How Many Hours Can A Truck Driver Drive ?
Commercial truck drivers involved in interstate commerce must adhere to federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that set the maximum amount of time a driver can work and the minimum amount of time a driver must rest before working again.
How many hours can a truck driver drive?
In summary, a truck driver can drive 11 hours before needing to take a 10-hour break, while also complying with time logging requirements and following several other Hours of Service rules. All are described below, including some potential rule changes.
Driving Rules Per HOS Compliance
1. Off duty (Line 1) – not working, not required to be ready to work and no responsibility to perform work — free to pursue own interests (e.g. meal stops, time at home, relaxing at a truck stop)
2. Sleeper berth (Line 2) – all time spent resting in the sleeper berth
3. Driving (Line 3) – all time spent at the controls of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in operation (e.g. actually driving, sitting in traffic waiting to move)
4. On duty not driving (Line 4) – time you begin to work or must be ready to work, until the time you are relieved from work (e.g. physically loading/unloading, inspections, training, fueling — basically all non-driving work directed by the company) Know the Hours of Service rules (and exceptions) Hours of Service regulations are found in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/part/395), which are developed and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
These DOT regulations describe both how long a truck driver can drive and how long he or she can participate in non-driving work. The HOS rules and exceptions are summarized below.
This is the rule summarized above that a driver cannot drive more than 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty (10-hour break).
Once you start your day after at least 10 hours off duty (10-hour break), you may not drive after reaching the 14th consecutive hour working.
30-minute break rule
A driver cannot drive after the eighth hour of their shift without taking an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes before driving again.
A driver cannot drive after having been on duty 70 hours in any eight consecutive days. A driver can (but does not have to) reset the 70-hour clock by taking a 34-hour rest period, often called a 34-hour reset.
10 Hour Break
A 10-hour break is defined as 10 consecutive hours in an off-duty status. This can be 10 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, 10 consecutive hours on Line 1 (see duty statuses above), or a combination of both Lines 1 and 2 for 10 consecutive hours … or in some cases, one notable exception:
8 and 2 split or split sleeper rule
An 8-2 split allows drivers to sometimes s