Provincial Hours of Service and Fatigue Management

This training is applicable to:


Provincial Hours of Service and Fatigue Management

Section 1


  • In Part One: Hours of Service and Fatigue Management we will focus on Alberta’s “Drivers’ Hours of Service Regulation” (AR317/2002).

In this section we will review: 

  • Why the hours of service regulation is important?

  • What is fatigue?

  • How can hours of service contribute to fatigue?

With the intent to:

  • reduce collisions
  • reduce the severity of collisions should they occur
  • save lives

Why is hours of service important?

Hours of service regulations, which are based on fatigue and alertness research, are the rules in place set out by the province of Alberta intended to:

  • Provide commercial drivers with the maximum allowable driving and off duty time limits
  • Reduce the chances of driving related fatigue that could seriously impact vehicle related collisions

What is fatigue?

  • Fatigue is what happens when we experience physical or mental exertion.

What is fatigue? (con’t)

Fatigue results in drowsiness or sometimes even “micro-sleep”.

What can cause fatigue?

Give two causes to fatigue while driving.

Did you know...

Fatigue can mimic the effects similar to drinking alcohol.


Citation: Dawson, D., and Reid, K. (1997). “Fatigue, alcohol and performance impairment.” Nature 388, 235.

The Human Body Clock


  • We have an internal clock that naturally releases hormones throughout the day making us feel sleepy.
  • This clock typically has a 24 hour repeating rhythm (known as the circadian rhythm).
  • Hormones are released throughout the day and triggered from cues in our environment including light, darkness, and the number of hours you are awake.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of fatigue while driving?

Give three signs or symptoms you may have if fatigued while driving. 

Tips to Reduce Fatigue

  • Get a full night’s sleep
  • Take breaks while driving
  • Obey posted speed limits
  • Limit eye strain
  • Eat light meals
  • Drink water
  • Keep cab cool
  • Pull over and stretch
  • Take a nap

How is hours of service related to fatigue?

In a 24 hour period:

  • Exceed NO MORE than 13 hours of continuous driving time
  • Exceed NO MORE than 15 total hours of on-duty time
  • Must have a total of 8 hours or more off duty after each of the above mentioned scenarios

Note: County drivers must not exceed 12 hours of work in a single shift unless there is an emergency or adequate reason is provided on a time sheet.

Conclusion of Section 1

Being awake for an extended period of time can result in fatigue and reduced alertness on the road which increase the chance of collision and incident.

By understanding why we get tired and how to recognize when we are tired we can better understand why the Hours of Service regulation exists.

Although we cannot force drivers to sleep during their off duty hours, the regulation allows them adequate opportunity to rest thereby increasing safety on the road.

Section 2

Responsibilities and Due Diligence

Hours of Service and Fatigue Management


In this section we will review:

  • Who is responsible for ensuring that drivers are fit to drive?
    • When is driving prohibited?


Who is responsible for ensuring that drivers are fit to drive?

Safety is everyone’s responsibility:

  • The Carrier
  • The Shipper/Consignor
  • The Receiver/Consignee
  • Third parties
  • The Driver

All of the above include ensuring that drivers are within the applicable hours of service allotments set out by the regulation. 

When is Driving Prohibited?

Do not drive or allow an individual to drive under any of the following circumstances:

  • The driver is subject to an out of service declaration,
  • The driver’s abilities are impaired (including drugs, alcohol, fatigue, medical conditions, etc.)
  • Driver is non compliant with the Hours of Service regulation
  • Driving would otherwise pose a risk to health and safety

Conclusion of Section 2

Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

All individuals both directly or indirectly involved in the transportation of goods/materials and the operation of commercial vehicles have a responsibility for ensuring that both the vehicle and driver are not endangering health and safety.

Section 3

Carrier Operating Status

Hours of Service and Fatigue Management


In this section we will review:

  • What is a carrier?
  • What is a carrier operating status?
  • How are provincial and federal statuses different?
  • What types of vehicles/drivers fall under the regulation?
  • What kind of carrier is the County of Grande Prairie?
  • Who is exempt from the hours of service regulation?

What is a carrier?

A carrier is an organization who is engaged in transporting goods, materials, or people for the purpose of their business. (i.e. the County of Grande Prairie)

What is carrier status?

Carrier status is indicated on a safety fitness certificate that is issued from AB Transportation

  • Carriers are either provincial or federal


Federal Operating Status

Carriers with a Federal Operating Status (as indicated by their safety fitness certificate) include any vehicle with a GVW greater than 4500 kg or passenger vehicle that holds 11 people or more including the driver.

Federal carriers operate in more than one province or throughout Canada and the United States. 

Provincial Operating Status

Carriers with a Provincial Operating Status include commercial trucks or combinations of trucks and trailers with a GVW exceeding 11794 kg or a passenger vehicle with 11 seats or more including the driver.

Provincial carriers can only operate within the province of Alberta (unless they hold a permit or reclassify their status to Federal). 

What carrier status does the County of Grande Prairie operate under?

  • Federal
  • Provincial

Status and Hours of Service

This course refers only to provincial hours of service regulations.

Who is exempt from the hours of service regulation?

The following are exempt from provincial hours of service regulations:

  • Commercial vehicles with a registered GVW equal to or less than 11794 kg,

  • Vehicles that have a passenger capacity of less than 11 (including the driver)

  • Drivers who work for a provincial carrier but do not operate any of the above vehicles

  • Emergency vehicles

  • Vehicles engaged in the transport of goods or passengers for the purpose of providing relief in the case of natural disaster or disaster caused by human intervention

  • Vehicles used primarily to transport agriculture product where the driver is the farmer

  • A recreation vehicle

  • An urban transit bus

  • A mobile service rig or equipment that is directly used in the operation or transport of a mounted mobile service rig 

True or false, drivers of the following vehicles ARE exempt from the provincial hours of service regulation?

  • Individuals driving commercial vehicles with a GVW greater than 11794 kg.
  • Drivers of emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, etc.
  • County of Grande Prairie employees who do not drive for work purposes.
  • A person who drives an RV on their summer vacation.
  • The driver of a County truck plowing snow.
Select true or false for each of the following.

Conclusion of Section 3

The County of Grande Prairie is a provincial carrier.

Unless exempt, any person operating a vehicle for the County with a registered GVW exceeding 11794 kg or 11 person capacity must follow the hours of service regulation.

Section 4

Activities and Written Records

Hours of Service and Fatigue Management


In this section we will review:

  • The different types of duties associated with hours of service
  • Logbooks
  • Logbook exemptions
  • How to complete a timesheet
  • Work shift limits

Duty Status

There are three duty statuses that pertain to regulated drivers that drive for the County of Grande Prairie:

  • On Duty
    • Non Driving Time
    • Driving Time
  • Off Duty Time

County vehicles do not have sleeper berths, therefore sleeper berth time will not be covered in this training.

On Duty Non Driving Time

Any time that a driver spends working that does not involve driving.