How Long Can Truck Drivers Drive?

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Truck drivers in Canada play a critical role in the economy by delivering goods and products across the country. Trucks carry consumer goods, fresh produce, dairy products, industrial materials, livestock and much more. 

Trucks and trucking companies, such as Truckker, a leading truck driver agency, play an essential and irreplaceable role in the transportation of goods across Canada. Regardless of any adverse driving conditions, truck transportation is instrumental in ensuring that products are delivered to their destinations with utmost efficiency and reliability. It is important to note, however, that there are legal limits to the maximum consecutive hours a truck can be driven, which are regulated by the Canadian government. 

In this article, we will examine in detail the number of hours that truck drivers are permitted to drive under Canadian law.

How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive? - Hours of Service Rules  


In the United States, truck drivers are subject to regulations known as Hours of Service (HOS) rules that govern the amount of time they can spend driving in a given period. The HOS regulations are enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to help reduce driver fatigue and improve road safety.

Under the current HOS rules, truckers in the USA are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours in a 24-hour period, following a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off duty. They are also required to take a break for a minimum amount of 30 minutes after driving for eight hours.

In addition, there are limits on the total number of hours a truck driver can work in a week or eight days period. The maximum on-duty time is a 60 - 70 hour limit within 7 to 8 consecutive days, after which the driver must take at least 34 consecutive hours off duty to restart their 7 or 8-day cycle.

It's important to note that these regulations are subject to change and updates, so it's always important for truckers and trucking companies to stay up-to-date with their country’s latest HOS rules and comply with them to ensure safe driving practices on the roads.


In the Canadian trucking industry, the "hours of service" rules refer to the federal regulations that govern the maximum number of hours a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver can operate a truck or bus within a specified period. The Canadian hours of service regulations apply to drivers of commercial vehicles that are involved in both interprovincial and international commerce.

The following are the key provisions of the Canadian hours of service rules:

  1. Maximum Driving Time: A driver can drive for a maximum of 13 hours in a day.
  2. Daily Off-duty Time: A driver must take at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty every day.
  3. Cycle Limit: A cycle is a period of 14 days. A driver may not drive after accumulating 70 on-duty hours in a cycle.
  4. Weekly Off-duty Time: A driver must take at least 24 consecutive hours off-duty every week, which can be extended to 36 consecutive hours off-duty every second week.
  5. Rest Break Rule: A driver must take a rest break of at least 30 minutes after driving for 5 hours.

These regulations are designed to ensure that commercial truck drivers are well-rested and alert while driving, which helps to reduce the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue. It is important for drivers and their employers to comply with these regulations to promote safe driving practices and prevent accidents on Canadian roads.

Truck at truck stop in bad weather

Biggest Concerns about Truckers Driving Long Hours 

Concerns about how many hours truck drivers are driving highlight the need for regulations that balance the needs of the transportation industry with the safety and well-being of drivers. Ensuring that drivers have adequate rest and time off, as well as access to resources for maintaining their health and well-being, can help to address these concerns and create a safer, more sustainable industry for everyone involved.


Extended periods of driving can lead to fatigue, which can impact a driver's ability to focus, react quickly, and make sound decisions. This can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

Health Issues

Spending long hours sitting in a truck cab can lead to health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and musculoskeletal problems. Drivers may also be exposed to pollution and other environmental hazards.

Mental Health

Long periods of isolation and time away from family and friends can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness.


Failure to comply with regulations regarding maximum driving hours can result in fines and penalties for both the driver and the carrier.


While longer driving hours may increase productivity in the short term, they can lead to burnout, decreased job satisfaction and turnover in the long run.

Trucks from a trucking company with team drivers

What Should A Truck Driver To Reduce Fatigue

Fatigue is a common concern for truck drivers, as long hours behind the wheel can take a toll on both physical and mental health. Here are some tips for reducing fatigue as a truck driver:

  1. Get enough rest: Adequate sleep is essential for staying alert and focused on the road. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  2. Take breaks: Taking regular breaks can help to prevent fatigue and keep you alert. Take a 10-15 minute break every 2 hours or 100 miles, and use that time to stretch, walk around, or do some light exercise.
  3. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decrease your ability to focus. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, which can cause energy crashes.
  4. Eat healthy: A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help to maintain energy levels and reduce fatigue. Avoid heavy, greasy meals that can cause drowsiness.
  5. Stay active: Regular exercise can help to increase energy levels and reduce stress. Even a short walk or some stretching can help to wake you up and keep you alert.
  6. Take naps: If you are feeling drowsy or fatigued, taking a short nap (no more than 20-30 minutes) can help to improve alertness and performance.
  7. Manage stress: Stress can contribute to fatigue and make it harder to stay focused. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or listening to calming music to help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Need Reliable Truck Drivers? Contact Truckker Today

At Truckker, we are passionate about helping both truck drivers for hire and companies succeed! Our team of staffing experts works tirelessly to connect the best and most qualified drivers with top-notch companies that are looking to fill truck driving jobs. Trust Truckker to help you find your next truck driving job or the perfect driver for your company!