A Summary of Hours-of-Service Regulations

To protect commercial drivers, their products or passengers and other motorists on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates how many hours a driver can drive and work per day and week. These rules are known as Hours-of-Service Regulations.

Continue reading to learn a bit more about these regulations and how our team can help with commercial truck roadside service in Ocala, FL:

  • Eleven-hour limit: According to this rule, a property-carrying driver may work a maximum of 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours.
  • Ten-hour limit: Passenger-carrying drivers may only drive for 10 hours at once after being off for eight consecutive hours.
  • Fourteen-hour limit: Truckers hauling property can’t drive beyond the fourteenth consecutive hour after coming on duty following their 10-hour, off-duty period. Their off-duty time doesn’t extend the 14-hour period.
  • Fifteen-hour limit: The 15-hour limit is similar to the point above, but it applies to passenger-carrying drivers. These drivers can’t drive after 15 hours following their eight consecutive off-duty hours.
  • Thirty-minute break: All commercial drivers must take a 30-minute break after being behind the wheel for eight cumulative hours. This rule is satisfied by taking any sort of break, even if the driver is waiting for commercial truck roadside service in Ocala, FL.
  • Sixty/seventy-hour limit: Product- or passenger-carrying drivers can’t drive more than 60 hours on duty in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. This seven- or eight-day period begins after the driver has been off duty for at least 34 hours.
  • Sleeper berth provision: Drivers can split their 10-hour, off-duty period into two time periods. However, a portion of this time must be spent sleeping. Product-carrying drivers must spend at least seven hours sleeping, while passenger-carrying drivers need to sleep for eight hours. Together, the time periods must add up to at least 10 hours.
  • Adverse driving conditions: When the weather is bad, drivers can extend their maximum driving time limit by up to two hours. This means that product-carrying drivers can drive past their 11-hour limit, while passenger-carrying vehicles can extend their 10-hour rule limit.
  • Short-haul exception: Drivers may be exempt from all of the rules mentioned above if they operate within a 150 air-mile radius and don’t exceed the maximum duty period of 14 hours; so, drivers must make their trip and return to their reporting location within 14 hours of their departure.

How are these rules enforced?

The Hours-of-Service Regulations aren’t just run based on an honor system; electronic logging devices (ELDs) are used to track a trucker’s driving time. In addition to tracking the engine hours and miles driven, an ELD records everything from the truck’s location to the driver’s duty status.

This information can be used to impose fines upon the driver or threaten their employment status if they’re breaking the laws.

Trouble on the road? Talk to J & M Trailer Repair

Mid-trip breakdowns happen all the time—even if the driver is fully rested. If one ever happens to you, be sure to call us for commercial truck roadside service in Ocala, FL. We offer speedy assistance any time of day or night.