New federal DOT regulations are having a major impact on the hours of service (HOS) that truckers and long-distance bus drivers are able to work. The chart below is a summary of the new guidelines. The full text is available at this link.
Rules for Drivers Carrying Goods
Rules for Drivers Carrying Passengers
May only drive a total of 11 hours, and that only after 10 consecutive off-duty hours
May drive a total of 10 hours, and that only after eight consecutive off-duty hours.
May not drive after more than 14 consecutive hours on-duty (including time spent in non-driving tasks). May only spend 14 consecutive hours on-duty after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
May not drive after spending more than 15 hours on duty. May only spend 15 consecutive hours on-duty after spending eight consecutive hours off-duty.
Must stop driving if more than eight hours have passed since last off-duty or sleeper berth break of at least 30 minutes. Certain exemptions exist for short-haul drivers.
Passenger drivers who use a sleeper berth must spend at least eight hours within the berth prior to an eight hour shift. They may split this time up into two sessions, provided that one is at least two hours in length.
Driving time is limited by the 60/70 hour limit described to the right. A driver must take at least 34 consecutive off-duty hours before beginning a new 7/8-day duty period.
60/70-hour limit: driving time is limited to 60 hours within seven consecutive days or to 70 hours within eight consecutive days.
Needless to say, the new federal DOT regulations have caused quite a stir in the professional driving community. Some welcome the revised standards as a much-needed change, one that will heighten safety for both truckers and drivers of passenger vehicles. Others, however, say the revamped federal DOT regulations are an unwanted, unwelcome intrusion by Uncle Sam into private industry. Far from preventing accidents, these opponents claim that the new standards will only hurt those they are intended to help. Only time will tell which side is right.
TruckingOffice isn’t here to take sides on the new federal DOT regulations or other controversial issues. We provide the above information as a service to the professional driving community. One thing is for sure, though; times are a-changin’, and professional drivers must change with them. This includes using up-to-date software to manage your IFTA reports, dispatch records, invoices, and the countless other forms that are part of the job. Microsoft Office and similar programs are great for all-around use, but they lack the industry-specific, high-powered features truckers need.
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