The short answer is 11 hours within a 14-hour period. It’s not really about whether or not the driver can drive for a certain amount of time, but more of how long the truck driver is legally allowed to be on the road.
Restrictions and regulations that govern truck drivers’ hours of operation vary a bit and are a little complicated. To determine how many hours a truck driver drives, we need to look at all of these regulations for a deeper understanding.
DOT Hours of Service Guidelines
The interstate Class A CDL driver must follow the Hours-of-Service regulations, which provides specific limits. There are three maximum duty limits that must be followed by the CDL Class A truck driver.
- 14-hour driving window
- 11-hour driving limit during that same 14-hour window
- 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day limits
The first 14-hour window limit is considered the daily limit for a 24-hour day. The driver may work for 14 consecutive hours, which includes 11 hours of driving.
This time starts when the work begins. Once that time is up, the driver must go off-duty for ten consecutive hours. Any time you are working, which could include unloading or loading, is counted toward the 14-hour workday.
These hours of service guidelines are set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
What Affects How Many Hours a CDL Driver Can Be on the Road?
The Class A CDL truck driver may spend 11 hours driving over-the-road during the 14-hour on-job time. The other three hours are reserved for breaks, rests, and other job-related duties that must be performed to comply with rules and regulations.
Once the 11 hours or 14-hour time period has been reached, the driver must take a mandatory 10-hour off-duty break. If the driver is alone, the truck must be parked and stopped during that time. If the Class A CDL truck driver is working with another driver, it would be simple to take an eight-hour rest in the sleeper berth and another two hours in the passenger seat.
Do Driving Hours Change Depending on the Commercial Driver’s License Class Type You Hold?
CDL classes don’t affect the hours a truck driver is allowed to be driving on the road. It doesn’t matter if you are a Class A CDL truck driver or have a Class B license, you are required to follow the same rules. However, there may be exceptions for specific drivers depending on the truck they are operating and what they are hauling.
Do CDL Class A Truck Drivers Spend the Most Time on the Road?
For the most part, Class A CDL truck drivers do spend more time on the road, especially when driving over-the-road (OTR). Still, these OTR Class A truck drivers must follow the same rules laid out above for operation hours. There are also plenty of Class A CDL drivers that drive locally and won’t need to reach those limits.
CDL Hours of Service: Regional vs. OTR vs. Local
The rules don’t change based on whether the driver is going over-the-road, driving regionally, or trucking locally. However, OTR truckers and regional truckers do typically spend more time driving than local Class A drivers. While over-the-road trucking often requires more driving, the same rules, regulations, and exceptions must be followed. If you aren’t sure – how long truck drivers can drive, reference the basic rules laid out above.
LCL Bulk Hires CDL Class A Drivers for Regional & OTR Trucking
Now that you know how long truck drivers are permitted to drive without taking a break, it’s time to consider a CDL Class A truck driving job for yourself. At LCL Bulk, we are currently in need of drivers in the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. Apply today as we are now hiring CDL Class A truck drivers in PA, WI, IL, IN, and NJ. Apply with LCL Bulk today!