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Trucker DOT hours of service Rules

These are the latest rules from the FMCSA:


What Are the Hours-of-Service Limits?
The hours-of-service regulations focus on when and how long you are allowed to drive by placing
specific limits on the amount of time you drive your truck and how many total hours you can work
before you are no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle. You must follow three
maximum duty limits at all times. They are the 14-hour “driving window” limit, 11-hour driving
limit, and 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day duty limits.
Implementation Dates
Changes to the hours-of-service rules were published in a Final Rule in the December 27, 2011,
Federal Register.
There are two different effective/compliance dates associated with that rule,
which are covered in greater detail in this document. Compliance with the Section 395.2 definition
of “on-duty time” and the Section 395.1(d) “oilfield” provisions, when applicable, became effective
on February 27, 2012. Compliance with all of the other new provisions – including the changes to
the 34-hour restart and 30-minute short break provision – is required no later than July 1, 2013. As
the new hours-of-service rules are more restrictive than the current rules, drivers and carriers may
comply at any time after the rule’s effective date; in other words, if they are in compliance with the
new rules, they will also be in compliance with the current rules.
One revised hours-of-service provision limits the use of the 34-hour restart to once every 168 hours
(once per week) and will require that anyone using the 34-hour restart provision have as part of the
restart two off-duty periods that include 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. Another new provision prohibits
driving if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-
berth period of at least 30 minutes. Let’s say that a driver comes on duty after a weekend off and
immediately begins an 11-hour trip. This driver will have to take at least a 30-minute break no later
than the 8
th
hour of the trip; but he could also take the break as early as the 3
rd
hour, leaving a full 8
hours to complete the trip. The definition of on-duty time has also been revised to exclude from the
definition any time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle or up to 2 hours in the passenger
seat of a moving commercial motor vehicle, immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in the
sleeper-berth. These and various other new hours-of-service provisions are further explained in
greater detail throughout this document.
 
14-Hour Driving Window
This window is usually thought of as a “daily” limit even though it is not based on a 24-hour period.
You are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off
duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14-consecutive-hour driving window begins when you
start any kind of work. Once you have reached the end of this 14-consecutive-hour period, you
cannot drive again until you have been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours, or the equivalent
of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Your driving is limited to the 14-consecutive-hour period even if you take some off-duty time, such
as a lunch break or a nap, during those 14 hours.
**NOTE** If you have a sleeper berth in your vehicle, you may be able to use it to get the required
rest and to extend the 14-hour limit. Sleeper berth provisions will be discussed later in this section.
Example:
You have had 10 continuous hours off and you come to work at 6:00 a.m. You must
not drive your truck after 8:00 p.m. that evening, which is 14 hours later. You may do other work
after 8:00 p.m., but you cannot do any more driving until you have taken another 10 consecutive
hours off, or the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
This regulation is found in Section 395.3(a)(2)
 
11-Hour Driving Limit
During the 14-consecutive-hour period explained above, you are only
allowed to drive your truck for up to 11 total hours. A driver may drive a
total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period, however, after June 30, 2013,
driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end
of the driver’s last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.
Once you have driven a total of 11 hours, you have reached the driving
limit and must be off duty for another 10 consecutive hours (or equivalent)
before driving your truck again.
 
Example:
You have had 10 consecutive hours off. You come to work at 6:00 a.m. and drive
from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. (7 hours driving). You take a 30-minute break to meet the new
hours-of-service requirements (after 7/1/2013), and then can drive for another 4 hours until
6:30 p.m. You must not drive again until you have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. You
may do other work after 6:30 p.m., but you cannot do any more driving of a commercial motor
vehicle on a public road.
This regulation is found in Section 395.3(a)(3)
Thirty-Minute Break
Effective July 1, 2013, the hours of service regulations will require that if more than 8 consecutive
hours have passed since the last off-duty (or sleeper-berth) period of at least half an hour, a driver
must take an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes before driving. For example, if the driver started
driving immediately after coming on duty, he or she could drive for 8 consecutive hours, take a half-
hour break, and then drive another 3 hours for a total of 11 hours. In another example, this driver
could drive for 3 hours, take a half-hour break, and then drive another 8 hours, for a total of 11 hours.
Because of this new short break provision, drivers will be able to work 13.5 hours in the 14-hour
period (if they are driving after the 8
th
hour on duty). The driver must be off duty for at least a half
hour. Meal breaks or any other off-duty time of at least 30 minutes qualifies as a break. This time
does count against the 14-hour driving window, as allowing off-duty time to extend the work day
would allow drivers to drive long past the time when fatigue becomes extreme. In addition, FMCSA
has also added an exception for drivers of commercial motor vehicles carrying Division 1.1, 1.2, or
1.3 explosives to allow them to count on-duty time spent attending the commercial motor vehicle,
but doing no other on-duty work, towards the break. This 30-minute break is further explained in
greater detail throughout this document, particularly as it relates to the 11-hour driving rule.
60/70-Hour Duty Limit
An addition to the limits that are explained above is the 60/70-
hour limit. This limit is based on a 7 or 8-day period, starting
at the time specified by your motor carrier for the start of a 24-
hour period.
This limit is sometimes thought of as a “weekly” limit. However,
this limit is not based on a “set” week, such as Sunday through
Saturday. The limit is based on a “rolling” or “floating” 7-day or
8-day period. The oldest day’s hours drop off at the end of each
day when you calculate the total on-duty time for the past 7 or 8
days. For example, if you operate on a 70-hour/8-day schedule,
the current day would be the newest day of your 8-day period
and the hours you worked nine days ago would drop out of the calculation.
 
DAY
HOURS
1. Sunday
0
2. Monday
10
3. Tuesday
8.5
4. Wednesday
12.5
5. Thursday
9
6. Friday
10
7. Saturday
12
8. Sunday
5
TOTAL
67 hours
 
As an example, in the table shown above, the driver has accumulated a total of 67 on-duty (driving
and on-duty) hours in an 8-day period. If this driver is operating on the 70-hour/8-day rule, he/she
would be in compliance with the HOS rules in this example. Once the driver reaches the 70-hour
mark, the driver cannot drive the commercial motor vehicle until he/she has taken enough off-duty

hours to operate again. In this particular example, when the driver reaches the 9th day of the cycle...

 
(the second Monday), the hours from Day 1 of the cycle (the first Sunday) would drop off, and the
driver would then be calculating his or her hours for Days 2 through 9 (Monday–Monday). These
same principles apply for the 60-hours in 7-day HOS rule as well.
You are required to follow one of these two limits:
If your company does not operate vehicles every day of the week, you are not allowed to drive
a commercial motor vehicle after you’ve been on duty
60 hours
during any
7
consecutive days.
Once you reach the 60-hour limit, you will not be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle
again until you have dropped below 60 hours for a 7-consecutive-day period. You may do other
work, but you cannot do any more driving until you are off duty enough days to get below the
limit. Any other hours you work, whether they are for a motor carrier or someone else, must be
added to the total.
If your company does operate vehicles every day of the week, your employer may assign you
to the 70-hour/8-day schedule. This means that you are not allowed to drive a commercial
motor vehicle after you’ve been on duty
70 hours
in any
8
consecutive days. Once you reach
the 70-hour limit, you will not be able to drive again until you have dropped below 70 hours
for an 8-consecutive-day period. You may do other work, but you cannot do any more driving
until you get below the limit. Any other hours you work, whether they are for a motor carrier
or someone else, must be added to the total.
34-Hour Restart
The hours-of-service regulations allow you to “restart” your 60- or 70-hour clock calculations after
having at least 34 consecutive hours off duty. These regulations are found in Sections 395.3(c)(1) and
(c)(2) and are in effect until June 30, 2013. Effective July 1, 2013, the hours-of-service regulations
will require that the restart cover at least 34 consecutive hours and include at least two off-duty
periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. (home terminal time zone). Furthermore, the rules will limit
the use of the “34-hour restart” to once a week (once every 168 hours). The restart cannot be used
until 168 hours or more have passed since the beginning of the driver’s last restart. This provision
is found in Section 395.3(d) of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The minimum restart
period is 34 hours. Most drivers on day-time schedules will be able to obtain the 2 nights in a
minimum 34-hour restart, if they need to use the restart at all. For example, a driver who begins a
restart period when going off duty at 7:00 p.m. on a Friday would complete the minimum 34 hours
off duty at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday. This would have included the required 2 nights off from 1:00 a.m.
to 5:00 a.m. Only drivers who have a regular overnight driving schedule and who work more than
5 nights a week will need to take longer restarts to obtain the 2 nights off. After you have taken at
least 34 consecutive hours off duty – which includes 2 periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. – you
have the full 60 or 70 hours available again. You would then begin counting hours on the day of the
restart and not go back the full 7 or 8 days.
Example:
If you follow the 70-hour/8-day limit and work 14 hours per day for 5 days in a row,
you will have been on duty for 70 hours. You would not be able drive again until you drop below
70 hours worked in an 8-day period. However, if your company allows you to use the 34-hour
restart provision, you would have driving time available immediately after 34 consecutive
hours off duty. You would then begin a new period of 8 consecutive days and have 70 hours
available. However, effective July 1, 2013, the hours of service regulations limit the use of the
34-hour restart provision to once every 168 hours (once a week) and require that anyone using
the 34-hour restart provision have as part of the restart two off-duty periods that include 1:00
a.m. to 5:00 a.m
 
 


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