What Should a Driver Know About DOT Truck Driving Hours Regulations?

Truck drivers throughout the country need to know about the limitations placed on their hours and just how far they will be allowed to go before they must take a mandatory break per government regulations. Some may or may not like these rules, but the rules exist to try to keep everyone on the road safe. Knowing what they are can decrease downtime and reduce fines and penalties from government regulators. We at J & M Trailer Repair believe that this is the best way to keep everyone safe and secure while out on the road. We sincerely put our best efforts into making sure we can get people back on the road as quickly as possible so that nothing will hold them up. 

What Are the Truck Driver Hour Driving Limit? 

There are limits to how long a driver can be on the road before they must take a mandatory break. This is strictly enforced by the Department of Transportation (DOT), and it can result in large penalties and fines for those who do not abide by the law. The DOT truck driving hours of service regulations that you need to know about right now include: 

  • A driver may not be in service for more than 14 hours a day.
  • Only 11 of those 14 hours can be used for driving.
  • The driver must take a mandatory 30-minute break after 8 hours of service in a day.
  • The driver must be given at least a 10-hour rest period before they can be in service again.
  • The 14-hour in-service time CANNOT be extended by mandatory meal breaks.

It is essential that all trucking companies work to try to keep within the regulations set out by the Department of Transportation. They are set up for a reason, and it is quite dangerous to have a driver out on the road for longer than the time periods set out by the DOT. Having a driver out for longer than that could risk them getting into an accident that results in themselves or others getting hurt, and that is not a burden that you want to carry around as their employer. 

Automatic Electronic Logs Can Help Keep Better Records

Electronic logs are a better gauge of how many hours a driver has really been on the road compared to the paper logs that were used for so many years. Electronic logs are already what the government has mandated that trucking companies shift to anyway, so you might as well get the latest equipment to keep the most accurate records. 

Not only are electronic logs great from a regulatory compliance standpoint, but they are ideal in terms of gathering data and information to feed back to the company so they can see how long their drivers are spending on the road and work out ways to shift drivers around where they need them to be as efficient as possible. This is a great way to use DOT regulations to your advantage to have a safer driving record for your drivers and also achieve great things for the company along the way.