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Commercial Truck Driver Regulations

Complying with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Commercial truck drivers are required to comply with the regulations provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This regulatory body produces mandatory guidelines that all commercial trucking companies and their drivers must follow. One of the most essential requirements for drivers is the limitation on the number of hours that a person may operate a vehicle. Overturned truck on a highway in winter

Hours of Service Rules

Known as the Hours-of-Service (HOS) Rules, the FMSCA imposes the following restrictions for property-carrying drivers:

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit. A commercial truck driver carrying property is limited to a maximum of 11 hours of driving after 10 consecutive hours off to prevent fatigue on the road.

  • 14-Hour Limit. A driver may not drive beyond 14 hours in a 24 hour work period following a straight 10 hour off duty period.

The FMSCA also regulates the number of rest breaks that a commercial truck driver must take and imposes a 60/70-Hour limit on duty in 7/8 consecutive days as well as sleeper berth provisions.

Commercial drivers carrying passengers are subjected to the following regulations:

  • 10-Hour Driving Limit. A commercial vehicle driver carrying passengers may drive a maximum of 10 hours only after a consecutive 8 hour off duty break.

  • 15-Hour Limit. Drivers cannot drive after being on duty for over 15 hours following the 8-hour off-duty break.

In addition, commercial drivers carrying passengers are limited to 60/70 hours within 7/8 consecutive days with a sleeper berth provision.