Since driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents and injuries, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed specific rules for hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers. Knowing these limits and ensuring that you and your company adhere to them will keep you safe on the road. Staying alert and safe will allow you to continue earning a living as a commercial truck driver.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration established the Hours-of-Service regulations to put limits on when and how long commercial motor vehicle drivers may be on the road. These regulations must be adhered to by all drivers to help insure commercial truck drivers get the rest they need to operate their motor vehicles safely. The rules apply to ANY commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more that is involved in interstate or intrastate commerce. The regulations also apply to any commercial motor vehicle transporting a quantity of hazardous materials that would require a placard.
For property-carrying commercial truck drivers, a summary of the rules is listed below. The Hours-of-Service rules state that a driver of a commercial motor vehicle:
• May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
• May NOT drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time does not extend the 14 hours period.
• May not drive after 60 hours on duty in any 7 consecutive day time frame, if the motor carrier company(ies) contracted with operates less than seven days a week.
• May not drive after 70 hours on duty during any 8 consecutive day time frame, if the motor carrier company(ies) contracted with operates sevens days per week.
• May restart a seven or eight consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
• When using a sleeper berth provision, must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate two consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
For more information about these regulations, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations. And, for up to date information about commercial trucking insurance, contact a Reliance Partners agent.