New Hours of Service for Truck Drivers in Tennessee and the United States

Federal law limits the amount of time that over-the-road truck drivers can operate a truck.  Effective July 1, 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation changed the hours of service rules in an effort to reduce driver fatigue and deadly accidents involving trucks.

The government expects that the new rules will save 19 lives per year and will prevent 1400 crashes and 560 injuries per year.  

The new rules limit the average work week for truckers to 70 hours, down from 82 hours under the law in effect before July 1.

The rules permit a driver to start driving again after a 70 hour week if he or she gets rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two night when the driver’s body clock demands the most rest, from 1 until 5 a.m.

The rules also require a 30 minute break during the first eight hour of the shift.

The FMCSA press release on the new rules for hours of service can be accessed by clinking on the link.  The proper way to document compliance with the new rules is set forth in this sample logbook also provided by the FMCSA.

Hopefully, the new hours of service roads will achieve their objective by reducing crashes and saving lives, both of truck drivers and others who use our nation’s highways.