The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for truck drivers in the United States were governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Truck Drivers Hours of Service Regulations

The Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for truck drivers in the United States were governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). These regulations were put in place to ensure the safety of both truck drivers and other road users by preventing driver fatigue and promoting adequate rest.

  1. 11-Hour Driving Limit: The 11-hour driving limit meant that once a driver began their driving shift, they could not drive for more than 11 consecutive hours. After reaching this limit, they were required to take a break of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before starting a new driving shift. This rule aimed to prevent driver fatigue and ensure that drivers had sufficient rest between long stretches of driving.
  2. 14-Hour On-Duty Limit: The 14-hour on-duty limit encompassed all work-related activities, not just driving. This included tasks such as loading and unloading cargo, conducting vehicle inspections, completing paperwork, and any other work duties. Once a driver started their work shift, they had a maximum of 14 consecutive hours during which they could perform these tasks. Once the 14 hours were up, they were required to take a break of at least 10 consecutive hours before resuming any on-duty activities.
  3. Rest Breaks: If a driver was going to be driving beyond the 8th hour since coming on duty, they were required to take a rest break of at least 30 minutes. This break could be taken in a sleeper berth, off duty, or on duty but not driving. The purpose of this break was to promote driver alertness and prevent fatigue during long driving shifts.
  4. 60/70-Hour Limit: The 60/70-hour limit established a maximum threshold for the number of on-duty hours a driver could accumulate within a specific time frame. In a 7-day period, a driver was not allowed to work more than 60 hours. In an 8-day period, this limit extended to 70 hours. Once this maximum on-duty time was reached, a driver needed to take a minimum of 34 consecutive hours off duty before starting a new 7 or 8-day cycle.
  5. 34-Hour Restart: The 34-hour restart rule enabled drivers to reset their weekly on-duty limits by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off duty. This meant that after reaching the maximum on-duty hours in a 7 or 8-day period, drivers could reset their cycle by taking a full 34-hour break. Additionally, the restart period had to include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to ensure that drivers were getting rest during the nighttime hours.
  6. Adverse Driving Conditions: In cases of unexpected adverse driving conditions, such as severe weather, road closures, or traffic accidents, drivers were allowed to extend their driving and on-duty time in order to safely reach their destination or find suitable rest areas. This exception was intended to ensure driver safety during challenging situations.
  7. Short-Haul Exception: A driver is exempt from the requirements of §395.8 and §395.11 if: the driver operates within a 150 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location, and the driver does not exceed a maximum duty period of 14 hours. Drivers using the short-haul exception in §395.1(e)(1) must report and return to the normal work reporting location within 14 consecutive hours, and stay within a 150 air-mile radius of the work reporting location.

Remember that HOS regulations are subject to change, and it’s important to refer to the latest official sources, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding Hours of Service regulations for truck drivers.

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