HOS Explained
How many hours can truck drivers drive in a day?

Driving hours is by far the most important metric for fleet managers to track any given day in order to ensure fleet safety and comply with the HOS mandate.

The answer to this question is not as simple as one might think and we will break it down in the article below:

14-hour shift limit Explained

Under the basic HOS rules- drivers cannot be ON-Duty for more than 14 hours in a day, out of which 11 hours at most can be spent driving. Drivers cannot drive all 11 hours consecutively, rather it must be broken into at most an 8-hour consecutive period of driving and a minimum 30 minute rest break.

60 or 70 hour cycle limit (rolling)

The second HOS rule to consider is the cycle limitations. Depending on whether you follow the 7 or 8 day rolling cycles, drivers can be ON-Duty for a maximum of 60 or 70 hours. 

And under either cycle drivers must still comply with the daily 14-hour shift limit – meaning they cannot be on duty for more than 14 hours a day and cannot driver for more than 11 hours a day. 

Taking all of this into consideration, if your drivers work full 14hr days, they will reach their cycle limits (60 or 70) before their seventh/eighth day respectfully. And in this case they will not be able to drive again until their ON-Duty hours on the rolling cycle drop below the 60 or 70 hr limit respectively.

34 hour cycle reset

An easy way to reset the clock and get back behind the wheel is by resetting the cycle all together- drivers can do this by taking a 34hr off duty period.

Do i need to comply with the HOS Mandate?

An important question to ask is – Do I need to comply with hours of service limits in the first place?

Only CMVs – commercial motor vehicles – are required to comply with the HOS limits and needs to meet the following descriptions:

  • Weighs at least 10,001 pounds or has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of at least 10,001 pounds 
  • Is designed or used to transport nine or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation 
  • Transports a quantity of hazardous materials that requires a placard 

If you meet any of the above then you are required to comply with the truck driver hour limits. Wireless Links` ELD solution can help you achieve HOS compliance easily.

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