, that the driver accumulated each day (during the 14 days immediately before the start of the day), for which the driver was exempt by this regulation from keeping a daily log

  8. The number plate of each commercial motor vehicle to be driven, and each trailer to be drawn, by the driver on the day

  9. The name of the operator for whom the driver is to drive during the day

  10. The addresses of the driver’s home terminal and principal place of business of the operator for whom the driver is to drive during the day

A driver shall, over the course of each day, enter the following information in the daily log:

  1. The start and end times for each duty status during the day
  2. Each city, town, village or highway location, and the province or state where the driver’s duty status changes

A driver shall, at the end of each day, enter the following information in the daily log:

  1. The total time spent in each duty status during the day
  2. The odometer reading at the end of the day
  3. The total distance driven by the driver
  4. The driver’s signature, certifying that the information provided is true and accurate

Graph Grid

The graph grid has to be completed in the prescribed manner.

  • A continuous line is drawn between the appropriate markers for each 24-hour period in the grid to record the period of time when the driver is:
    • Off-duty
    • In the sleeper berth
    • Driving
    • On-duty, not driving
  • Record the name of the municipality or location on a highway or legal subdivision, and the name of the province or state where each change of duty occurs.
  • The graph grid is to be updated at the end of each change in duty status.
  • If the driver is engaged in making deliveries in a municipality, which results in a number of periods of driving time being interrupted by short periods of other on-duty time of less than one hour, the periods of driving time may be combined and the periods of other on-duty time may be combined.
  • At the end of each day, the total number of hours in each duty status shall be entered in the space to the right of each graph grid, below the phrase "total hours" and shall add up to 24 hours.

Graph Grid Example

NOTE:

  • Drivers must prepare and maintain logs in the time zone of the driver’s home terminal.
  • Every motor vehicle is required to have a working odometer. A hub-meter reading is acceptable in lieu of an odometer reading.

Logbook Exemption

Under the Ontario regulation, a driver is not required to keep a daily log for the day if:

  • On the operator’s instructions, a commercial motor vehicle is driven solely within a radius of 160 kilometres of the driver’s starting location.
  • The driver returns at the end of the day to the location from which he or she started.

If a driver is not required to keep a daily log, the operator shall keep a record for the day showing:

  • The date, the driver’s name and the location at which the driver starts and ends the day
  • The cycle that the driver is following
  • The hour at which each duty status starts and ends and the total number of hours spent in each duty status
  • The number of hours of on-duty time and off-duty time, within the meaning of this regulation, that the driver accumulated each day during the 14 days immediately before the start of the day, for which the driver was exempt from this regulation and not required to keep a daily log

For the purpose of the hour at which each duty status started and ended, if the driver is on duty within a municipality such that a number of periods of driving time are interrupted by a number of periods of other on-duty time of less than one hour each, the periods of driving time may be combined and the periods of other on-duty time may be combined.

The exemption from having to keep a logbook does not exempt a driver from being in compliance with the remainder of the Hours of Service regulations; it applies only to the requirement of maintaining a logbook. If any of the above conditions that exempt the driver from keeping a log book end, then the driver must maintain a daily log for each day he/she does not qualify for the exemption.

A driver must begin to prepare a daily log for the day immediately after becoming aware that the terms of the exemption cannot be met. The daily log must cover the entire day, even if the driver has to retroactively record changes in status that occurred between the time of reporting for duty and the time in which he/she no longer qualified for the 160-kilometre radius exemption.

The driver is required to enter in the "Remarks” section the number of hours of off-duty and on-duty time that accumulated each day during the previous 14 days, or on one daily log that clearly indicates all required information. A driver may carry the record of duty status for the previous 14 days, instead of entering in the current daily log the times they were on- and off-duty for the previous 14 days.

Example of Remarks Section:

June 10-15: Vacation Time - Off-Duty
June 16: city work - on-duty 12.0 hours; off-duty 12 hours
June 17: city work - on-duty 12.0 hours; off-duty 12 hours
June 18: city work - on-duty 8.25 hours; off-duty 15.75 hours
June 19 & 20: off-duty
June 21: city work - on-duty 8.0 hours; off-duty 16 hours
June 22: city work - on-duty 9.5 hours; off-duty 14.5 hours
June 23: city work - on-duty 8.0 hours; off-duty 16 hours

Electronic On-Board Recording Device

An electronic or mechanical recording device is allowed instead of the driver maintaining a manual log, as long as the device records time and movement of the vehicle.  The device must automatically record the number of times that it is disconnected, and keep a record of the time and date of these disconnections.  The device must also keep track of, and record, the total on-duty time remaining in the driver’s cycle, as well as the total accumulated on-duty time in the cycle.  The device must be capable of storing all of this required information, as well as the information that must be included in a log book.  The device must be able to display the stored information in a readable format on demand.  The driver must be ready to manually prepare log forms should the device not work.  When requested by a peace officer, the driver must be prepared to complete manual logs using the information stored in the device for the period of the declared cycle.

Operators may choose to maintain electronic-data downloads of driver log information for a minimum period of six months, thereby meeting the record retention requirement.

Possession of Logs and Supporting Documents

A driver who is required to keep a daily log must have in his or her possession:

  • The daily log for the current day, completed up to the time at which the last change in the driver’s duty status occurred
  • A copy of the daily logs for the preceding 14 days

NOTE: Drivers will be permitted to record multiple days off-duty on one daily log. (For example, one daily log indicates April 20, 2009, to April 21, 2009 – off-duty.)

If a driver was exempt from keeping a daily log for any of the preceding 14 days, there are three options available.

Option 1

  • The driver must record, in the "Remarks” section of the current daily log, the number of on-duty and off-duty hours for each day of the preceding 14 days for which the driver was not required to keep a daily log.

Option 2

  • The driver may carry the time records required to be kept for any day for which a daily log is not available.

Option 3

  • Drivers can produce any combination of the current log with on-duty and off-duty hours recorded in the ”Remarks” section for any day that a daily log was not required in the previous 14 days, and the duty status records or daily logs.

For example, if the driver’s preceding 14 days included the following activities:

  • Current Day - Drive CMV – Log Required
  • Preceding Day 1 - Drive CMV – Log Required
  • Preceding Day 2 - Day Off
  • Preceding Day 3 - Day Off
  • Preceding Day 4 - Drive CMV – Local Time Records
  • Preceding Day 5 - Drive CMV – Local Time Records
  • Preceding Day 6 - Drive CMV – Log Required
  • Preceding Day 7 - Drive CMV – Log Required
  • Preceding Day 8 - Day Off
  • Preceding Day 9 - Day Off
  • Preceding Day 10 - Drive CMV – Log Required
  • Preceding Day 11 - Drive CMV – Log Required
  • Preceding Day 12 - Drive CMV – Local Time Record
  • Preceding Day 13 - Drive CMV – Local Time Record
  • Preceding Day 14 - Day Off

The driver would have the option of surrendering the following:

Option 1 – the current daily log and a daily log for each of the preceding 14 days

Option 2 – any daily log required to be completed in the preceding 14 days (current, days 1, 6, 7, 10, 11, and recorded on the current log the number of on-duty and off-duty hours for days 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 , 9 , 12, 13 and 14)

Option 3 – any daily log required to be completed in the preceding 14 days (current, days 1, 6, 7, 10, 11, and recorded on the current log the number of on-duty and off-duty hours for days 2, 3, 8, 9, 14, and carry the time records completed for days 4, 5, 12, and 13)

When requested by an inspector, the driver must produce his or her logs and trip documentation without delay. Documentation includes anything in the driver’s possession that an inspector may use to determine compliance.

Record-Keeping

The driver is required to submit each completed original log to the operator within 20 days of being produced.  The driver must also submit any supporting documents for that daily log as well.  

A driver who is employed by two or more operators is required to provide each operator with a copy of all logs.  This lets each operator monitor the driver's hours of service for dispatch purposes.  

Operators are also required to keep a copy of drivers’ logs at their principal place of business for at least six months.  If the operator has more than one terminal, and the daily logs are turned in to the driver’s home terminal, then the operator must ensure that they are deposited at the principal place of business within 30 days of receiving them.

Operator Responsibilities

Section 28 of Ontario Regulation 555/06 requires operators to monitor the compliance of each driver to the regulations. An operator that determines that there has been non-compliance with the regulations shall take immediate remedial action and record the dates on which the non-compliance occurred, the date of issuance of a notice of non-compliance and the action taken.

Proactive Measures

A proactive approach is a key component of the hours of service management program. Operators need to develop and implement written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the regulations. While demonstrating due diligence, the operator has the ability to undertake corrective action through the application of its disciplinary process.

Effective training of operational staff responsible for driver supervision and dispatch, in addition to driver training, is an integral component of a safety management program. Personnel must have knowledge and understanding of the regulations, and be aware of the policies, procedures and available options.

To achieve a high level of compliance, you need effective training of new drivers and re-training of those who have demonstrated a continuing pattern of violations. This will also ensure minimal intervention from enforcement agencies.

Operators must ensure that drivers are only dispatched when there are a sufficient number of on-duty hours available for use. Therefore, a system to monitor a driver’s available on-duty time is essential. One example of an Hours of Service tracking system is when a driver calls the company dispatcher on a daily basis with the accumulated hours for the previous day, and the dispatcher keeps a record of these hours. From the information provided by the driver, the dispatcher is able to calculate the driver's available hours remaining in the declared cycle.

Reactive Measures

The operator must have the necessary tools available to react when violations of the regulations and associated company policies are identified. Tools that can help identify and modify inappropriate driver behaviour include a self-audit program, timely reviews of driver records, driver disclosures/non-disclosures and the carrier profile. Corrective measures may include re-training and/or disciplinary action, as identified in the operator's disciplinary process. Failure to take corrective action means that the cycle of non-compliance will continue.

Self-Audit

A self-audit is an integral component of an operator's safety program. It provides the operator with the ability to readily identify areas of non-compliance. Audits involve the review of driver logbooks, support documentation such as fuel and lodging receipts, and any other relevant record or information. You need to document the findings to support any corrective/disciplinary action taken. The sample size of the self-audit will vary according to the size of the company. A small operator may choose to audit all driver logs, but a large company may audit a portion of the drivers for a selected period of time.

Driver logbooks should be audited to ensure that:

  • There is a log for every day.
  • Logbooks are complete with all required information.
  • Drivers are in compliance with the regulations (driving limits, required off-duty time and the cumulative cycle limits, as applicable).
  • Logs are accurate when compared to supporting documents such as dispatch records, fuel receipts, payroll, bills of lading.
  • Logs are accurate when analyzed for distance travelled over a period of time.
  • On-duty time logged by the driver agrees with the driver’s statement of hours worked for payroll submission.
  • Driving with a co-driver is substantiated, and the hours declared by the two drivers are appropriate (for example, both drivers not log driving at the same time).
  • The operator and the driver are complying with any permit conditions.
  • Records are being kept in chronological order for each driver, and retained for at least six months.
  • Radius-exemption daily records are available, if appropriate, and all four exemption criteria are met every day.

Reviewing Hours of Service Logs

Under the Hours of Service legislation, there are many different ways of reviewing an hours of service log to determine if it is in compliance. A three-step process is offered here. All three main steps must be in compliance:

  1. Check the log to ensure that it is accurate (compare supporting documents to the log).
  2. Check the Day.
  3. Check the work shift.
  4. Check the cumulative cycles.

NOTE: In addition, the reviewer must always check to evaluate if an exemption is being used by the driver.

1. Check the Day (start time of the 24-hour period must be specified by the operator):

  • Regular time (including use of sleeper berth)
    • No driving after 13 hours of driving
    • No driving after 14 hours on-duty
    • At least 10 hours off-duty

NOTE: Before the driver can drive, at least eight hours of this time must be consecutive, and there must be two additional hours off-duty in no less than 30-minute periods that do not form part of the eight consecutive hours.

  • Deferred time
    • Option of deferring up to two hours of daily off-duty time to the second day
    • Total driving time in two days not more than 26 hours
    • Total on-duty time in two days not more than 28 hours
    • Total off-duty time in two days not less than 20 hours
    • A mandatory consecutive off-duty period of at least eight plus the number of hours deferred completed before the end of the second day

NOTE: This exemption cannot be used with split sleeper provision.

2. Check the Work Shift (period between the end of one period of eight hours or more off-duty, and the start of the next period of eight hours or more off-duty):

  • No sleeper berth used
    • No driving after 13 hours driving
    • No driving after 14 hours on-duty
    • No driving after 16 hours of elapsed time.

NOTE: Elapsed time includes all time in a work shift.

  • Single driver using sleeper berth
    • Driving time before and after each period in the eligible sleeper period not to exceed 13 hours
    • No driving after the on-duty time before and after each eligible sleeper period exceeds 14 hours

The driver may not drive after the elapsed time before and after each eligible sleeper period exceeds 16 hours.

NOTE: Each eligible sleeper period must not be less than two hours, and the total of the two periods must be at least 10 hours.

  • Team drivers using sleeper berth
    • Driving time before and after each period in the eligible sleeper period not to exceed 13 hours
    • No driving after the on-duty time before and after each eligible sleeper period exceeds 14 hours

The driver may not drive after the elapsed time before and after each eligible sleeper period exceeds 16 hours.

NOTE: Each eligible sleeper period must not be less than four hours, and the total of the two periods must be at least eight hours.

3. Check the Cumulative Cycles (cycle must be specified by operator):

  • Seven-day cycle
    • Verify the driver did not drive after accumulating 70 hours of on-duty time in any period of seven consecutive days.

NOTE: A driver may end a seven-day cycle and start a new cycle by taking 36 consecutive hours off-duty. When a driver starts a new cycle, the accumulated hours are deemed to be zero, and the hours start to accumulate again in the new cycle.

  • 14-day cycle:
    • Verify the driver did not drive after accumulating 120 hours of on-duty time in any period of 14 consecutive days.
    • Verify the driver did not drive after accumulating more than 70 hours at any time during the cycle without taking 24 hours off-duty.

NOTE: A driver may end a 14-day cycle and start a new cycle by taking 72 consecutive hours off-duty. When a driver starts a new cycle, the accumulated hours are deemed to be zero, and the hours start to accumulate again in the new cycle.

  • Day off:
    • Verify that the driver did not drive at any time without having a period of 24 consecutive hours off-duty in the preceding 14 days (regardless of the day or cycle being worked).

Corrective Action

Corrective action may take the form of re-evaluation and assessment, retraining or the application of the disciplinary process leading up to and including dismissal.  Corrective actions should be part of an operator's safety plan.  Employees must be aware of its existence in the safety plan.  

An operator may choose to have new employees acknowledge that they have been informed of the disciplinary policy at the time of hire, in addition to having a copy of the policy in plain view for all employees to see.

The disciplinary process should be progressive in nature.  For example, it could start with a documented verbal warning, and then escalate to a written warning signed by the driver, and then suspensions and ultimately termination.  Operators should identify offences that would result in immediate termination.

Record-Keeping

The operator is required to maintain driver logbooks and support documents for a period of at least six months. If a driver is exempt from keeping logbooks, the operator is responsible for retaining the appropriate time records and supporting documents. These records must be kept at the operator’s principal place of business in Ontario, and they must be neat and orderly. The operator is required, upon request by an officer, to produce these records during normal business hours. An officer is not required to give the operator prior notice of inspections.

Enforcement and Penalties

Drivers and operators in violation of the Hours of Service regulations may be charged.

Violations of these regulations by a driver or the operator that result in convictions are included in the operator's carrier profile. An accumulation of these convictions, solely or in combination with convictions for any other type of offence under the Highway Traffic Act, may result in the operator being identified for further monitoring and enforcement options.

Out-of-Service Declarations

Drivers on the road who cannot produce the requested records are subject to being placed out of service. Drivers driving beyond the Hours of Service limitations are subject to prohibition of driving by an officer, until such time that they have enough hours available to proceed.

Drivers may be placed out of service for 10 consecutive hours for violation of the daily driving and on-duty rules.

If a driver fails to comply with the off-duty time requirements, they may be placed out of service for the number of hours needed to correct the failure.

Drivers may be placed out of service for 72 consecutive hours for any of the following violations:

  • Driver is unable or refuses to produce his/her daily log.
  • There is evidence that the driver completed more than one daily log for the day, entered inaccurate information or falsified the daily log.
  • Driver mutilates or defaces a daily log or supporting documents in such a way that it cannot be determined whether the driver has followed the driving time and off-duty requirements.

Appendix A - Example of a Daily Log Book Record

Example of a Daily Log Book Record

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