How the Adverse Conditions rule can save your hours of service
Don't let tough weather conditions ruin your HOS, add 2 hours to your shift with the Adverse Conditions exemption
Weather, like many other things in life, can be unpredictable at times. A light drizzle can turn into heavy rain, stopping you in your tracks and messing with your hours of service.
Difficult weather conditions are unavoidable, but they don’t necessarily have to ruin your hours of service anymore if your ELD provider makes the Adverse Condition exemption available to you and your trucking business.
The Adverse Conditions exemption allows drivers to add two hours to their on-duty and driving time in the case of adverse driving conditions. In the summer of 2020, the FMCSA made some much-needed changes to the rule, clarifying what conditions should be considered “adverse.”
Per the FMCSA clarification, “adverse conditions can be defined as snow, ice, sleet, fog, or other adverse weather conditions or unusual road or traffic conditions that couldn’t be reasonably known to a driver before the start of the on-duty period or immediately after a rest period, and to a motor carrier before dispatching the driver.”
While the clarification provides a handful of examples, there still seems to be some wiggle room concerning when the exemption can be applied.
If a paddling of ducks is crossing a road and they create a massive traffic jam, could the rule still be applied? What if there’s a significant oil spill and a driver doesn’t believe it’s safe to drive? Would the rule still be applicable?
As long as the adverse condition “couldn’t be reasonably known to a driver before the start of the on-duty period,” it seems that there’s some flexibility on how it can be used.
Another important factor to note is that the exemption must also be made available by your ELD provider in order to use it. In some cases, ELD providers make the process of applying the Adverse Conditions rule a hassle, making it difficult for trucking businesses to get the most out of their hours of service.
However, that’s not the case with GPSTab, a leading ELD provider that values HOS flexibility.
Applying the Adverse Conditions Exemption on GPSTab
On GPSTab, the Adverse Conditions exemption is easily accessed in the home screen and can be applied with just three taps.
Once a driver has clicked on the “Adverse Driving” button, a window will appear which contains an explanation of the exception and gives drivers the ability to add a note.
Upon clicking “Confirm,” the system will add 2 hours to your driving time and your shift. It will also create a driving event titled “Adverse Driving Conditions” and add a mark to the graph grid titled “ADC.”