What they are? The hours-of-service regulations were set in place to provide safety to all drivers. They regulate when and how long you may drive so to reduce driver fatigue. The hours-of-service regulations are found in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
What are the limits? Specific limits are placed on the amount of time you may drive your truck and how many total hours you can work before you are no longer permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
There is a 14 hour “driving window” limit and an 11 hour “driving limit”.
14 Hour Driving Window
This is the daily limit where you can drive up to 11 hours; the remaining hours may be used to fill up gas, inspection, waiting at a terminal, etc. A person will not be allowed to drive again until they have been off duty for at least 10 consecutive hours.
*Commonly known as 11-14-10*
11 Hour Driving Limit
You are only allowed to drive your truck up to the 11 total hours as stated above. Since June 30, 2013, driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty. A 30-minute break is mandatory for all drivers if they have driven 8 consecutive hours.
On-Duty vs. Off-Duty
Time spent On-Duty is part of your 14 hour limit of daily working hours. Any time you are working for a motor carrier whether paid or not is considered on-duty. Time spent at a plant, terminal, or facility is considered on-duty, along with loading or unloading. Any pre or post-trip inspections are on duty as well.
Off-duty time is when you are relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. When you can walk away from your truck and leave it where it is parked to experience any fun activities that you choose to do; such as sightseeing, exercise, etc.
Penalties for Violating
Minimum penalties would include putting a person out of service until they have met the requirements. A log book examination would be performed, resulting in a $1500 minimum fine, but can range in price depending on if there have been multiple violations. It will go on your permanent record with the DOT for 3 years and can be viewed by perspective employers and other government agencies. Also a person can be terminated if violations continue.