How to Follow CDL Hours of Service Rules

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The CDL hours of service rules that were implemented for truckers in 2005 can be a little tricky to understand. You must complete your log book thoroughly so that you know exactly where you stand within these rules. Doing the math wrong can cost you both in time and in money, as well as your CDL license. Follow these steps carefully to stay within the lines.

  • Keep an organized and detailed log book. Time errors commonly occur because of incorrect math due to illegible handwriting. If the log book is easy to read, your math will be more accurate, and you will know where you stand on hours driven and hours slept.

  • Know if you're allowed 70 hours on duty in 8 days, or 60 hours in 7 days. This is different for each company and sometimes certain loads. If you're independently contracted, you must know how long it has been since you were last on the road. You have to wait 34 hours between runs.

  • Drive 10 hours and stop for 10 hours. This prevents you from going over your hours, no matter which schedule you're running. At the end of eight days, you will have an extra 10 hours to drive, and still be inside your CDL limits.

  • Use the mileage tickers on the hub instead of the one on the dashboard. The dashboard tickers aren't always accurate, and the officer or inspector will be checking the hub. For accurate numbers, you should both read the same tickers.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be polite if you get stopped and inspected, and be patient. If your book is clean and you have stayed at 10 hours on and 10 hours off, you will be within CDL Hours of Service rules.

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