Truck drivers spend days on the road driving. They often work under strict deadlines and high demand.
To help combat fatigue and ensure drivers are only on the road when they are in good mental shape, the government put hours-of-service regulations in place. These rules mandate breaks to allow drivers time to sleep and rest. For those carrying property, which includes transport semis, there are multiple rules in place.
Maximum driving times
Every driver must obey the maximum driving limits. In any situation, a driver cannot be on the road for more than 11 hours in a row. They can only drive for 11 hours after having 10 hours off.
Drivers also have a 14-hour limit, which says they cannot drive past the 14th hour after coming off of a 10-hour rest period. For example, if a driver comes onto his shift at midnight, he can drive 11 hours between the hours of midnight and 2:00 p.m.
When looking at a full driving period, the rules state drivers must have 34 hours off between periods of 60/70 hours working in 7/8 days.
Beyond the time off between working hours, drivers also must take breaks. For every eight hours driven, they must have at least a 30-minute break.
Exceptions to the rules
The rules do allow for some exceptions. If a truck has a sleeper berth, they do not have to take the 10 hours off between shifts consecutively as long as they spend at least seven hours in the berth. If splitting, the first half must be at least two hours.
Also, in adverse weather conditions, the rules do extend the maximum driving times by two hours.
Drivers and companies can get in a lot of trouble if they do not obey these rules as they help to keep everyone on the roads safe.