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How much driving can a trucker do each day?

When you drive a truck in Tennessee, you may sometimes think you are up to driving for another hour or so. Regardless of how tired you are, though, you typically have to pull over after driving for so many hours. This is because trucking regulations dictate how long you can drive each day.

Truck drivers can usually be on the road for 14 consecutive hours at a time. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these hours are not typically based on the number of hours in a day. Instead, this rule means that you can be on the road for 11 hours in a 14-hour time period. You generally need to stay off the road for 10 successive hours after meeting this time limit. This 14-hour limit typically includes the time you take to lie down for a nap or eat your lunch. If you drive a truck with a sleeper berth, these 14 hours may sometimes be extended. If you sleep in the berth for at least 8 straight hours, this time usually is not considered part of the 14-hour time limit.

Additionally, you can usually only drive 60 or 70 hours during 7 or 8 successive days. After you have hit this time limit, you typically cannot drive your truck until you have been off-duty for enough days that your hours are below this limit. Off-duty time means that you have stopped doing all kinds of trucking work. If you are still on your company's premises and are servicing a truck or filling out paperwork, you are technically still considered to be on-duty. The hours you spend performing these activities are usually added to your 60 or 70 hours of work.

These trucking regulations generally apply to you if you drive commercial motor vehicles. This means that you usually haul a load that weighs at least 10,001 pounds or drive across several states.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.

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