There are definitely limits to how many hours a heavy haul trucker can drive. However, the rules can get confusing. Federal regulations are different for different classes of trucks. Drivers who transport freight within the same state aren’t required to adhere to federal rules. It’s only when heavy haul drivers cross state lines that they must adhere to federal mandates.
Heavy Haul Driving Time
Drivers must keep a log of the hours driven for each day, along with rest stops. Drivers that have been off duty for 34 consecutive hours receive a “reset” on their hours of operation. Each driver must begin their “shift” after having at least 10 hours of off-duty time.
After those 10 hours of off-duty time, they can be on the road for up to 14 hours, but only 11 of those can be actual drive times. Drivers can’t extend their 14-hour duty time with stops for meals, breaks or fuel stops. Drivers aren’t allowed to work more than 60 hours over 7 consecutive days – or 70 hours over 8 days.
There is an exception to those drive time rules in the event of adverse driving conditions. Snow, fog and unforeseen traffic delays allow drivers to extend their drive time by 2 additional hours. Adverse weather conditions are defined as conditions that won’t allow a driver t pull over at a rest stop to conform to 10 hours off duty. However, if it’s at all possible for a driver to pull over, they’re required to do so if they can’t return to their home terminal.
There’s also a 10-hour exception that can come into play. Drivers can be on duty for 16 hours if they begin and end their run at the same terminal, as long as drive time doesn’t exceed 11 hours. Drivers can’t combine the 16-hour and the adverse weather conditions together. They also can’t use the 16-hour exception again until they’ve had a 34-hour rest.
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