How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive a CMV?
"Hours of service" refers to the maximum duration of time that drivers are allowed to be on duty, which includes how many hours a truck driver can drive. It also describes the frequency and duration of rest breaks, which is intended to assist in ensuring that drivers remain awake and attentive.
To whom are the Hours of Service rules applicable?
Drivers who operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that meets any of the following requirements are subject to HOS regulations:
- Weigh at least 10,001 pounds (4,536 kg) when loaded.
- Possesses a gross weight rating of at least 10,001 pounds (4,536 kg) for either the vehicle or the combination.
- Transports several hazardous goods that call for placards.
- Designed to transport sixteen or more people—including the driver—without receiving payment.
- Designed to carry nine or more people—including the driver—for payment.
1.How many hours a truck driver drive
- Daily Driving Limit: In 24 hours, a truck driver is only permitted to drive for 11 hours total. Furthermore, truck drivers are required to take a 10-hour rest before working hours of this duration.
- Driving Limit of 14 Hours: Drivers who transport any form of goods are not permitted to work more than 14 hours a day when actively 'on duty'. All breaks, traffic-related delays, driving, and rest times a driver takes while on duty are included in this 14-hour limit.
- Weekly Driving Limit: According to this restriction, a truck driver cannot resume driving after exceeding 60 or 70 hours of driving in seven days. Only after taking three straight 34-hour breaks may drivers resume being "on duty."
Truck Driver Breaks
The FMCSA's HOS regulations specify the number, duration, and frequency of a truck driver's breaks in addition to the daily driving time that is allowed to them. These breaks are as follows:
- A 30-minute Break: If a driver hasn't taken a 30-minute break during a prior non-driving period, they must do so after 8 total hours of driving. Any type of on-duty non-driving session can count towards this break as long as it lasts for 30 minutes straight. For example, standing in a parking lot, waiting to be loaded, etc.
- A 10-hour break in a Row: There must be a 10-hour pause in between each 11-hour driving segment.
- A 34-Hour Break:Every truck driver who has driven for 60 or 70 hours in a row within seven or eight days must consciously take a 34-hour respite.
2.Exceptions and Flexibilities: Frequently utilized clauses of HOS
- The Short-haul Exemption: Increases the air mileage limit for the short-haul exemption to 150 and permits the use of the exception for a 14-hour workday. The following criteria are waived for short-haul drivers:
- Standard grid records, electronic or paper-based.
- Take 30-minute pauses from operating a vehicle.
- Documentation supporting §395.11.
- Exception for Adverse Driving Conditions: When driving becomes hazardous or impractical due to terrible driving conditions, such as snowstorms or other extreme weather, drivers are permitted to travel longer than the allowed period.
- Provision of Sleeper Berths: Enables a driver to satisfy the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7 hours of that time in the sleeper berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent either inside or outside the berth, as long as the two periods add up to a minimum of 10 hours. This changes the sleeper berth exception.
However, hardly many drivers make use of this exemption, which is only applicable in cases of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances. It Increases the driving window by up to two hours in bad driving conditions.
Read our blog on Top 8 Must-Have Truck Driver Accessories
3.Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Mandates
Paper logbooks are replaced with Electronic Logging Devices(ELDs), which digitally record a driver's Record of Duty Status (RODS). They monitor and document regulated drivers' adherence to Hours of Service (HOS) mandates to guarantee that operations conform to appropriate safety guidelines.
The new ELD regulation of how many hours can a truck driver drive adds performance and technical requirements that specify the precise features that the device must have.
- To record if the vehicle is moving, connect to the engine.
- Permit the driver to choose between driving, sleeping, being off-duty, and being on duty.
- Present a Record of Duty Status graphically so that a driver may easily see the number of hours in a day.
- Give law enforcement access to data in a standardized format that may be shared by USB, Bluetooth, wireless web services, or other approved channels.
- Verify with the supplier if the gadget satisfies the requirements.
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4.Driver Health and following HOS regulations
The length of how many hours can a truck driver drive each day and each week is governed by these truck driver fatigue rules. These rules are meant to prevent truck drivers from becoming fatigued and to encourage road safety.
The Issue of Fatigue among Truck Drivers
The following data relates to truck accidents brought on by tired drivers:
- According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver exhaustion is a factor in roughly 13% of all big truck incidents in the U.S.
- According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, 31% of heavy truck fatal collisions were caused by tired drivers.
- According to a poll conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), 13% of truck drivers said they had fallen asleep at the wheel at least once, while 65% of truck drivers said they felt tired while driving.
How to follow the Regulations and Guidelines of HOS?
The Fatigue-fighting regulations of how many hours can a truck driver drive are meticulously developed extensive scientific study and unparalleled stakeholder engagement. Federal laws were created specifically to address the issue of truck driver weariness.
- Use an electronic logging device (ELD) or paper logbook to monitor how many hours can a truck driver drive appropriately. Keep track of every minute of driving, relaxation, and on-duty hours.
- Plan the route, find rest stations and truck stops, and utilize other resources, like smartphone applications.
- After eight hours of nonstop driving, take a 30-minute break, and then take ten hours off before beginning the following shift.
- If required, make use of the exemption for poor driving circumstances.
With these new modifications, FMCSA aimed to provide the HOS regulations about how many hours can a truck driver drive for greater flexibility. However, as with the HOS regulations generally, ignorance of the requirements is not a defense for a violation.
Carriers therefore need to make certain that drivers are aware of what the regulations permit and prohibit as well as how to utilize the new exceptions while still adhering to all operating guidelines.
We have made every effort to ensure that the HOS Regulation is simple to comprehend. It would be beneficial if you could share the article with your professional network for further awareness.
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