Federal Hours of Service rules limit when a driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This includes “weekly” limits commonly referred to as the 60/70 hour rules. This post will explain what these rules are and when they apply.
What is the purpose of the 60/70 hour rules?
The 60/70 rule is designed to combat cumulative fatigue that can develop after a long week of driving a CMV.
If a motor carrier operates CMVs every day of the week, its drivers can not drive after accumulating 70 hours of on-duty time in a rolling 8-day period. If a carrier does not operate a CMV every day of the week, then its drivers can not drive after accumulating 60 hours of on-duty time in a 7-day rolling period.
What is a “rolling period”?
A rolling period is how a “week” is calculated for the purposes of the 60/70 hour rules. Instead of a set weekly period, like Sunday to Sunday, the rolling period simply refers to the current day plus the previous seven or eight days (depending on which rule applies).
How is the rolling period calculated?
To calculate available hours, drivers use a “rolling recap” in which drivers determine the number of hours available by adding the hours worked in the seven or eight days immediately prior to the current duty day and subtracting it from 60 or 70, depending on the rule being used.
See the example of a rolling recap based on a 60-hours in 7-day rule.
Using an ELD automates this calculation, avoiding errors or confusion.
Can a driver completely restart the weekly calculations?
Yes, a driver can restart the weekly calculation by taking at least 34-hours of consecutive off-duty. This is called the 34-hour restart and may be taken at any time.
Can a driver work after the “weekly” limit has been reached?
Yes, a driver may continue to work, but cannot drive a CMV once the limit is reached.
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