ELDs are all the hype these days. Even if you are not part of the industry, you have no doubt heard the chatter. DOT mandated the use of electronic logging devices late last year and caused quite a controversy. To help clear the confusion, we decided to write down a short explanation of the hours of service rules.

Duty status

On-Duty time describes the performance of any work-related tasks. Those include driving, fueling, loading, and unloading, as well as freight and vehicle-related pre and post trip inspections. Off-duty time means resting inside the sleeper berth or outside of the truck (at home or in a motel).


14 hour limit

Truckers get a maximum of 14 working hours per shift. The clock starts as soon as the driver goes on duty after his last 10-hour break. Logging rest time in between on-duty periods does not extend the 14-hour rule. In other words, if a driver starts his day at 6 am, his shift needs to end no later than 8 pm, even if he took off a couple of hours for lunch and a nap. Every 14-hour shift must be followed by ten consecutive hours of rest.


11-hour driving limit

DOT limits the number of driving hours to 11 per shift. This means even though drivers are allowed 14 working (on-duty) hours per shift, they can only spend 11 of them behind the wheel.


30-minute rest break

Drivers can only hit the road if it has been less than 8 hours since their last break (sleeper berth or off-duty) of 30 minutes or more.


60/70 hour limit

Whenever you hear talk of a 34-hour restart, it means a driver has accumulated 60 or 70 on duty hours in the last 7 or 8 consecutive days. To reset that clock and get fresh hours drivers to need to go off-duty for a minimum of 34 straight hours.


Recognizing the complex challenges of transportation logistics, the DOT provides for ways to circumvent the limitations that hours of service rules sometimes pose. In our next articles, we will discuss the “8/2 hour split” as well as “running on re-cap hours” and how using these techniques can improve productivity for both company drivers and owner-operators.

Personal Conveyance

FMCSA Personal Conveyance is a time that a driver can use to move the truck. It is used when a driver can use the CMV to do something personal. Such a thing can be going to a movie theater or buying groceries.
If you want to read about the new rule, you can read here.

ELD Malfunction Rules

There are occasions when the ELD device could malfunction. For more information what to do about it read here.