Understanding Federal Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association exists to protect the health and safety of both truck drivers and the motorists who share the road with them. Hours of service regulations pertain to the number of hours a trucker may be on duty before he must take a mandatory break. These rules also regulate the length of breaks and downtime to ensure that truckers get a sufficient amount of rest before they resume driving.

Who Must Follow the Rules?

The FMCSA hours of service regulations apply to drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle. Commercial motor vehicles are vehicles operated as part of a business, including trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more that are engaged in interstate commerce. Drivers who do not cross state lines but operate within a state that has adopted the FMCSA regulations must also comply with these rules. All truck drivers who are considered “on-duty” are required to follow these regulations or they and their employers will face a penalty.

What Are the Rules?

The current set of hours of service regulations have been in effect since July 1, 2013. These regulations state that property-carrying drivers may only drive for a maximum of 11 hours following a consecutive ten-hour off-duty period. Furthermore, drivers may not continue to work after 14 consecutive hours on duty, regardless of the number of breaks taken. After eight consecutive hours of on-duty time, truck drivers must take a mandatory 30-minute break. Drivers may not operate their truck for more than 60/70 hours in a consecutive 7/8-day period. Once you have reached your maximum for this period, you must take a minimum 34-hour off-duty break before resuming work.

At HDS Truck Driving Institute of Tucson, we provide up-to-date education regarding truck driving skills, rules, and regulations so you’ll know exactly what to expect. We invite you to visit our Tucson CDL school at one of our open house events, check us out online, or call us today at (877) 205-2141 to discuss admissions and enrollment.