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  1. MODULE 6 CMV Drive Requirements

  2. Module 6 – CMV Driver Requirements Introduction To help ensure safety while transporting propane and otherhazardous materials, DOT has established driver qualificationrequirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSR places specific responsibilities on both drivers and employers. Employers are responsible for making sure their drivers are trained to comply with all applicable regulations and for maintaining all required motor vehicle equipment and accessories. Drivers are responsible for meeting all DOT licensing and driving requirements applicable to their vehicles. They must also be informed of and comply with any additional state and local requirements. After completing this module, you will be able to discuss DOT requirements concerning: • Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDL). • Driver qualification. • Drug and alcohol use. • Hours of service.

  3. LESSON 1 Defining a CMV

  4. Defining a CMV Introduction DOT defines a CMV differently depending on the type of regulation being referred to. For CDL requirements as well as drug and alcohol regulations, a CMV is defined as: • Having a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,00+ lb or more, including a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 lb; a GVWR of 26,00+ lb or more. • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers. • Any vehicle carrying an amount of hazardous material that requires placarding.

  5. Defining a CMV Introduction, cont. For driver qualification and hours of service regulations, a CMV is defined as: • Having a GVWR, GCWR, gross vehicle weight (GVW) or gross combination weight (GCW) of10,000+ lb. • A vehicle designed to transport more than 8 passengers, including the driver, for compensation or more than 15 passengers, including the driver, not for compensation. • Any vehicle carrying an amount of hazardous material that requires placarding.

  6. Driver Qualification Introduction As a driver in the propane industry, you are required by DOT to receive the proper training and instruction for the type of vehicle you will be driving. In addition, you must at all times be able to demonstrate your ability to safely operate your vehicle and drive responsibly. After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Explain CMV driver qualifications. • Discuss follow-up qualification requirements. • Describe important factors that may disqualify you as a driver.

  7. Basic Driver Requirements To drive a CMV in interstate commerce, you must show that you are: • At least 21 years of age. • Able to read and speak English well enough to converse with the general public, understand highway traffic signs and signals, and respond to official inquiries. • Physically able to drive a motor vehicle. • Experienced and trained to operate your motor vehicle safely . • Currently in possession of a valid CMV operator’s license from your state of residence as well as the proper endorsements for the type of vehicle you will be driving. • Capable of providing your employer with a list of driving violations, if applicable.

  8. Basic Driver Requirements, cont. • Not disqualified to drive a motor vehicle. • In possession of a certificate proving youhave successfully completed the requiredroad test, or that you already have a valid operator’s license that requires the same test. Employers must make sure their drivers meet these requirements before allowing them to operate a CMV. In some cases you may obtain a waiver from certain physical qualification requirements. To apply for a waiver, send a waiver application to the appropriate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

  9. Driver Qualification Requirements In order to help ensure the safe operation of CMVs on our nation’s highways, the FMCSA requires drivers to be properly trained and qualified. In addition, employers are required to create and maintain their driver's qualification files. There are two parts to driver qualification; the new driver’s initial qualification and follow-up qualification. Initial driver qualification requirements include: • Application for employment. • Investigation of your driving record. • Successful completion of the road test. • Adequate general health determined by a physical examination. • A safety performance history review.

  10. Driver Qualification Requirements, cont. Your employer must ask about your driving record over the past ten years and obtain all drug and alcohol testing information for the last three years. This information must include documentation of any alcohol tests with a result of 0.04 or greater, positive controlled substances test results, refusals to be tested, as well as any other violation of the drug and alcohol testing regulations. They must also ask whether you failed or refused a drug or alcohol test from a previous employer. If so, you will need to provide proof of completing the return-to-duty process. This information must be obtained within 30 days of hire.

  11. Follow-Up Qualification Requirements To remain a qualified CMV driver, you must annually provide your employer with a list of any violations you may have committed. DOT requires your employer to verify your driving record, so it is important that you provide accurate information. To determine if you meet the requirements for safe driving under the provisions of FMCSR §391, your driving record will be reviewed every year. This review will focus on accidents and violations of laws and regulations, especially speeding or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your overall competence as a driver will also be evaluated. A written record with the reviewer’s comments, signature and date will be placed in your Driver Qualification (DQ) file.

  12. Follow-Up Medical Requirements DOT also requires CMV drivers to undergo a physical examination at least every two years. Some physical conditions require more frequent physical examinations. High blood pressure, for example, may require a driver to have a checkup every three months. Refer to your company policy and consult with your doctor to know your individual follow-up requirements. In addition to regular physical examinations, drivers are responsible for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, even when not working. This would include a proper diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. These measures help ensure that drivers are physically and mentally prepared to operate their vehicles safely. DOT drug and alcohol regulations will be discussed later in this course. However, it is important to emphasize that excessive use of these substances can severely impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle and has a negative impact on your overall health.

  13. Driver Disqualification Drivers can have their privileges suspended for certain driving and alcohol or drug-related offenses. Employers may not allow a disqualified driver to operate a CMV. Many different classes of violations and types of inappropriate behavior can disqualify a driver from driving. DOT classifies these as major offenses and serious traffic violations. Major offenses disqualify a driver from one year tolife. Those offenses include: • Driving with an alcohol concentration of or above 0.04 percent, or the amount prescribed by state law to be considered legally intoxicated. • Refusing to undergo alcohol testing upon request of the proper authority. • Operating a CMV under the influence of a controlled substance. • Leaving the scene of an accident. • Being charged with a felony involving a CMV.

  14. Driver Disqualification, cont. • Using any motor vehicle to commit a felony involvingmanufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a drug. • Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a CMV. Serious traffic violations can disqualify a driver from60 up to 120 days. They include: • Following the vehicle ahead too closely. • Driving a CMV with a suspended or revoked license, or while disqualified. • Making improper or erratic traffic lane changes. • Speeding excessively (15 mph or more above the speed limit) or driving ecklessly. • Report all moving traffic violations to your supervisor, even those committed while driving a personal vehicle. In some cases, you may retain your state driver’s license but still lose CMV driving privileges. • For a more comprehensive listing of violations that could disqualify you as a driver, see Tables 1–4 of Title 49 CFR §383.51.

  15. Railroad Crossing Violations DOT has specific safety requirements when approaching or driving over railroad crossings. You can be disqualified for failing to: • Stop at a railroad/highway grade crossing. • Drive slowly over the tracks to ensure clearance. • Stop before reaching the tracks, if the tracks are not clear. • Allow sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing. • Obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official. • Cross a railroad track with sufficient undercarriage clearance.

  16. Railroad Crossing Violations, cont. Before driving your placarded vehicle or bobtail across railroad tracks at a grade, you must stop the vehicle within 50 feet of, and not closer than 15 feet to the tracks. While not a disqualifying offense, maintaining these safety distances is required. Although company policies may vary, the following are some good general guidelines for approaching railroad tracks: • Look and listen in each direction along the tracks for an approaching train. • Determine that there is no train approaching. • If no train is approaching, proceed slowly and with caution. Failure to comply with railroad crossing requirements could disqualify you for at least 60 days and perhaps as long as a year or more. Employers who knowingly allow a driver to violate these regulations are subject to fines of up to $10,000.

  17. Railroad Crossing Exceptions You are not required to stop at a railroad grade crossing if the crossing is: • Monitored by a police officer or crossing flagman. • Controlled by a functioning highway traffic signal. • Marked with a sign reading “Exempt” or “Abandoned”. • Used exclusively for industrial switching purposes within a business district. If you are ever in doubt, it is always best to stop at a railroad crossing. DOT regulations require all drivers, including those of CMVs that are not placarded, to slow down when reaching railroad crossings, even under the conditions just mentioned. Even for drivers who are not required to stop, it is always a good idea to slow down to about 5-10 mph when approaching railroad tracks and be prepared to stop if necessary. Caution is the best way to maintain everyone's safety while on the road.

  18. Substance Abuse and Illegal Behavior Substance abuse and illegal behavior while driving are not only potentially harmful to the driver, the CMV he/she is operating, and property, it also creates a possibly lethal danger to the public. Because of this, a driver can be disqualified for: • Operating a CMV with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more, or in violation of state law prescribing the alcohol concentrations necessary to be considered legally intoxicated. • Refusing to undergo alcohol or substance abuse testing. • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. • Transporting, possessing, or illegally using drugs.

  19. Substance Abuse and Illegal Behavior, cont. Driving privileges may be restored after your license or permit is restored. However, your company is not legally obligated to keep your job if you are disqualified for substance abuse or illegal behavior. Disqualification periods for these criminal offenses range from six months to life and are based on the severity of the offense and whether or not the driver was previously disqualified. Using the vehicle in the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance is a felony and will result in the driver’s disqualification for life.

  20. Driver Qualification (DQ) File Employers are required to maintain a Driver Qualification (DQ) file for every driver. An employer cannot allow a driver to operate a CMV if the employee’s DQ file is incomplete. The DQ file for each CMV driver must include: • The driver’s application for employment. • A copy of the response by each state agency concerning that driver's record. • The certificate of the driver’s road test or a copy of the license or certificate accepted as equivalent to the driver‘s road test. • The response of each state agency to the annual driver record inquiry.

  21. Driver Qualification (DQ) File, cont. • A signed note relating to the annual review of the driver’s record. • A list or certificate relating to violations of motor vehicle laws and ordinances. • A medical examiner’s certificate of the driver’s physical qualification to drive a CMV, or a legible copy of that certificate. • A letter from the Field Administrator, Division Administrator, or State Director granting a waiver of a physical disqualification, if applicable.

  22. Whistleblower Protection DOT regulations give drivers the right to question their employer’s safety practices without the risk of being disciplined or losing their job. Employers are expressly forbidden from discharging, disciplining, or withholding pay, privileges, or employment from a driver who has taken the following actions: • Filed a complaint related to a violation of a safety regulation. • Begun legal proceedings related to a violation of a safety regulation. • Testified in a legal proceeding related to a violation of a safety regulation. • Refused to operate a CMV in a situation that would violate a federal safety or health regulation, or if there is concern he/she or someone else could be seriously injured or impaired. If you feel the condition of your vehicle or other equipment may potentially create an unsafe situation, you should first ask your employer to examine and correct the unsafe condition. Always refer to your company policy to see how to bring attention to safety hazards you may observe while on the job.


  24. LESSON 2 Drug and Alcohol Overview

  25. Drug and Alcohol Overview Introduction This lesson provides a general overview of the DOT regulations on drug and alcohol use. The drug and alcohol regulations apply to every CMV operator and employer subject to the CDL requirements of 49 CFR §383. They also apply to drivers who operate CMVs in the United States and are subject to the Mexico’s Licencia Federal de Conductor (Mexico) or the CDL requirements of the Canadian National Safety Code. In this lesson, the term “safety-sensitive function” is used to define any time you are operating, repairing, attending, or responsible for a CMV. After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Discuss the effects of drugs and alcohol on your mind and body. • Explain drug and alcohol prohibitions. • Discuss what is required for drug and alcohol tests. • Explain how to get help for alcohol and drug addiction.

  26. Effects of Drugs and Alcohol Using drugs or alcohol when working puts you and others at risk. The effects of drugs and alcohol on your system are explained below. Alcohol Alcohol is a chemical depressant that is found legally in beer, wine, liquor, and some over-the-counter medications. Alcohol is abused widely due to its social acceptance and availability. It is considered a recreational beverage when consumed in moderation, but “abuse” occurs when it is used in excess. Drivers can be impaired from even low levels of alcohol consumption. About half of all auto accident fatalities in the United States are related to alcohol abuse.

  27. Effects of Drugs and Alcohol, cont. Illegal Drugs Drugs are abused for their physical and mental stimulation, aswell as their mood-altering effects. They can significantly impairjudgment, critical thinking skills, and reflexes thereby affectingthe ability to drive safely. Even small doses of drugs have a negative impact. Combining drugs with alcohol multiplies the effect, increasing the impairment. Legal Drugs Prescription medications, and even over-the-counter medicines, may interfere with your ability to drive safely. When this is the case, use of these medicines while driving is prohibited. Make sure you know about the possible side effects of any drugs before you take them, and especially before driving. Consult your physician if you have any questions about a prescription, and read the labels of all medications before taking them.

  28. Alcohol Prohibitions DOT refers to the restrictions placed on both alcohol and controlled substances as prohibitions. DOT prohibits the consumption of alcohol: • While performing a safety-sensitive function. • Four hours prior to performing a safety-sensitive function. • During the eight hours following an accident, or until the driver undergoes a post-accident test. • When refusing to take a required blood alcohol level test. Any driver found to have an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater must be dismissed from duty. If his or her alcohol concentration level is between 0.02 and 0.04 percent, the employer may allow the driver to remain on duty, but he/she will be prohibited from performing safety sensitive functions for at least 24 hours.

  29. Drug Prohibitions Drug prohibitions include: • Use of any controlled substance, except by a doctor’s prescription. • Testing positive for illegal drugs. • Refusal to take a required drug test. The following drugs are prohibited by law: • Marijuana. • Cocaine. • Amphetamines. • Opiates (e.g., heroin, morphine, codeine). • Methamphetamines. • PCP (phencyclidine)

  30. Drug Prohibitions, cont. In some situations, drivers may be unaware that they are impaired. Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs may cause side effects such as drowsiness or hypertension. CMV drivers who are on a prescription or over-the-counter medication should tell their doctor about their responsibilities as a driver. Drivers should also tell their supervisor if they are taking a medication that could impair their ability to safely operate a CMV.

  31. Drug and Alcohol Testing DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING Drivers who possess a CDL must submit to all lawful drug and alcohol tests. Drivers who refuse will be disqualified from driving a CMV. There are five situations where testing is done to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs. Pre-Employment Test Required before a new hire or person transferring into a driving position can perform any safety-sensitive functions. Post-Accident Test Required after an accident where injury or loss of life occurred, or a driver was cited for a moving traffic violation resulting in the towing of vehicles.

  32. Drug and Alcohol Testing, cont. Random Test Can be done any time you are at work, but must be completed just before, during, or immediately after performing a safety sensitive function. Reasonable Suspicion Test Employers must test whenever there is reasonable suspicion that a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance at work. Return-to-Duty and Follow-up Tests Drivers who tested positive, or refused to submit to testing, must show an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02 and/or test negative for drugs before performing safety-sensitive functions. Further referral, evaluation, and treatment requirements will then have to be met. DOT regulations call for a minimum of six tests during the first year back in a safety-sensitive position. NOTE: Check your company policy for additional drug and alcohol testing policies or procedures.

  33. Getting Help for Drug and Alcohol Addition Repeated drug and alcohol use may lead to an addiction that cannot be overcome without help. Alcohol and drugs can have a devastating effect on your health, your relationships, and your job if you let occasional and legal use cross the line into dependency. Recognizing the difficulties of overcoming addiction, some employers have programs allowing drivers to voluntarily admit to drug or alcohol abuse. If your company has this type of program, it will not take disciplinary action against a driver who makes a voluntary admission of abuse and follows specific guidelines for recovery. Whatever the company’s program for recovery may be, the driver will not be allowed to perform safety-sensitive functions until he or she has been evaluated and successfully completed education and treatment requirements.

  34. Getting Help for Drug and Alcohol Addition, cont. If you violate a drug or alcohol prohibition, you will be evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) to determine what specific help you need. Your employer is required to advise you of the resources available for appropriate treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. However, your company is not required to pay for rehabilitation or to hold a job open while you undergo treatment. How these issues are handled depends on your company’s individual drug and alcohol policy.

  35. LESSON 3 Hours-of-Service

  36. Hours of Service Introduction DOT has established hours-of-service regulations to help reduce driver fatigue — a major cause of vehicle accidents. Hours-of-service regulations limit the amount of time a driver is permitted to operate a CMV. Alert drivers make the roads safer for everyone. When operating a CMV, drivers should ensure they are well rested. Drivers must understand and comply with hours-of-service regulations. Violations that result from a lack of knowledge or understanding of the rules are violations just the same. DOT regulations clearly state that both the employer and the driver are responsible for knowing the regulations. There are certain exceptions where emergency or adverse driving conditions beyond the driver’s control prevent him or her from fully complying with hours-of-service regulations. In these situations, the driver is generally not considered in violation.

  37. Hours-of-Service Introduction, cont. This lesson provides an overview of the hours-of service regulations that apply to most drivers in the retail propane industry. Although we will discuss over-the-road transport drivers who are required to maintain a log book or record their hours with on-board electronic technology, the primary emphasis here is on the 100 air-mile radius exemption, which exempts drivers from keeping a log book. After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • List the criteria for the 100 air-mile radius exemption. • Discuss the hours-of-service rules for over-the-road drivers. • Explain the importance of maintaining accurate time records.

  38. 100 Air-Mile Radius Exemption Most drivers in the retail propane industry are covered by what is known as the “100 Air-Mile Radius Exemption,” which exempts drivers from maintaining an hours-of- service log book. In the propane industry, this typically applies to drivers who operate bobtails and cylinder trucks that transport propane locally. The exemption applies even when crossing state lines. This exemption specifically applies to drivers who: • Operate within a 100 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location. • Return to the work reporting location before the end of each shift. • Are released from work within 12 consecutive hours. • Have 10 consecutive hours off duty separating each 12 hours on duty. • Do not exceed 11 hours driving time following 10 consecutive hours off duty.

  39. 100 Air-Mile Radius Exemption, cont. Even if you qualify for this exemption, you must record your hours of service. Work with your employer to make sure your time records are accurate. Your employer is required to maintain six months of accurate time records showing: • The time you report and are released from duty each day. • The total number of hours you are on duty. First-time or intermittently used drivers must provide a summary of their hours for the previous seven days.


  41. Hours-of-Service Rules for Over-the-Road Transport Drivers Drivers who travel long distances over an extended period of time are considered “over-the-road” drivers and follow a different set of hours-of- service rules. DOT has established the following rules for these drivers: 11-Hour Driving Rule You may drive a maximum of 11 hours after which you must have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before driving again. 60/70 Hours of Service Rule You may not drive after being on duty 60 hours in seven consecutive days, or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. You may “restart” your 60- or 70-hour clock after having at least 34 consecutive hours off duty.

  42. Hours of Service Rules for Over-the-Road Transport Drivers, cont. 14-Consecutive Hours On-Duty Rule You must have at least 10 consecutive hours of rest after 14 consecutive hours on duty. The 14-hour on-duty period can be extended by two hours if you were released from duty at your normal work location for the previous five duty periods and are released from duty at that location within 16 hours. You can use this exception safely once in a seven-/eight-day period, unless you have had at least 34 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers should review the hours-of-service regulations with their supervisor based on their specific driving duties. For example, many supervisors and drivers review specific trips, mileages, speed limits and distances. This information helps the driver avoid violations.


  44. Maintaining Time Records Your company should have an established set of procedures to help ensure your compliance with the hours-of-service regulations. Take time to understand these procedures. Sit down with your supervisor and discuss your responsibilities in this area. Ask questions, complete sample time records, and have your supervisor review them for accuracy before you begin driving. As mentioned previously, most bobtail drivers operate under the 100 air-mile radius exemption. Drivers under this exemption are not required to complete a driver's daily log book like an over-the-road driver would. However, all drivers must record their start time, release time, and total on-duty hours as a minimum. Drivers who travel outside the 100-mile radius must maintain a driver’s daily log for that day.

  45. Maintaining Time Records, cont. Always be truthful about the hours you enter on the hours-of-service document. Violation of hours-of-service regulations or falsification of these records is a serious matter that could cost you your driving privileges. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to monitor and accurately account for your hours-of-service. Carefully record your time entries in a clear, concise, and legible manner. Refer to your company policy for additional information about how to record your hours-of-service.