Hours of Service Regulations for Truckers

Due to the potential increased dangers related to commerical motor vehicles, it is important that truck drivers be alert and responsive at all times behind the wheel. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set “hours-of-service” regulations in order to limit when and how long a truck driver can drive. According to the FMCSA, “these regulations are based on an exhaustive scientific review and are designed to ensure truck drivers get the necessary rest to perform safe operations.”

[box type=”shadow”]Property-Carrying CMV Hours-of-Service
While driving freight, a driver may only drive 11 hours for every ten hours off-duty. Only 14 hours of work are permitted for every ten hours off-duty. Thus a driver may do non-driving work before or after the 11 hours of driving, but the total amount of work must be under 14 hours total. Drivers can work 60 hours for seven days or 70 hours for eight days. Following either schedule, a driver may not drive again until after 34 consecutive hours off duty.[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]Passenger-Carrying CMV Hours-of-Service
While driving passengers, a driver can only drive ten hours for every eight hours off-duty. There is a 15-hour total limit for work for every eight hours off-duty. Passenger-carrying CMV drivers must also follow a 60-hours-per-seven-days or 70-hours-per-eight-days schedule.[/box]

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Who Hours-of-Service Affects

The FMCSA states, “Most drivers must follow the HOS Regulations if they drive a commercial motor vehicle, or CMV.” A commerical motor vehicle is defined as any of the following: a vehicle weighing 10,001 lbs or more; a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more; a vehicle designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation; a vehicle designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or a vehicle that is involved in Interstate or intrastate commerce and is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.[/box]

[box type=”shadow”]Interstate Drivers
According to the FMCSA’s Guide to Hours-of-Service, interstate commerce is defined as goods or persons who travel through or into another state. The driver must keep logs for the next seven days beginning at the start of driving. An empty truck that crosses state lines is still considered interstate commerce, if the vehicle used supports a business. After the completion of the trip, the driver must continue to follow the federal hours-of-service regulations. If following a 60-hour-for-seven-day schedule, the regulations must be followed for the next seven days. If following a 70-hour-for-eight-day schedule, the regulations must be followed for the next eight days.

[box type=”shadow”]Intrastate Drivers
Intrastate is defined as goods or services within a single state that do not leave the state. The federal regulations do not apply to intrastate drivers who are not transporting hazardous material requiring a placard. State regulations regarding intrastate travel still apply and drivers are advised to contact the state police, highway patrol, or the state’s department of transportation for the appropriate regulations.[/box]