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Department of Transportation - Hours of Service Rules - 70-Hour-8-Day Limit


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The Department of Transportation states that a driver of a commercial motor vehicle may not drive a commercial motor vehicle after having been on duty for 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days. A driver who has reached this limit must take a 34 hour break to reset their time before getting back behind the wheel. If your company operates its commercial motor vehicles 7 days per week, then you qualify to use the 70 hour in 8 days rule. If your company does not operate its commercial vehicles 7 days per week, then you must utilize the 60-hours/7-days hours of service rule.

Only companies that operates their commercial motor vehicles every day of the week may assign some or all of its drivers to the 70-hour/8-day schedule. The 70-hour/8-day rule is a permissive provision in that a motor carrier with vehicles operating every day of the week is not required to use the 70-hour/8-day rule, but can use the 60-hour/7-day rule instead. A drivers 8 day schedule is a rolling schedule, which means every day, the oldest of the previous 8 days hours fall off.

The regulation prohibits a driver from driving after having been on duty for 70 hours in any 8 consecutive days, but does not restrict a driver from performing non-driving work after they have reached their 70 hour limit.

The 8 consecutive days does not mean a “work week, " it means any 8-consecutive-day period. Thus, a driver doesn't ever really “start over" counting total hours. The only way a driver can “start over" is if the driver goes off duty for at least 34 consecutive hours. As stated earlier, the oldest day's hours just drop out of consideration as each new day's hours are added. "JJ Keller Online - EZ Explanations"

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Noah Ostroff

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