Understanding the Hours of Service Rules in Canada

When your fleet drivers are out on the job and driving long distance, it is extremely important that they follow all of the rules and regulations in Canada. This includes the hours of service regulations. The following is a listing of the important considerations for fleets and their drivers.

The Canadian regulations south of the 60th parallel state that drivers can drive for 13 hours a day after having eight hours off. The drivers need to have eight hours off before driving, and ten hours off total per day. They prohibit any driving after 16 consecutive hours. The duty hours can be up to 70 hours in a seven day period and 120 hours in a 14 day period.

The rules of the road can become quite convoluted for truckers, and it is understandable that some newer drivers may not be acquainted with all of them. It falls to the fleet management to make sure that the drivers understand when they can and cannot drive, as well as what they can do with the vehicle. For example, drivers are allowed up to 75km of personal use of the truck per day provided the trailer is not attached. They also need to record the starting and ending odometer.

Why are the rules in place? Many truckers who want to haul their load and reach their destination as quickly as possible will question the regulations and wonder why they are limited to the amount of hours they can drive. They may feel as though they could drive for far longer than 13 total hours per day. The fact is that the rules are not in place to punish the drivers. In fact, they are there to keep the drivers and everyone else on the road as safe as possible. Drivers may not realize that they are tired and that their reflexes start to slow later in the day. This has the potential to lead to accidents.

All drivers, even if they have been driving for years, should make it a point to keep up with changes to the regulations. The fleet should also offer training sessions to make sure that everyone knows what is and is not allowed when they are driving.