A Guide to Hours of Service Rules for Truckers

Truck drivers provide the goods that businesses and consumers need to thrive and remain comfortable. Shipping needs have only increased over the years, especially as e-commerce stores have flourished. The high demand and tight deadlines can be tiring, which is why The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) took action. They instituted hours of service (HOS) to ensure commercial truckers remain well-rested and alert when transporting. Learning more about these rules will help you adapt to life on the road sooner. 

How Do Electronic Logging Devices Factor Into HOS Rules? 

Hours of service rules encompass the total hours truckers can drive and regulate the mandatory number of rest breaks they take per day and week. The FMCSA enacted compulsory use of electronic logging devices (ELD) to oversee the time, and distance drivers cover. They replaced the often inaccurate paper logbooks since mathematical errors were easy to make. An ELD creates a permanent record of each truck driver’s on- and off-duty hours and calculates their mileage per workday. 

Drowsy driving is a significant factor in collisions, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). By using an ELD, truck drivers have an accurate account of their progress. They can use it to schedule needed break time, decreasing the likelihood of accidents occurring. 

What Hours of Service Rules Should New Truck Drivers Know?

HOS rules account for the daily schedule of drivers so that they can block out time for rest. The regulations include:

Truck Driver
  • The 11-Hour Rule: This allows truckers to drive for a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive off-duty hours within the last 14 hours.
  • The 14-Hour Rule: Once they’re on duty, truckers can’t drive more than 14 consecutive hours. They can’t resume driving until they’ve had 10 consecutive off-duty hours to eat, sleep, and relax.
  • The 30-Minute Rule: Drivers must take a break of 30 consecutive minutes after 8 hours on-duty. Many drivers use the time to exercise, snack, or catch up with friends and family.
  • The Hours Limit Rule: Truckers can’t drive more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive days if they aren’t on the road every day of the week. Drivers who operate 7 days a week have a 70-hour limit if they’ve been on duty for 8 consecutive days. They can restart their 7- or 8-day schedule after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off.

Truck drivers have many responsibilities when on the road. To ensure you’re aware and prepared for all of these duties, reach out to Hamrick School. Their accredited classes provide the training you’ll need to pass CDL testing and become comfortable behind the wheel. When it’s time to take to the open road, they’ll also help you find your first lucrative position. For more information on their services, visit their website. To learn more about their day and night classes, call them at (330) 239-2229.

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