Rest periods of less than 30 minutes do not count towards off-duty time, but rather keep tallying as part of “on-duty” time.
Example: If a driver takes a 10-minute break, that rest period will not count as part of the 10 hours of off-duty time.
Drivers may no longer drive
Once they have reached 13 hours of driving time in a work shift
Once they have reached 14 hours of “on-duty” time in a work shift
Once 16 hours have elapsed since the beginning of the work shift
Rules regarding cycles can be divided into three categories: cycle basics, cycle resets, and cycle changes.
No matter which cycle drivers use, they may not drive if they haven’t taken at least 24 hours of “off-duty” time within the last 14 days.
It is important to realize that cycles are not set periods of 7 or 14 days. They are a rolling timeframe. The 7 or 14 days used to calculate 70-hour or 120-hour limits shift forward one day, every day. As a result, a driver using cycle 1 who has logged 10 hours of “on-duty” time each day for 6 days, is allowed 10 hours of “on-duty” time on the 7th day before having to stop driving. If he logs these 10 hours of “on-duty” time and stops to rest, he will have another 10 hours of on-duty time available the next day.
Another important detail to consider is that a driver has to stop driving, but doesn’t have to stop “on-duty” activity outside driving. Knowing this, the driver can keep non-driving activities for when the cycle limit is reached. The driver still has to abide by the day and work shift limits, however.
A driver can end one cycle and start another after logging:
36 consecutive hours of “off-duty” time for cycle 1
72 consecutive hours of “off-duty” time for cycle 2
After these periods of “off-duty” time, “on-duty” hours logged over the past 7 or 14 days are reset and begin accumulating again with the next “on-duty” activity.
As mentioned in the cycle basics, it is important to realize that drivers don’t have to reset their cycle every 7 or 14 days. As long as they stop driving once they reach their 70-hour or 120-hour limit, they can continue to engage in “on-duty” activity every day, uninterrupted. However, they must comply with the rule requiring a period of 24 consecutive hours “off-duty” in the 14 previous days.
Drivers can switch the cycle under which they operate when they meet conditions to reset their current cycle.
They must take 36 consecutive hours “off-duty” to switch from cycle 1 to cycle 2.
They must take 72 consecutive hours “off-duty” to switch from cycle 2 to cycle 1.
Since the cycle is resetting, “on-duty” hours are reset and begin accumulating with the next “on-duty” activity. The rules of the selected cycle also come into effect.
Individually, these rules aren’t particularly complex. The complexity stems from how they overlap. Drivers have to comply with rules concerning day, work shift, and cycles, simultaneously.
The greater complexity stems from the overlap between the day and work shift periods. Drivers can complete work shifts that extend over two days. Such situations can be complex, but can be avoided by selecting a day start time that aligns with the work shift start time.
The concepts and rules presented in this post cover the basics of HOS rules. There are several more concepts, but drivers who follow these rules do comply with hours of service regulations.
Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations
MOTOR VEHICLE TRANSPORT ACT
Warning: The information presented in this post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or professional advice.