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Are there laws regarding # of hours you can plow?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JerryA31, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. JerryA31

    JerryA31 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    A huge question that we are trying to figure out is what is the law regarding the number of continuous hours a plow driver can work. It doesn't appear to be under the same class of laws as CDL drivers who have the 14 hour day rule in effect.

    There are several reasons for wanting to know. Safety, Payroll costs and freshness for the next event are the first reasons I thought of.

    Safety is a huge concern. We definitely don't want a patron or employee to get run over because our plow driver fell asleep at the wheel. We also don't want them to run into a light pole or plow up curbs; yes, both have happened unfortunately.

    The next two items kind of go together. We know guys take breaks but don't always clock out. Plus we really don't have an extra 100 or whatever plow trucks for a second shift once the first shift takes their break.

    Are there laws regarding the number of hours a plow driver can work?
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    Why don't you think the Hours of Service cover plowers? Assuming they have a CDL.
  3. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    This one should get interesting.

    Let's hear the CDL vs Non-CDL.

    Let's hear the debate on who this applies to and who it doesn't.

    Remember 10,001 will be the key to this.
  4. fireside

    fireside Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    That is a very board question. It has to do with how the trucks are registered. If they meet CLD requierments,do your drivers have a CLD driving or working somewhere other than for you, because it's total hours worked not just driving. Also remember if you go down that route they are also limited to total hours worked per work. This samething came to light last year during the blizzard, DOT and DPW are are not requiered to follow hours worked. All the contractors for the state ran out of hours, so they needed to come off the road parking 90 percent of the fleet. The governor needed to sign a order making them all DOT trucks hour problem went way they just needed to follow DOT rules for rest.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    This makes perfect sense to me. :dizzy:

    Hopefully you proof your contracts before sending them out.
  6. JerryA31

    JerryA31 Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Our big salt trucks require CDL drivers but most of our subcontractors run pickup trucks and skidsteers. Some have worked over 24 hours straight before, with no breaks taken supposedly. We are just trying to make sure we comply with laws and protect ourselves if need be if God forbid a guy runs over and kills somebody. Plus the payroll has gotten out of hand compared to other years.

    Then you get into whether or not you have to pay overtime and if we have to give paid breaks during their workday.
  7. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    You're also plowing on private property so the rules of the road don't apply. If you want to get technical plowing a parking lot isn't really "driving"
  8. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    If the driver has a CDL its clear as snow is white in reflection of light.. If the truck has a GVW of 10,001, HOS applies to all drivers.

    Log books are not required within 100 air miles of the shop. A monthly log sheet is to be filled out. A copy of that must be kept the 1st 7 days of the month.

    Loaders, skid, so forth are not cover under the HOS.
  9. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    Not trying to be a jerk but saying the rules of the road don't apply is flat out wrong. If it isn't driving, what/how would you say its doing?

    There is certain excluded items, I will grant you that in some instances that have nothing to do with the question.

    I believe the term used is "operations of a commercial vehicle" under the DOT rules and reg's
  10. potskie

    potskie Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 768

    You trailering the truck / driver site to site or something?
  11. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    I think it could be argued either way. Your basically using the truck as a piece if equipment, it's plowing not driving. Technically would you even need a drivers license to drive a plow truck on a private lot ?
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Where there is a rule or not, it hangs on both sides employer/employee. If I'm working for someone and they won't let you take a break for a nap,even in the truck and something happens. Same with an employee ,he should tell the the boss he's taking a nap between jobs
  13. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    I always thought the snow made our hours?

    We did a 36 hour shift this winter, slept 6 hours then back at it for 2 more days..
  14. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    I'm almost positive that if the vehicle is tagged and registered and is over the 10,001lb limit, you have to follow DOT regardless of snow. Just because you're on a private lot plowing doesn't mean anything. How did the truck get there? How will the truck move to the next job? I think the place to look would be whether or not a large truck is exempt during snow emergency events?
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    Tags and registration have nothing to do with CMV regulations.
  16. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    Emergency waivers. If not, explain to me how State and Municipal drivers work their hrs.without rest. Same way you can run your dump or v- box without a cover.
  17. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,402

    He's actually right.

    Private property is private property

    Legally those stop signs have no legal meaning. Does everyone know that? No.

    Now if you drive from site to site throughout the storm. That's a different case
  18. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    Technically, loads must be tarped, at least in MI. It's that awesome "gov't can do things that private folks can't" thing.

    Also, muni drivers are exempt from HOS regulations. Just as firemen are exempt from CDL's. Which is stupid IMO.

    Correct, traffic signs on private property do not carry the same weight as on public roads.

    However, HOS do apply on private property, public property, etc.
  19. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,395

    Love some of these responses.

    I going to drive in the left on coming lanes, oh wait they are not "on coming" cause the "Rules of the road" don't not apply. Silly government need to stop making up rules about handicap parking spaces on collecting on these tickets.

    Good to know I can plow 20/30 hours straight and then drive a truck 11 hours within the next 14. Mighy be able use those plowing hours if timing is right to meet the 34 hour off rules.
  20. LawnGuy110

    LawnGuy110 Senior Member
    Messages: 197

    I'm not sure how it works for companies plowing on their own with contracts with private companies but I know for VDOT contracts drivers cannot work more than 14 hours without taking a 6 hour break. The 14 hours includes standby time as well so whether you are plowing or not, 14 hours tops, then a 6 hour break. VDOT requires all snow contractors in Virginia to have at least 2 drivers for each vehicle working under VDOT contracts.