Sticky Banner of Desktop Sticky Banner of Mobile
Menu Close

How Many Miles Do Truckers Drive A Day On Average?

It is common for truck drivers to cover several miles in a day to complete the order of the deliveries. Have you ever wondered how many miles truckers drive a day on average? Per the Federal Highway Administration‘s estimations, a long-distance truck covers more than 10,000 miles yearly. 

Truck drivers log over 140 billion miles on the road every year. But what exactly do these high mileages refer to, particularly for truck drivers? Well, that’s what we are going to discuss today. 

What Are the Regulations for Trucking Hours?

Well, if you ever assumed that truck drivers can drive for as many hours as they wish to, then you are wrong. There are preventative limits as per the regulations to enhance the safety of the drivers and restrict their movement. The following are some hourly limits implied on truck drivers:

Limit of 11 Hours

For every break of 10 hours from work, truck drivers are not allowed to drive beyond the limit of 11 hours. 

Limit of 14 Hours

Even if the truck driver has taken 10 hours of uninterrupted break already, they are not allowed to drive beyond the limit of 14 hours straight after reporting for duty.

Driving Break of 30 Minutes

A 30-minute break must be taken by the truck driver when not already taken after an 8-hour long drive. 

Limit of 60 to 70 Hours

Truck drivers are not permitted to drive beyond the limit of 60 hours in a schedule of 7 days or beyond 70 hours in an 8-day schedule. Moreover, a driver can only resume driving after taking a consistent break of 34 hours after working for 7 or 8 days. 

Importance of Driving Limits

Driving can get excessively tedious after a few hours of continuous driving. Even if they have more driving expertise than the typical driver, truck drivers can still be impacted by the time they spend on the road. 

Long hours and lack of rest can significantly impact truck drivers’ energy levels and response speed. Adequate sleep and sufficient breaks from driving are crucial for all truck drivers to stay attentive when driving on the road, no matter how professional they are. 

There are proper regulations for the truck drivers to take required hours of breaks. These regulations are intended to reduce the chances of accidents and fatalities on the road. These regulatory limits are also practical against shippers or fleet owners exploiting truck drivers. They can not force the truck drivers to work continuously and put their lives at risk for the sake of higher profits. 

What is the Importance of Knowing a Truck Driver’s Daily Mileage?

Truck drivers must cover a predetermined distance to get where they have to. A truck driver would need four days to cover 2,800 miles from headquarters if they were to travel 700 miles per day on average. 

The logistics managers can use this information to notify the clients regarding the delivery of their packages. Based on this information, the time required by the truck driver to get back to the headquarters and reload can also be calculated. 

When Are Truck Drivers Allowed to Work Beyond 11 Hours?

Truck drivers can work beyond the 11-hour limit under specific conditions, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) allows. These conditions include severe driving situations and shorter hauls. 

When facing adverse road conditions that hinder their progress, truck drivers may extend their driving time by up to two hours, thus potentially driving for a total of 13 hours in a day. 

Moreover, drivers conducting shorter hauls within a 150-mile radius of their headquarters have permission to work up to 14 hours a day. These exemptions aim to offer flexibility while ensuring the safety and alertness of truck drivers on the roads.

What is the Average Distance Limit for Truck Drivers Per Day?

The average distance limit for truck drivers per day can reach up to 715 miles if they work an 11-hour shift at 65 miles per hour. However, this distance can be affected by traffic and road conditions. Additionally, exemptions can allow truck drivers to cover even longer distances.

Essential Considerations for Timelines of Shipping

There are a variety of challenges faced by truck drivers that can impact both their mileage and the time required for shipping the goods. Therefore, particular considerations must be made while planning the timeline of shipping, as follows:

Requirement of Loading and Unloading

Truck drivers are often required to deliver cargo to several locations. Moreover, several stops could occur before a truck driver finally reaches a shipper. There can be a further delay because LTL drivers generally have larger storage trucks that can contain orders from multiple clients. As a truck driver reaches the facility, there is a waiting time for unloading. 

After that, the reloading of the cargo also takes place in the truck. So, truck drivers have to wait during loading as well. While it is common for truck drivers to participate in the loading and unloading procedure to get back on the road as early as possible, there can still be delays at the facility, leading to further delays in shipment. 

Miles Without Cargo

Truck drivers often have to reach new facilities with empty trucks. The distance covered by the trucks without cargo is called empty miles because traveling without cargo does not help the fleet earn money. No cargo is inside the car as they return to the main facility. Trucks must arrive at the facility and reload before the shipping timeline starts. 

Additional Factors: Traffic, Speed Limit, and Weather

There are additional factors as well that might impact the shipping schedule for truck drivers. The total miles covered by truck drivers can be significantly less if they have to drive in lanes with speed limits that are very low. For instance, if a truck driver goes for 11 hours a day with a speed limit of 60 mph, his total distance shall be 110 miles less than the 70 mph speed limit. 

What Are the Best Time Allocation Strategies for Truck Drivers?

The best time allocation strategies for truck drivers involve creating a well-organized schedule to help maintain focus and enhance productivity on the road. In addition to this fundamental approach, there are several other strategies truck drivers can employ, as discussed below:

Create an Inspection Checklist 

Creating an inspection checklist before commencing a journey can be handy as it can save time before and after the trip. Moreover, with an inspection checklist, the driver’s safety can also be ensured. There will be fewer possibilities of delay, and truck drivers shall have everything they might require on the trip. 

Creating a Route Plan

During certain hours, such as afternoon and peak hours, the traffic can be highly congested, leading to delays in the journey. However, with a route plan already in place, truck drivers can avoid these crowded hours of the day. It is common for truck drivers to cover the maximum distance at night and during off hours while utilizing the rush hours as their time for 30-minute breaks. 

Plan for Downtime

Adequate sleep is crucial for truck drivers to ensure they stay focused and that their driving experience is completely safe. Truck drivers can plan their downtime and ensure productivity while ensuring safe driving. Truck drivers’ maximum time limit is 11 hours per day. 

Truck drivers need to take a 30-minute downtime after driving for specific hours. This time might not include the time required for loading and unloading. Thus, truck drivers can estimate the time needed for these tasks well in advance and schedule adequate time or sleep while having their task checklist in mind. 

Ensure Your Safety as You Cover Miles

In a nutshell, truck drivers cover significantly long miles. They travel several miles during a week and even more in a month. Moreover, they play a vital role in the supply chain. However, truck drivers must be safe during their journey to cover more distances in the future and keep assisting the supply chain. 

While we have already explained the importance of planning and adequate sleep for the safety of truck drivers, the utilization of advanced tools like Matrack can also add to the safety level of truck drivers and offer assistance to fleet managers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Total Time Spent by Truck Drivers on the Road?

The total time spent by truck drivers on the road amounts to approximately 300 days a year. As they gain experience, many truck drivers seek routes closer to their homes to minimize their time away and maximize their home time. 

  1. What is the Maximum Driving Hours for Truckers?

The maximum driving time limit for truckers is 11 hours. They can drive up to 11 hours on the road before completing the 10-hour break. 

  1. What Does the HOS Rule Refer to?

The HOS or Hours of Service rule for truck drivers refers to the 11-hour rule, 14-hour rule, 10-hour break, 60/70 hour limit, and 34-hour restart rule.