Driver Hours

Discussion in 'RLC' started by Albert_Tatlock, Oct 1, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. It is my understanding that European working and driving legislation was not brought about to be put upon European Armed Forces; they are exempt from applying it. Geoff Balloon in his wisdom then said that the British Armed Forces, although exempt, would apply European standards to the same level if not higher. JSP's are amended so we are all now trying to work to regulations that are near impossible to apply and are in the whole aimed at big haulage and logistic firms. LSI's are now pretty much a common event with the inspection teams being huge to audit the implementation of these regulations. Operational theatres are hit with encyclopaedia sized reports and having to abide by the regulations. The reality is that there is a lot of bluffing going on.

    I have just seen a LM from the MT SNCO instructing all Troops to ensure they are completing driver hour’s sheets. An LSI will be upon us shortly and I feel this letter may well have something to do with it but that is beside the point. I am trying to work out why as an operational unit we are being instructed to log the hour’s drivers spend behind the wheel and why working hours are not taken into consideration. It is not possible to abide by JSP's yet have drivers work normal working hours as well as be on call 24hrs a day for 7 days. This is not a new problem yet it is swept under the carpet again and again. Why are CO's so reluctant to sign any form of waiver yet when it goes wrong or when a question is raised from below does "Operational necessity” get sung so often. If “Operational necessity” is an opt out, surely a quick waiver with signature block would save one hell of a lot of bluffing and completely useless paperwork being produced and audited.

    Once again I feel I will have no option but to make myself unpopular. Once a driver has identified that he has completed his hours dispensation will be sought for him to continue driving if out on the road. This will require an officer to make a decision that seems to get more difficult for them as the years go bye. As for identifying that a driver has been on duty for five days and thus requires time off it would appear that some form of policy is required and policy only seems to be made at roots level these days.

    If you are a Master Driver or are well versed with driver hour’s answers (solutions) on a postcard please. If you can actually make out my question from the above rambling then you are doing well!

    Firstly how do working hours and driver hours fit together? How does time on call fit in once the driver has finished his day at work and gone home on the pager, is this “on call time” duty and thus add up as working time? What is the point of recording driver hours if there is no penalty or response once the limit is reached? Why is an RHQ unable to make a decision and either play by the rules and change the way we do duties or get the CO to sign a waiver to appease the LSI team?

    If the New Labour plonker who took over from Geoff Balloon is reading this I strongly suggest that going back to the days of Crown Exemption would cut millions off the Defence budget, bring fun back into being a soldier and make the Forces a good career choice once again. No one reads the policy notices on the numerous notice boards, no one is interested in the risk assessments and they don’t make anything safer. CO’s should be allowed to command and be cut free we might start seeing some form of direction once again. OC’s should be cut free from their desks and WO’s shouldn’t need to write massive documents just to do a few hours training.

    Bloody hell, I’ve strayed from my topic, sorry.

    Got to go I’ve got a tonne of paperwork to audit and complete. Only five months of bluffing to catch up with. Lucky these driver hour sheets only need starting this week!
  2. i'm not sure how the drivers hours in the army will be affected by this but the WTD (working time directive) has now come into effect into the driving industry.

    it states that you cannot average more than 48 hrs a week in a 17 week period. At first there was uproar as most drivers in civvy street work at least 60 hrs a week just to earn a decent crust.

    As far as i understand it (i need to find out for sure as im a CPC holder and soon freelancing as a transport manager for extra cash) the normal driving hours stays the same, max 9 hrs driving a day, can go to 10 twice a week but must be repaid. 11 hours daily rest, can be reduced to 9 hrs 3 times a week but again has to be repaid. weekly rest of 45 hrs but can be reduced to 36 hrs at his base or 24 hrs away from base. 90 hrs max driving in a fortnight and maximum 6 consecutive driving periods.

    Now, the WTD states that other work is to be included in the hours, so officially a driver cannot work in an office for 8 hrs then go out and drive for another 8, its illegal. you can do 2 jobs as long as your hours stay within the limits. periods of availablilty can be taken away from the total time and do not count towards the hours. ie if you are sat at the dock waiting to load, (or ranges waiting to load tanks onto a transporter for instance) for say 3 hours, this can be removed from your weekly totals.

    regardless tho, the driving hours limits cannot be exceeded, nor a shift of more than 15 hrs in a single day.

    the army do not have to apply these rules as far as i know, but wait till heaven forbid, a servere accident happens involving jo squad in his 8 tonner who has just caused a fatality due to being over his hours!!

    any specific questions on hours ask me and ill do my best to let you know
  3. This is a massive grey area that no one seems to be able to clear up, common sense would dictate that the armed forces should be exempt from this nonsense. Having recently worked for a civvy recovery company with the same problem, recovery vehicles are tacho exempt and only covered by UK domestic hours for which a written record must be kept but there is no way for anyone to check if they are accurate..only the driver knows that. Employers class `on call` time as resting even though you may be awake, my average day was from 0600 to 0100 the next morning, sometimes more, with about four hours sleep a day if I was lucky, out of this I maybe had two to three hours a day sat in the office twiddling my thumbs. Five days on three days off, but on call for the three days off. I sometimes had hallucinations while driving because of tiredness, notably a large brontosaurus eating the grass beside the M4 motorway early one morning. :lol:
  4. daz

    daz LE

    Re the periods of availability quote, that only kicks in if the driver has been told how long he's going to be waiting for, eg the boss man/whatever must inform the driver that his wait will be X period of time (3 hours in this case), at the end of the 3 hours the driver must be informed if there is going to be another delay (sorry drive, your going to be sitting here for another hour yet)

    If the driver is not informed as to the length on time he'll be waiting, any time after the 3 hours (in this case) gets classed as working time, not as a POA.

    Any time the driver spends just waiting and is not informed as to how long he'll be hanging around also gets classed as working time rather than POA

    In addition to that there's also the 6 hour break rule, the driver might start at 08.00hrs, and carry out other work until 12.00hrs, he could then get in the truck and drive until 14.00pm, then under the 6 hour rule he'd have to take a minimum of 30 min's break (this can be deducted from his mandatory 45 Min's rest per after 4 1/2 hours driving shift)

    hope that helps, bloody things a mine field :)

  5. Don't know if this helps much:

    Periods of Availability (POA) can be claimed in retrospect, so if a driver turns up at a site and can't tip, then he can claim a POA - no problem (we keep a log in the office of all POA's we authorise in this manner) - VOSA are happy with this. Basically a POA can be claimed for a period of time when you'd be happy for your driver to leave his truck and go for a cup of coffee while he's in a queue at an RDC or similar.

    I've written an Excel spreadsheet that our company uses to track both POA's and RTD hours - to be honest, we're just coming up to the end of our first reference period and apart from it being a bit of a nightmare in getting the message across all of our depot managers to get a level playing field, it hasn't really affected us. If anybody want a copy of the spreadsheet, then drop me a PM and I'll e-mail it to you. The Freight Transport Association website has a very useful aide-memoire on the whole subject that can be downloaded.

    If you really are serious about compliance with WTD (or the Road Transport Directive (RTD) as it's more properly known as - it's different as mobile worker may not opt out, unlike those workers covered by the WTD), you really need to identify who your "mobile workers" are. I think I'm right in saying that anybody who drives a qualifying vehicle (over 3.5t) more than 11 times in a reference period qualifies as a mobile worker and is subject to the requirements of the RTD.

    The SofD coming out with his normal bollocks is reminiscent of them trying to implement drivers hours regulations in the Army - it never worked then, I can't see how the WTD/RTD will ever work in the military. Do you get VOSA audits now - they're the Government body appointed to police it ???
  6. entirely correct, i do agency work at the weekends in addition to my full time job as an engineer. if i do more than 11 shifts in a 17 week period i fall into WTD (RTD) rules and regs.

    i think the POA can be claimed afterwards as you say but would not know for sure. so many people have so many different answers with regards to it, as the previous post says its a minefield!!
  7. Hi, I,m currently employed as a truck driver & these WTD laws are an absolute headache !!!!! Ref to POA If you pull into a depot & the storeman says " ok drive, I,ll tip you in an hour" then that hour you can can book POA. If he says " join the Q drive" then it counts as working no matter how long you wait. Either way you still cannot be on duty for more than 60hrs a week. You can have 2x 17wk + 1x 18wk refrence period or 2x 26wk refrence period. As long as your hours working averages 48hrs over these periods you can be on duty for 60hrs a week. Confused? This is typical eurobabble and I,m pretty sure the MOD are exempt along with the emergancy services, & gas,water,& leccy boards. Trust me you really don,t want this !!!!! regards LT.
  8. Cheers for some prompt replies. It looks like a complete mess. Our drivers when on call work normal hours Monday to Friday but are on a pager and have to respond immediately if a job comes in. Can it be classed as rest when they are at home? I just don't see how we can comply with the Defence Ministers wish that the Armed Forces will apply the rules that govern civilian practice to the same standard our higher. Surely someone has the balls to tell him that he is living in cloud cuckoo land. Surely not all the Top Brass think they are Lords in waiting!
  9. this may be helpful for you??
  10. Drivers hours are right up there with the decision in Bos to warn for court marshall any driver who had an RTA, and given that the average Bosniak had the driving talemts of a lead footet
    d retard with a drink problem there were accidents aplenty, almost all caused by the civialn population, but with many squaddies awaiting a trial! No wonder guys were going sick to get off driving. Crap policies invented by crap pocicy makers who are not even qualified to do the job to which they pass down the rules too. Ain't management wonderful?
  11. Cheers ArmySurplus, useful link.
  12. Were you p1ssed when you typed this?

    Another separate dvrs hours question....

    As the team comd in NI I was expected each week to sign the dvrs hours record as a true record of when the ECM Op &No 2 were either driving, working, resting or awaiting a call (some form knocked up to ensure that it wasn't anyone above me got a telling!) As the teams are on immediate notice all the time out there, and expected to do a days work either polishing the det for yet another insp or trg, and then may have to do a full night of taskings including the drive between them.

    Is this going to leave me open to being blamed by akll and sundry in the future for instructing them to break the law? (As it happens none of my team had any RTAs but other teams have and will so the No.1s may need to know)
  13. Nope, I was not drunk. Theater ploicy in Bos (introduced in 97) was to warn people off for court marshall should they be involved in an RTA. This was a stupid attempt to get RTA figures down. SOmeone must have got an MBE out of it somewhere!
  14. the time spent filling in the drivers hours sheet could be better spent getting some rest. :wink: