The maximum time that drivers are permitted to be on duty is outlined in the FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. This includes travel time, as well as the quantity and frequency of breaks. These regulations enable truck drivers to operate safely and attentively. 

Do the FMCSA Hours of Service Rules Apply to Me?

Anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle in the United States is required to adhere to the FMCSA HOS regulations. 

Specifically, you must obey the regulations if you meet one of the following conditions: 

  • The vehicle’s weight is 10,000 pounds or greater (with or without a load)
  • Hazardous materials are being transported
  • Sixteen or more people are being transported (including the driver)
  • Nine or more people are being transported for pay (including the driver)

Overview of the Hours of Service Regulations

Here’s a description of the guidelines for property-carrying drivers now that we have a clear notion of who’s required to abide by HOS rules. 

The 11-Hour Limit

The 11-hour limit is meant to ensure that commercial drivers get enough rest. According to this regulation, drivers are permitted to drive for 11 hours if they were not on duty for at least 10 hours. Remember that these 11 hours of driving don’t have to be completed in one sitting; they can be divided up into shorter segments. 

The 14-Hour Limit

The 14-hour shift limit stipulates that no driver may operate a vehicle for more than 14 hours straight. Driving for more than 14 consecutive hours is prohibited under the 14-hour limit. Whatever the work, if a driver has been on duty for 14 hours and hasn’t taken their 10-hour break, they aren’t permitted to drive for another 10 hours. 

60/70-Hour Limit

Commercial drivers are also restricted with how much they can drive per week. After 60 to 70 hours in a 7 to 8 day period, the operator isn’t permitted to drive for another 34 hours or more. 

The 30-Minute Rest Breaks

Drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving for a total of 8 hours without at least one 30-minute break. Any non-driving activity of 30 minutes may be used to satisfy the break. 

Final Thoughts

You’ll be able to properly and safely operate your commercial motor vehicle once you have a thorough understanding of the FMCSA HOS requirements. These regulations are in place to keep everyone on the road safe. According to research, getting sufficient sleep and adequate rest improves alertness and reduces the likelihood of truck crashes from occurring. 

Give Us a Call Today

For DOT compliance assistance or more tips on how to limit unsafe driving behaviors in your fleet, contact TruckingHQ today.