70-Hour 8-Day Rule: What It Is & How It Works
Every owner-operator or truck driver operating in the US is familiar with the HoS regulations of the FMCSA. These consist of several rules and regulations governing how much truck drivers can drive to maintain a balance between work and life and improve road safety.
Every motor carrier operator in the USA has to comply with the HoS rules to avoid violations and associated fines. In this article, we will talk about one such HoS rule- 70-hour 8-day.
This rule is one of the many HoS rules that seek to ensure driver safety and reduce driver fatigue on the road.
What is a 70-hour 8-day?
The 70-hour 8-day rule is one of the most common HoS rules in the trucking industry. It outlines how much a driver can work in a consecutive period of 8 days. The word ‘work’ includes drive time and duty time.
- A 14-hour shift can only include a maximum of 11 hours of driving time.
- Drivers can only work 14 hours in a 24-hour period.
- Drivers cannot work for more than 70 hours in consecutive eight days.
- They must take a 10-hour break before starting their next 14-hour- shift.
- They have to take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours.
Let us understand this rule with the help of a simple example:
Driver A starts their working day on Monday. They get on to work at 8 am and drive for eight hours. Now, they will have 70-8= 62 hours left for the remaining seven days.
It is essential to remember that a driver can only drive for a maximum of 11 hours and cannot exceed a 14-hour shift. It means that after counting- the drive time and waiting period, the total working time should not exceed 14 hours.
Now, we must remember here that in a day, a driver does not only drive but also spends some time loading-unloading, pre-vehicle inspections, etc.
For example, on Monday, Driver A spent one hour in loading and vehicle inspections. They now have 61 hours to work.
Before starting again, they have to take ten hours of consecutive off-duty breaks.
Note:- There are a few more HoS rules that a driver must follow on duty, but we will not dive into that in detail in this article. If you want to know more, click here.
Difference Between Property Carrying Vehicle And Passenger Carrying Vehicle
Do you know the 70-hour 8-day rule applies differently to different carriers? Yes, the maximum number of hours a property-carrying vehicle driver can drive is different from the number of passenger-carrying drivers. Refer to the table below to understand the difference between them.
|Property-Carrying Drivers||Passenger-carrying Drivers|
|11-Hour Driving LimitMaximum 11 hours to drive time after 10 consecutive hours off duty.||10-Hour Driving Limit Maximum 10 hours of drive time after 8 consecutive hours off duty.|
|14-Hour LimitDrivers can only work for 14th consecutive hours after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.||15-Hour Limit Drivers can only work 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty.|
|30-Minute Driving BreakDrivers must take a 30-minute non-driving period consecutive break when they have driven for a period of 8 cumulative hours.||No preference|
|60/70-Hour LimitMay not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver can restart the 7/8 consecutive day period only after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.||60/70-Hour LimitSame as Property-Carrying Drivers but no reference for restart|
|Sleeper Berth ProvisionDrivers, as per the sleep berth provision, must take eight hours of consecutive rest in the sleeper berth and two hours in either sleeper berth, off duty, or a combination of both. Note: The sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 10 hours.||Sleeper Berth ProvisionDrivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours. Note: The sleeper berth pairings MUST add up to at least 8 hours.|
|Adverse Driving ConditionsDrivers can extend the 11-hour maximum driving limit and 14-hour driving window by up to 2 hours in adverse driving conditions.||Adverse Driving ConditionsDrivers can extend the 10-hour maximum driving time and 15-hour on-duty limit by up to 2 hours in adverse driving conditions.|
Penalties For Violating HoS Rules
- Drivers can be placed on shutdown at the roadside until they spend enough off-duty time to come back in compliance.
- Law enforcement may impose fines on your organization.
- The FMCSA can levy penalties on the driver or carrier ranging from $1000 to $16000, depending on the violation severity.
- The CSA score can be downgraded.
- Federal criminal penalties can be imposed on willful violators or on those found violating HoS consecutively.
Managing HoS compliance can be difficult without proper tools. Traditionally drivers relied on paper logs to record working logs and comply with HoS rules. But it was not always reliable and it was easy for someone to falsify their records. Therefore FMCSA decided to implement an ELD mandate that made it compulsory for every motor carrier to get an electronic logging device for their truck. The device connects to the engine to pull off accurate HoS recordings. It is an easy way to monitor the HoS without violating any rules.
If you are worried about how ELD will impact your pocket, then here is an affordable solution for you-Matrack ELD.
Matrack ELD is one of the most reliable electronic logging devices on the market. The best part is that you can get the hardware for free by paying a monthly subscription fee of $14.95. It works on a simple yet effective mechanism. You have to plug the device into the ECM port of your truck. It will then start collecting engine data via the vehicle gateway and upload it to the cloud storage, so you can access it using the Driver app or web portal.
- Free Device
- No contract
- Lowest monthly subscription fee from $14.95
- No additional cost of co-driver
- Easy installation
So what are you waiting for? Click here to get an ELD for your truck. Also, if you have any questions regarding the HoS rules or ELD, you can comment down below.