HOS stands for Hours of Service. It is the maximum allowable working hours for commercial drivers in a given period. It also defines how much rest a driver should have between shifts.
The limits differ for property and passenger carrying drivers.
While subject to change, here are the current rules:
Carrying property (e.g. goods trucks)
- 11-hour driving limit - Cannot drive for longer than 11 hours*
- 14-hour duty limit - Cannot be on duty for more than 14 hours*
- 30-minute rest breaks - Must be taken every eight hours
- 60-hour limit - Cannot drive more than 60 hours in any 7-day period**
- 70-hour limit - Cannot drive more than 70 hours in any 8-day period**
Carrying people (e.g. bus)
- 10-hour driving limit - Cannot drive for longer than 10 hours***
- 15-hour duty limit - Cannot be on duty for more than 15 hours***
- 60-hour limit - Cannot drive more than 60 hours in any 7-day period
- 70-hour limit - Cannot drive more than 70 hours in any 8-day period
*Must be followed by at least 10 hours off duty
**Requires 34 hours off duty to reset this period (the 34-hour restart)
***Must be followed by at least 8 hours off duty
Please refer to the FMCSA website for the most up-to-date rules.
HOS rules are intended to keep fatigued drivers off the road and improve safety for other road users. According to the FMCSA, fatigue was the primary cause of 13% of significant accidents involving large commercial vehicles.
See also: ELD, RODS