The FMCSA is a division of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), which is generally responsible for enforcement of FMCSA regulations. The Department of Transportation has many explicit laws for logging when you are a commercial driver. Logging is the term drivers use to describe their time record entries in a log book. The driver of a CMV is required to keep a record of working hours using a log book, outlining the total number of hours spent driving and resting, as well as the time at which the change of duty status occurred. In lieu of a log book, a motor carrier may keep track of a driver’s hours using an electronic on-board recorder (EOBR), which automatically records the amount of time spent driving the vehicle. To ensure compliance, DOT officials have the right to request to see a driver’s log book at any time. These laws help ensure the safety of others on the road by regulating the amount of time that a driver can work before he takes a rest break. Logging rules also protect a commercial driver when his company is more concerned about their customers than their drivers.
60-70 Hour Rule
• When using a seven day work week, a driver can not drive again if they have driven or worked 60 hours or more in the last seven days. If a driver is using an eight day work week, he can not drive after driving or working 70 hours in the last eight days. After reaching her driving limit, the driver must wait until enough hours have fallen off her log book, or take 34 consecutive hours off, before she can drive again. 34 consecutive hours off duty are commonly called a re-set.
10-Hour Off Rule
• A commercial driver has to take 10 hours off before she can get behind the wheel again after driving 11 hours, or after a combination of driving and working for 14 hours. This 10-hour break can be taken in the truck’s sleeper berth or off-duty away from the truck. The 10 hours can be split up with part of the time in the sleeper and part of away, but if split, the she must have at least two consecutive hours in the sleeper for that time to count toward the break.
11-Hour Driving Limit Rule
• A driver must not drive after 11 hours in a 21-hour period. After 11 hours, the driver must take a 10-hour break either away from the truck, in the sleeper or a combination of the two.
• While a driver can not drive after 11 hours of driving, although he can still work for as long as he needs. After a combination of working and driving for 14 hours, he is not able to drive until taking a 10-hour break. What this means is that if a driver has been working on a dock for 10 hours, he only has four hours to drive before a break must be taken.
• If a driver has taken two hours on duty and is not in violation of the 11-hour rule, she may drive for the amount of time it takes to reach 11 hours of driving and then must break for at least eight consecutive hours before driving again. While the 10-hour rule allows the driver to split her break just about any way she wants to, using the split-sleeper rule requires that she takes eight consecutive hours in the sleeper. The other two hours may be taken in the sleeper or off-duty. With all of the rules, a break period of less than two hours does not count toward any break time.