The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set forth rules and regulations governing the number of hours a trucker may drive before requiring rest. These rules were put into place to reduce trucker fatigue and increase safety while on the road. Understanding the current HOS regulations and how they affect you as a truck driver is an important part of your daily job.
Current HOS Rules
The current set of HOS rules was finalized on July 1, 2013, and regulates how many consecutive hours you may drive before you must take a mandatory break. HOS regulations state that you may not drive more than 11 hours in a 14-hour workday. Furthermore, drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes within the first eight hours of a shift. There is a mandatory 10-hour rest period between workdays and a cap of 70 hours spent on duty per week.
Pros of HOS Rules
Extensive studies performed by the FMCSA found that longer daily and weekly driving hours were associated with reduced alertness and a greater chance of crashes. Long workdays were also associated with chronic health conditions caused by too little sleep. By limiting the number of consecutive hours worked and requiring mandatory rest periods, the FMCSA hopes to improve driver health and reduce the risk of accidents.
Cons of HOS Rules
While the HOS rules are designed to benefit truck drivers, some drivers feel the stringent regulations merely reduce productivity. Fewer hours worked means less distance traveled, which can affect drivers who are paid by the mile. When more time is required for rest, drivers cannot reach their destinations as quickly, meaning they may spend more time on the job overall and less time at home.
Would you like to know more about the current state of the trucking industry and how you can become a truck driver in Phoenix? Contact Phoenix Truck Driving Institute today by calling (877) 205-5372 to find out more about our CDL training school. You can read more about a career in trucking on our website.