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There’s a lot of responsibility attached to being a long distance haul driver and a myriad of rules that drivers must obey. Safety is always a top priority and the rules are designed to ensure the safety of drivers, their cargo and other motorists. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updated their regulations and the new rules went into effect on Sept. 29, 2020.

Hours-of-Service

Heavy haul drivers have a maximum limit of 11 hours per day that they can drive after 10 consecutive hours off duty. However, after coming on duty, they can’t drive past 14 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time doesn’t extend the 14-hour period. Simply put, drivers can now drive for a maximum of 14 hours per day with 10 hours off during a 24-hour period. Long haul drivers can extend that 11 hour driving window into 14 when they encounter adverse driving conditions.

30-Minute Break

Drivers are required to take a 30-minute non-driving break if they’ve been on the road for a period of 8 cumulative hours.

Sleeper Berth

Trucks equipped with a sleeping berth enable drivers to split their 10-hours of non-driving time in different ways, but it must include one 2-hour off-duty period. Non-driving time must add up to 10 hours.

Work Week for Long Distance Haul

Drivers can work a 60-hour work week over the course of 7 days or a 70-hour work week over the course of 8 days. Under the new rules, the clock runs continuously each day and doesn’t stop when drivers take a break. Drivers can restart a work week after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.

Choosing Rest Stops

Not all rest stops on federal highways provide specific space for heavy haulers, bathroom/shower facilities, drinking water, or snack machines. It’s critical that drivers take breaks at locations that provide ample space for truck and trailer maneuverability, along with those that ensure the safety of the cargo.

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