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Interstate Truck Driver’s Guide to Hours of Service

What Are the Hours-of-Service Limits?
The hours-of-service regulations focus on when and how long you are allowed to drive by placing specific limits on the amount of time you drive your truck and how many total hours you can work before you are no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle. You must follow three maximum duty limits at all times. They are the 14-hour “driving window” limit, 11-hour driving limit, and 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day duty limits.

14-Hour Driving Window ( This regulation is found in Section 395.3(a)(2) ):

  This window is usually thought of as a “daily” limit even though it is not based on a 24-hour period. You are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours in which to drive up to 11 hours after being off duty for 10 or more consecutive hours. The 14-consecutive-hour driving window begins when you start any kind of work. Once you have reached the end of this 14-consecutive-hour period, you cannot drive again until you have been off duty for another 10 consecutive hours, or the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.

   Your driving is limited to the 14-consecutive-hour period even if you take some off-duty time, such as a lunch break or a nap, during those 14 hours.

**NOTE** If you have a sleeper berth in your vehicle, you may be able to use it to get the required rest and to extend the 14-hour limit. Sleeper-berth provisions will be discussed later in this section.

Example: You have had 10 continuous hours off and you come to work at 6:00 a.m. You must not drive your truck after 8:00 p.m. that evening, which is 14 hours later. You may do other work after 8:00 p.m., but you cannot do any more driving until you have taken another 10 consecutive hours off, or the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.

11-Hour Driving Limit ( This regulation is found in Section 395.3(a)(3) ):

            During the 14-consecutive-hour period explained above, you are only allowed to drive your truck for up to 11 total hours. Once you have driven a total of 11 hours, you have reached the driving limit and must be off duty for 10 consecutive hours (or equivalent) before driving your truck again. 

            Example: You have had 10 consecutive hours off. You come to work at 6:00 a.m. and drive from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. (7 hours driving). You take a 30-minute break as required, and then can drive for another 4 hours until 6:30 p.m. You must not drive again until you have at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. You may do other work after 6:30 p.m., but you cannot do any more driving of a commercial motor vehicle on a public road.

Thirty-Minute Rest Break :

The hours-of-service regulations require that if more than 8 consecutive hours have passed since the last off-duty (or sleeper-berth) period of at least half an hour, a driver must take an off-duty break of at least 30 minutes before driving.

FMCSA does not enforce the 30-minute rest break provision [49 CFR 395.3(a)(3)(ii)] against any driver who qualifiesfor either of the “short haul operations” exceptions outlined in 49 CFR 395.1(e) (1) or (2). Specifically, the following drivers are not subject to the 30-minute break requirement:

(1) All drivers (CDL and non-CDL) who operate within 100 air-miles of their normal work reporting location and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(1).

 This exception (395.1(e)(1)) applies for any day in which a driver:

     => Drives within a 100 air-mile radius of his/her normal work reporting location;

     => Returns to his/her work reporting location and is released within 12 consecutive hours; and 

   => Follows the 10-hour off-duty and 11-hour driving requirements for property-carrying CMVs.

(2) Non-CDL drivers who operate within a 150 air-mile radius of the location where the driver reports for duty and satisfy the time limitations and recordkeeping requirements of 395.1(e)(2) are also exempt from the 30-minute rest break. 

60/70-Hour Duty Limit :

 An addition to the limits that are explained above is the 60/70-hour limit. This limit is based on a 7 or 8-day period, starting at the time specified by your motor carrier for the start of a 24-hour period. 

You are required to follow one of these two limits:

  1. If your company does not operate vehicles every day of the week, you are not allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle after you’ve been on duty 60 hours during any 7 consecutive days. Once you reach the 60-hour limit, you will not be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle again until you have dropped below 60 hours for a 7-consecutive-day period. You may do other work, but you cannot do any more driving until you are off duty enough days to get below the limit. Any other hours you work, whether they are for a motor carrier or someone else, must be added to the total.
  1. If your company does operate vehicles every day of the week, your employer may assign you to the 70-hour/8-day schedule. This means that you are not allowed to drive a commercial motor vehicle after you’ve been on duty 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days. Once you reach the 70-hour limit, you will not be able to drive again until you have dropped below 70 hours for an 8-consecutive-day period. You may do other work, but you cannot do any more driving until you get below the limit. Any other hours you work, whether they are for a motor carrier or someone else, must be added to the total.

34-Hour Restart :

            The hours-of-service regulations allow you to “restart” your 60- or 70-hour clock calculations by taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty (or in the sleeper berth) or some combination of both. After you have taken at least 34 consecutive hours off duty, you have the full 60 or 70 hours available again. The use of a “valid” 34-hour restart resets a driver’s “weekly” hours back to zero. In addition, an individual may perform other on-duty tasks, such as loading or unloading and paperwork, after reaching the 60/7 or 70/8 hour limits. They simply may not legally drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on a public road when the limit has been reached. The 34-hour restart is an optional, not a mandatory regulatory provision. 

What Is On-Duty Time?  ( The definition of on-duty time is found in Section 395.2 )

            The 60-hour/7-day limit and 70-hour/8-day limit are based on how many hours you work over a period of days. Just what kind of work is included in on-duty time? It includes all time you are working or are required to be ready to work, for any employer. It includes the following activities:

  1.  All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless you have been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;
  2.  All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any truck, including fueling it and washing it at any time;
  3.  All driving time, as defined in the term driving time;
  4.  All other time in or on a commercial motor vehicle other than: (i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Section 397.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations; (ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth; (iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth;
  5.  All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck; or handling paperwork for shipments;
  6.  All time taking care of your truck when it is broken down;
  7.  All time spent providing a breath,saliva, or urine sample for drug/ alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site;
  8.  All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car; and
  9.  All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant. The bottom line is that on-duty time includes all time you are working for a motor carrier, whether paid or not, and all time you are doing paid work for anyone else.

What Is Off-Duty Time?

            By understanding the definition of on-duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off-duty time. In order for time to be considered off-duty, you must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue activities of your own choosing.

If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off-duty time.

On-Duty Time In a Commercial Motor Vehicle :

            The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) excludes from the definition of on-duty time any time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle. Also excluded is up to 2 hours in the passenger seat of a moving commercial motor vehicle, immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. This rule continues to require drivers to take 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, and allows them to take an additional 2 hours in the passenger seat when the vehicle is moving, without artificially confining them to the sleeper berth for the entire 10-hour period. This provides team drivers an opportunity to “keep the truck moving” by having driver A drive for 10 hours (not consecutively with a 30-minute break required at the 8th hour) while driver B obtains a full daily rest period without having to stay in the sleeper berth for 10 straight hours. Driver B can take 8 hours in the sleeper berth and 2 hours in the passenger seat to accomplish the required off-duty period. Then the drivers may change positions and keep the truck moving. This reversal pattern could continue until either driver reaches the maximum limit of 60 or 70 hours on duty in any 7 or 8 day period. It bears noting that only the first 2 hours in the passenger seat of the commercial motor vehicle can be combined with the 8 hours in the sleeper berth to get the required 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Any hours spent in the passenger seat after these 2 hours count – and are properly logged as – on-duty (not driving) time. 

Travel Time : ( The regulation on travel time is found in Section 395.1(j) )

“Travel time” refers to the time you are being transported to a new location as part of your job, while not performing any driving on the trip. Any travel time you do at the direction of your motor carrier is considered on-duty time. However, if you take at least 10 consecutive hours off duty once you get to your destination, you may count all of the time, including the travel time, as off-duty. 

What Is Off-Duty Time?

you must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue activities of your own choosing. If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off-duty time. 

What Is the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception? ( This regulation is found in Section 395.1(b) )

            If unexpected adverse driving conditions slow you down, you may drive up to 2 extra hours to complete what could have been driven in normal conditions. This means you could drive for up to 13 hours, which is 2 hours more than allowed under normal conditions. Adverse driving conditions mean things that you did not know about when you started your run, like snow, fog, or a shut-down of traffic due to a crash. Adverse driving conditions do not include situations that you should have known about, such as congested traffic during typical “rush hour” periods. Even though you may drive 2 extra hours under this exception, you must not drive after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, and you must comply with the minimum 30-minute rest break provisions. 

What Is the Non-CDL Short-Haul Exception? ( This regulation is found in Section 395.1(e)(2) )

            If you drive short distances in a truck that does not require a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you might be able to use the non-CDL short-haul exception. This short-haul exception allows you to extend the 14-hour driving window to 16 hours on 2 days in a 7-consecutive-day period or after any 34-hour restart and does not require you to keep a logbook. FMCSA does not enforce the 30-minute rest break provision [49 CFR 395.3 (a)(3)(ii)] against any driver who qualifies for this short-haul exception.

You can only use this exception if you:

  1. Drive a truck that is a “commercial motor vehicle” but does not require a CDL, and
  2. Work within a 150 air-mile radius (see p. 3 for explanation of “air miles”) of your normal work reporting location and return there each day.

If you meet the criteria for using the non-CDL short-haul exception:

  1. You must not drive for more than 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty;
  2. You must not drive past the 14th hour after coming on duty 5 days in any period of 7 consecutive days; and
  3. You must not drive past the 16th hour after coming on duty 2 days in any period of 7 consecutive days.
  4. You must not drive after being on duty 60 hours in any 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days (unless you took 34 consecutive hours off to restart a 7/8-day period that meets the conditions listed above).

Under this exception you are not required to keep a log book, but your company must keep accurate and true time records for 6 months showing: 1) the time the driver reports for duty each day; 2) the total number of hours the driver is on duty each day; 3) the time the driver is released from duty each day; and 4) the total time for the preceding 7 days in accordance with Section 395.8(j)(2) for drivers used for the first time or intermittently. If you come under this exception you are not eligible for the 100 air-mile radius exception, 16-hour short-haul exception, or the split sleeper-berth provision.

What Is the 16-Hour Short-Haul Exception? ( This regulation is found in Section 395.1(o) )

If you usually come back to your work-reporting location and go home at the end of your workday, you might be able to use the 16-hour short-haul exception. This exception allows you to extend the 14-consecutive-hour driving window to 16 hours once every 7 consecutive days. In order to use this exception, you must do the following:

  1. You must return to your work reporting location that day, as well as for your last 5 duty tours. A duty tour is the period of time from when you come to work to when you leave work. It is your “workday,” the time between your off-duty periods of at least 10 consecutive hours.
  2. You must be released from duty within 16 hours after coming on duty.
  3. You must only use this exception once every 7 consecutive days (unless you took 34 consecutive hours off to restart a 7/8-day period). You may not use this exception if you qualify for the “Non-CDL Short Haul Exception” explained earlier.

Exceptions From the Hours-of-Service Regulations

 Note: Items in BOLD are complete HOS exemptions. Others are primarily from logbooks.

CategoryType of ExceptionConditions That Must Be Met49 CFR

Section

100 air-mile

radius driver

 

(Also see driver salesperson)

• Logbook not requireda)    Report and return to work reporting location within 12 consecutive hours.

b)     Stay within 100 air-mile radius of work reporting location.

c)     Keep time records showing time in, time out, and total number of hours.

§395.1(e)(1)
150 air-mile

radius driver

• 16-hour driving windows allowed twice per 7-day period, or after any 34-hour restart

 

• Logbook not required

a)    Vehicle does not require CDL

b)    Report and return to normal work reporting location every day.

c)     Stay within 150 air-mile radius of work reporting location.

d)    Keep time records showing time in, time out, and total number of hours

§395.1(e)(2)
Adverse driving conditions• Up to 2 additional hours of driving timea)    Additional driving time must fall within 14-hour driving window

b)    Weather or traffic condition must be unknown at start of run

§395.1(b)(1) §395.2
Agricultural operations• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Transporting agricultural commodities or farm supplies.

b)    Within 150 air-miles of farm supplies or commodities origin.

c)     During a State’s declared planting and harvesting season.

§395.1(k)

§395.2

Agricultural [Farm Vehicle Operations; 10,001 through 26,000 lbs. GVW/GVWR]• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Driven by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch (or by a family member or employee of that person)

b)    Transporting agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from the farm or ranch

c)     License plate or some other means of identifying it as a farm vehicle to enforcement personnel

d)    Not for-hire

e)    Not transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding

f)      No limitation on distance for these lighter vehicles (see next row in table)

§390.5 §390.39(a)(3)
Agricultural [Farm Vehicle Operations; 26,001 lbs. or GREATER GVW/GVWR• AII hours-ofservice regulations, among othersa)    Driven by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch (or by a family member or employee of that person)

b)    Transporting agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from the farm or ranch

c)     License plate or some other means of identifying it as a farm vehicle to enforcement personnel

d)    Not for-hire

e)    Not transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding

f)      Anywhere in the vehicle’s home State or extending into another State within a 150 air-mile radius (172.6 land miles) of the operator’s farm or ranch

§390.5 §390.39(a)(3)
Alaska• 15 hours of driving time • 20 hours of duty time

• 70 hours/7 days or 80 hours/8 days

a)    Driving a commercial motor vehicle in Alaska§395.1(h)
Construction materials and equipment• 24 consecutive hours                                                             off duty restarts

• 60-hour/7-day or

• 70-hour/8-day limit

a)    Vehicle used to transport construction and pavement materials, construction equipment, and construction maintenance vehicles

b)    To or from active construction site

c)     Stay within 75 air-miles of normal work reporting location States may establish different air mile limitation if such limitation is between 50 and 75 air miles and applies only to movements that take place entirely with the State

d)    Does not apply to vehicles placarded for hazardous materials

§395.1(m)

§395.2

Driver’s record of duty status• Electronic logging device (Compliance date 12/18/2017)A motor carrier may require a driver to record the driver’s duty status manually rather than require the use of an ELD if the driver is operating a CMV:

a)    In a manner requiring completion of a record of duty status on not more than 8 days within any 30-day period;

b)    In a driveaway-towaway operation in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered;

c)     In a driveaway-towaway operation in which the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer; or

d)    That was manufactured before model year 2000.

§395.8(a)(1)(iii) (A)
Driversalesperson• 60-hour/7-day limit

• 70-hour/8-day limit

• Modified 100 airmile radius logbook provision

a)    Sell goods or services

b)    Stay within 100 miles of work reporting location

c)     No more than half of all working time spent driving

d)    Driving time does not exceed 40 hours in any 7 consecutive days

§395.1(c)

§395.2

Emergency relief• All hours-ofservice regulations, among othersa)    Declared national, regional, State, or local emergency§390.23
Emergency driving conditions• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Legal run could have been completed if there wasn’t an emergency§395.1(b)(2)
Federal government operated• All hours-ofservice regulations, among othersNone§390.3(f)(2)
Fire and rescue, emergency operation (non government)• All hours-ofservice regulations, among othersNone§390.3(f)(5)
Ground water well drilling• 24 hours off duty restarts 60/70 hours calculationa)    Vehicle used primarily in transportation and operations of a groundwater well drilling rig§395.1(l)
Hawaii• Logbook not requireda)    Keep time records showing time in, time out, and total number of hours§395.1(i)
Hi-Rail Vehicles • 14-hour ruleDriver of a Hi-Rail vehicle as defined in § 395.2 shall not include certain time in transportation to or from a duty assignment. Time in transportation to, and from a duty assignment, will not be included in the 14 hours time under § 395.3(a)(2) if

a)    it does not exceed 2 hours per calendar day or a total of 30 hours per calendar month, and

b)    the motor carrier fully and accurately accounts for this time in the records it maintains and makes such records available to FMCSA or the Federal Railroad Administration upon request.

§395.1(w)            §395.2
Local government operated• All hours-ofservice regulations, among othersa)    None* * Intrastate exceptions may be different. Check with State enforcement for details.§390.3(f)(2)
Movie and television production• 10 hours driving time

• 15-hours extendable driving window

• 8 consecutive hours off duty

a)    Transportation of property or passengers to or from a theatrical or television or motion picture production site

b)    Stay within 100 air-miles of normal work reporting location

§395.1(p)
Oilfield operations• 24-hour “restart” of 70 hours in 8 days calculationsa)    CMVs used exclusively in transportation of oilfield equipment and servicing field operations gas and oil industry

b)    Accurate time records must be available for inspection

§395.1(d)(1)
Oilfield operations• Waiting time at natural gas or oil well site not counted as on-duty timea)    Specially trained drivers operating specially constructed vehicles used to service gas or oil wells

b)    Waiting time must be shown separately on log

§395.1(d)(2)
Personal property occasional transportation• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Transportation unrelated to any commercial activity§390.3(f)(3)
Pipeline Welders • Complete exemption when meeting requirementsWelding truck used in the pipeline industry as a pick-up style truck, owned by a welder, equipped with a welding rig that is used in the construction or maintenance of pipelines, and has a GVW and combination weight rating and weight of 15,000 pounds or less§390.38(a)(5) §395.1(x)
Propane winter heating fuel; pipeline emergencies• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Emergency conditions as defined in §390.5§390.3(f)(7)
Railroad signal employees• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Provisions do not apply to a signal employee, as defined in §395.2, who operates a commercial motor vehicle, is engaged in installing, repairing, or maintaining signal systems, is employed by a railroad carrier or a contractor or subcontractor to a railroad carrier, while regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration.§395.1(r)
Ready-mixed Concrete Delivery Vehicle • Logbook not requireda)    Operate within a 100-mile radius of the normal work reporting location

b)    Return to the work reporting location and be released from work within 14 consecutive hours

c)     Have at least 10 hours off duty following each 14 hours on duty

d)    Not exceed 11 hours of driving time following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The motor carrier that employs the driver must keep accurate time records.

§395.1(e)(1)
Ready-mixed Concrete Delivery Vehicle• 30-minute rest breaka)    Time spent while waiting with CMV at a job site or terminal can be used to meet rest break provided driver performs no other work during break§395.1(t)
Retail store deliveries• All time limits on driving, duty periods, breaks, time offa)    Local deliveries from retail stores and/ or catalog businesses to the ultimate consumer

b)    Stay within 100 air-miles of normal work reporting location

c)     Only December 10 through December 25

§395.1(f)
School bus contractor operated• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Transportation of school children and/or school personnel from home to school and from school to home§390.3(f)(1)
School bus governmentoperated• See “Local government operated” entry above
Short-haul exception (16-hour)

Also see the “100 air-mile radius driver” and “150 airmile radius driver” entries at beginning of this Table.

• 16-hour duty period allowed once per 7-day period, or after any 34-hour restarta)    Return to work reporting location that day and for last 5 duty tours

b)    Be released from duty within 16 consecutive hours

c)     Use once every 7 consecutive days or after a 34-hour restart

d)    Does not apply if driver is eligible for 150 air-mile radius exception (see above)

§395.1(o)
State government operated• All hours-ofservice regulations, among othersNone* * Intrastate exceptions may be different. Check with State enforcement for details.§390.3(f)(2)
Tow truck responding to emergency• All hours-ofservice regulations, among othersa)    When responding to government request for wrecked/disabled vehicles§390.3(f)(2)
Transportation of commercial bees• 30-minute rest breaka)    Does not apply to a driver transporting bees in interstate commerce if there are bees on the vehicle.§395.1(u)
Transportation of livestock• 30-minute rest breaka)    Does not apply to a driver engaged in the interstate transportation of livestock by CMV while the livestock are on the vehicle§395.1(v)

§395.2

Utility service vehicles• All hours-ofservice regulationsa)    Vehicle being used to repair, maintain, deliver public utility services including electric, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, television cable, or community antenna service

b)    Includes travel to and from activity sites

c)     Operates primarily within service area of utility’s subscribers or consumers

d)    Does not include new construction activity

§395.1(n)