One thing that many people don’t realize when they’re considering a career in trucking is that the industry is heavily regulated. This is necessary. After all, a fully loaded 80,000-pound truck & trailer can be incredibly dangerous to everyone on the road around it.
However, this means that drivers must be fully aware of the regulations that apply to them. Most of these revolve around their trucking logbook and restrictions on their hours of service.
So, let’s go over some of the most important factors.
Know The Trucking Logbook Regulations If You Want To Succeed As A Trucker!
First, who do these regulations apply to? Basically, any professional truck driver in vehicles (including cargo) that weigh more than 4,5000 pounds. There are a few other business-specific exemptions, but just assume you have to follow them.
I. Duty Status
Your trucking logbook (or, more likely, electronic system) must record your duty status hour-by-hour. There are four statuses:
- Off-duty time, in a sleeper berth
- Off-duty time outside your truck
- On-duty time driving
- On-duty time other than driving (loading, unloading, paperwork, etc)
You must always keep an accurate log of your activities! Also be aware that on-duty downtime still counts as duty time. If you end up stuck at a loading dock for four hours while on duty, that’s still legally considered working even if you aren’t actually doing anything.
II. On- and Off-Duty Requirements
Again, there are occasional exceptions, but these are the general rules you’ll have to follow 99% of the time.
- Drivers cannot drive more than 13 hours in a day
- Drivers cannot drive after 14 hours on-duty, including non-driving job activities
- Drivers must have at least 10 hours off-duty every day
There are also regulations covering larger duty cycles, measured in either 7- or 14-day increments.
- A driver can not drive more than 70 hours in a single 7-day cycle.
- In a 14-day cycle, the driver cannot drive more than 120 hours.
- If they’ve driven 70 hours in the previous 7 days, they must have at least 24 consecutive hours off.
- They must receive at least 24 consecutive hours off during a 14-day period, regardless of duty hours.
- To start a new cycle, drivers must first take off 24 hours for a 7-day cycle, or 72 hours for a 14-day cycle.