ETHOS is a web-based tool created by the FMCSA.
From an operations standpoint, running a trucking business isn’t easy – there are a lot of moving parts (pun intended). When you add regulatory compliance to the mix, the whole enterprise gets that much more complex.
That’s why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides guidance and tools to help carriers and drivers understand and navigate regulations to avoid violations. Among those tools is ETHOS, which we’ll be covering in this article.
What is ETHOS?
The Educational Tool for Hours of Service (ETHOS) is a web-based tool that can help carriers and drivers identify potential hours-of-service (HOS) violations. The FMCSA made ETHOS available last year to help carriers and drivers better understand HOS changes that became effective on Sept. 29, 2020.
The tool can identify potential violations of the following HOS rules:
- 11-hour driving limit (property) or 10-hour driving limit (passenger)
- 14-hour driving window (property) or 15-hour on-duty limit (passenger)
- 30-minute break (property)
- Sleeper berth provision
How Does ETHOS Work?
ETHOS lets users input record of duty status information, including date, time and event type (off-duty, sleeper berth, driving, and on-duty – not driving). The information is displayed on a grid and potential violations are shown on the grid. Explanations of potential violations are also provided. Users can also select pre-populated scenarios for the revised 30-minute break rule and the revised sleeper-berth provision. The tool can be toggled for either property-carrying vehicles or passenger-carrying vehicles.
How Can ETHOS Help Support HOS Compliance?
ETHOS takes HOS rules out of the abstract and allows carriers and drivers to visualize them in a format with which they’re familiar, Dan Horvath of the American Trucking Association told Transport Topics at the time of the tool’s launch.
“When you take that regulatory text and put it in the context of an actual logbook for that driver’s day, it’s a lot easier to understand, it’s a lot easier to train and that way, everyone’s on a same page,” Horvath said. “Having an example of something that drivers and safety directors are using on a daily basis is going to be much more beneficial to the industry in understanding it.”
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