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CALL US AT: (208) 372-8725
Helping Trucking Companies get set up right and remain compliant to reduce liability, exposure and risk

How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive?
Friday, December 14, 2018 9:51 AM
If you're asking this question you've no doubt realized by now that it's a much more tricky question than it seems. But let's go ahead and try to answer it for you anyway.
The short answer is 11 hours a day but of course it's not that simple.
You cannot drive past the 14 hour since coming on duty in total during that time as well. That means all the time you spend inspecting your truck, filling out paperwork, or any of your other duties count toward this 14 hour span, which may cut into your 11 hours of driving time.

You also have to take a 30 minute break for every 8 hours of of being on-duty.
Unless of course you're only travelling within 100 miles of your regular work station and you'll be released from work within 12 hours. Then you don't have to worry about that 30 minute break AND you’re exempt from keeping a log book (but you better keep a timecard). Oh also if you're a Non-CDL drivers who operates within 150 miles of your regular work station you also don't need the 30 minute break.
There is one exception to the 11 hours of driving rule. If you come upon unforeseen weather conditions such as snow or fog and it slows down your driving, you are allowed to drive an extra two hours. But don't forget that the 30 minute break after 8 hours of driving will still be enforced during this exception. And keep in mind that traffic isn't included in this exception.
Now there's also a rule that stops you from driving more than 70 hours in a 8 day span or more than 60 hours in a 7 day span (depending on your type of operation). You have to add up all the time you have spent on-duty (including driving) during the past 7 or 6 days, depending on which rule you have to follow. You must be under the allowed limit and only be on duty for however many hours you have left before you hit your limit. When your next day begins, you'll take off the hours from the last day of the week in your calculations.
Let's try an example. If you're following the 70/8 rule and it's a Sunday, you should check how many hours you have left for this "week." You do this by adding up all your hours from yesterday to the last Sunday. Whatever you have left that is under 70, you're allowed to be on duty for those hours. However, once you hit 70, you cannot drive any longer. You can still be on duty, assuming you're not on duty longer than the 14 hour rule, but you have to add this hours to your calculations. You cannot start to drive until you are under 70. When the next day comes, which would be Monday in this example, the hours you drove last Sunday will be dropped off from your calculations. If you're under 70, you're ready to drive again!
Now there is a way to reset your hours for this weekly calculation. If you are off duty for 34 hours, your on duty hours will all reset and you'll start again with your full 60 or 70 hours of allowed on duty time. 
So in short, you allowed to drive up to 11 hours a day. Except that if you actually drove 11 hours a day you would quickly find yourself running out of hours for your weekly allowance of driving and on duty hours. So in reality, you will rarely be driving 11 hours a day.
If you have more questions about driving hour regulations, rules, and exceptions please send us an email at and one of our experts will make sure you get the answers you need.

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