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 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
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:
Cycle 1: 7 days (can not exceed 70 hours of on-duty time)
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.
Hours of Service (HOS) rules apply to drivers of commercial motor vehicles. However, there are some exceptions:
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.
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.
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.
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.