As a professional driver, there are certain rules one must adhere to, including the hours of service a driver can operate. In fact, how long a trucker may drive is completely regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Not only are these rules implemented for the safety of the driver, but for other motorists on the road as well. While there is much info to gain from these rules, it can be a bit complicated to comprehend. So, let’s break it down.
of Service Guidelines: Property-Carrying Drivers
After 10 consecutive off-duty hours, truckers may drive at most, 11 hours.
As it pertains to the 60/70-hour limit; truckers cannot drive more than 60/70 hours on-duty over seven/eight consecutive days. However, after 34 or more consecutive days off, a driver may resume a 7/8 consecutive day period.
Under the 14-hour limit ruling, following 10 consecutive off-duty hours, drivers may operate up to 14 hours.
However, the 14-hour window may not be extended with off-duty time.
Furthermore, regarding the sleeper berth provision, drivers are required to take no less than 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, as well as a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off-duty, or an arrangement of the two.
of Service Guidelines: Passenger-Carrying Drivers
According to the 10-hour limit rule, drivers may operate up to 10 hours on-duty after 8 consecutive hours off.
Moreover, a driver is not allowed to operate after being on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive off-duty hours. It should be noted that off-duty time is not incorporated in the 15-hour window.
Also, in 7/8 consecutive days, truckers may not drive after 60/70 hours on-duty.
Lastly, drivers utilizing the sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth. However, the time can be split into two phases if neither time period is less than 2 hours.
for Breaking Hours of Service Rules
There are severe penalties for not abiding by the hours of services mandate. For instance, until a driver has amassed enough off-duty time to get back on the road, the truck may be forced to shut down. In addition, drivers may be fined. Not to mention, the FMCSA may also collect civil penalties anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation. Apart from this, violations will also impact the driver’s safety rating.
as the open road may seem, the rules that govern them aren’t as so. What
are your thoughts on the current hours of service guidelines? Comment below.