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Hours Of Service Canada

How Many Hours Truck Drivers Can Drive in Canada?

Daily Driving and On-Duty Time

Drivers must not drive more than:

  • 13 hours of driving time in a day

  • 14 hours of on-duty time in a day

A "day" is any 24 hour period that begins at the hour designated by the courier.

“On-duty” time is the period when a driver begins work or is required to be available for work, except when the driver is waiting to be assigned work.

Off-Duty Time

Off-duty” time is any period other than on-duty time.

Drivers must take off-duty time:

  • 10 hours of off-duty time in a day

  • 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time between work shifts

  • 24 consecutive hours of off-duty time every 14 days

Driving Cycles

The “driving cycle” is the period in which a driver’s on-duty time is tracked.

In Canada, there's 2 cycles that a driver can chose:

  1. Cycle 1: 7 days (can not exceed 70 hours of on-duty time)

  2. Cycle 2: 14 days (can not exceed 120 hours of on-duty time, and 70 hours of on-duty time without taking at least 24 consecutive off-duty hours)

Each cycle resets when 36 consecutive off-duty hours are taken off for Cycle 1 or 72 consecutive off-duty hours are taken for Cycle 2.

HOS Rules

Hours of Service (HOS) rules apply to drivers of commercial motor vehicles. However, there are some exceptions:

  1. Drivers who operate within 160 km of their home terminal must be in compliance with the HOS rules, but are not required to maintain a log book. Instead, the carrier maintains a record of the driver’s on- and off-duty time. However, if any drivers do operate outside of 160km from their home terminal from time to time, it is recommended that they keep a daily log.

  2. Drivers who operate a 2- or 3-axle vehicle that transports the main products of a farm, the sea, a lake, or a forest. However, the vehicle must be empty on the return trip.

  3. Emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police vehicles are exempt.

There are also special circumstances that may allow for a permit to be issued making a driver exempt from HOS rules.

HOS Violation

Non-compliance with the HOS and paperwork requirements can result in penalties, fines, and a negative effect on the carrier’s safety rating.

A violation occurs when a driver or company does not comply with the National Safety Code (NSC) requirements including:

  • Failure to complete and record pre-trip safety inspections

  • Incomplete or missing driver or vehicle files

  • Drivers operating a vehicle over the maximum HOS

If a violation is discovered, the driver may be placed out of service if the driver:

  • Failure to provide daily log

  • Has an incorrect log

  • Has more than one log

  • Has a defaced log or supporting documents

  • Has driven for more than 13 hours in the day

  • Has not taken the required amount of off-duty time

To avoid violations, drivers and carriers should ensure that HOS, logs, and supporting documents are kept up to date, accurate, and readily available.

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