The importance of HOS flexibility for small fleets
Utilizing the FMCSA's various flexibility options can help small fleet owners grow their business by improving profits and efficiency.
Competitive advantages can be hard to come by for small fleets, who make up over 90 percent of the trucking industry as a whole.
Small fleets with under 20 trucks are the backbone of this industry—-without them, trucking as we know it would not be nearly as successful as it has been. They deserve more.
However, small fleets often can’t catch a break, as they compete for loads against large and mega fleets. Despite making up only 0.01% of fleets in the industry, mega fleets get access to a bulk of the better loads and contracts available on the market.
What can small fleets do to compete? Utilize available HOS regulations to improve efficiency and steadily grow your trucking operation.
As you well know, the FMCSA has clarified and even updated some HOS rules and exemptions in order to provide fleets with more flexibility. Unfortunately, according to reports by FreightWaves, fleet owners and drivers have been hesitant to use these features to their advantage because of a lack of information on how they work.
Not to worry, we’re here to break it down for you.
The FMCSA currently offers three flexibility options including the Adverse Conditions exemption, Split-Sleeper rule, and Personal Conveyance.
The Adverse Conditions exemption allows drivers to add 2 hours to their on-duty and driving time in the event that they’re delayed by “adverse weather conditions or unusual road events.”
The rule was clarified by the FMCSA in 2020, where they specified what conditions should be considered “adverse.” This included the following: 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.
The Split-Sleeper rule allows drivers to split their required 10-hour break into two shifts. These shifts can either be split 8/2 or 7/3, or any variation of the two.
The FMCSA describes personal conveyance as an event where “a driver can record periods when using a vehicle for authorized personal use.”
Per the FMCSA, some authorized personal uses include traveling from your home to a terminal, terminal to a motel, or going to a restaurant. Please note that you cannot use personal conveyance if you aren’t fully relieved from all work responsibilities.
With these three flexible HOS options, fleets should be able to get the most out of their hours of service.
At GPSTab, we believe that small fleets deserve more competitive advantages—including advantages that help improve profitability and efficiency.
Because of this, we’ve made Adverse Driving, Split Sleeper, and Personal Conveyance available on our app. Each of these options can be easily applied in only a few steps.
GPSTab also offers customers additional flexibility by allowing Admin Edits. This feature allows administrators to correct inaccurate HOS information and duty status to recapture valuable driving time.
To learn more about GPSTab’s multiple flexible features and how to apply them, you can read our in-depth blog on the subject here.
Flexibility isn’t our only advantage, however, as GPSTab also offers a contract-free ELD, around-the-clock support, and simple plug-and-play ELDs that ship overnight.
Small fleets win more with GPSTab. Because many of our founding members come from the trucking industry and have a combined 50 years of experience, we know what small fleets need to succeed.
Learn more about GPSTab by visiting gpstab.com or contacting us at (888) 228-4460.