Truck drivers are often under pressure to make deliveries on time. Sometimes this can lead to long hours spent driving without much rest, which greatly heightens the risk of getting into an accident.
That’s why the DOT Hours of Service were developed. But what exactly are they?
The Dot Hours of Services for truck drivers were created with safety in mind by helping drivers regulate their duty cycles.These are mandatory hours that highlight how long a driver can stay behind a wheel and when to take rest breaks.
An Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is required by all commercial motor vehicle drivers in order to log how many miles they drive at a time and current duty status.
These hours ensure truckers remain alert and vigilant behind the wheel for defensive driving that lowers accident risk caused by fautigue.
The DOT Hours of Service aren’t black and white. Here is a brief overview of the rules:
1. 14-Hour Shift Limit: Once you’ve been on duty 14 hours, you must stop for a 10-hour break. It doesn’t matter how many hours you actually drove within that 14-hour shift, once the 14th hour is reached, you MUST stop for a 10-hour break.
2. 11-Hour Driving Limit: Within your 14-hour shift you can ONLY drive a total of 11-hours.
3. 60/70 Hour Limit: If you’re a carrier that isn’t on daily duty, you must not exceed 60-hours of driving within a seven day period. If you do operate daily, you must not exceed 70-hours within an eight day period.
4. 34-Hour Restart: After hitting your 60/70-hour limit, you must take off 34 consecutive hours to rest.
5. 30-Minute Breaks: You must take a 30-minute break after driving eight hours.
6: Split Sleep Berth: This rule allows you to break up your 10-hour shift between 8/2 or 7/3 hours. This entails staying in the sleeper berth for a shift of 8-10 hours, while 2-8 hours may be spent as desired (however, you must be off-duty). The 7/3 is similar, except with shorter hours.