Hours of service regulations are important guidelines that dictate the amount of time that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. These regulations are put in place to ensure that truck drivers are not fatigued while driving, which can lead to accidents and fatalities on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for enforcing hours of service regulations for commercial motor vehicles. These regulations vary depending on the type of vehicle being driven and the cargo being transported.
One of the main components of hours of service regulations is the maximum number of hours that a truck driver can work in a day. For most truck drivers, this is 14 hours, with a maximum of 11 hours spent driving. This means that a truck driver can work a 14-hour shift, but only 11 of those hours can be spent driving. The remaining 3 hours must be spent off duty or sleeping in a sleeper berth.
There are also limits on the number of hours that a truck driver can work in a week. This is typically 70 hours, with the option to reset the clock after 34 hours of consecutive off-duty time.
In addition to these limits, truck drivers must also take breaks throughout their shifts. This can include a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving, as well as shorter breaks throughout the day as needed.