Hours of service (HOS)

Glossary / Hours of service / Hours of service (HOS)

The term hours of service (HOS) refers to the federal regulations that dictate how many hours a truck driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) within a given time period. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of both the driver and other motorists on the road.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines the hours-of-service regulations as “the maximum number of hours a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver can work within a given period to ensure they are rested enough to operate a CMV safely.”

The HOS regulations apply to all drivers of commercial motor vehicles that are used for interstate commerce. This includes drivers of large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, as well as drivers of buses and other passenger-carrying vehicles.

The regulations are designed to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, which can be a serious problem in the trucking industry. Drivers are required to take breaks and rest periods at specified intervals to ensure that they are well-rested when they are behind the wheel.

The specific requirements of the HOS regulations vary depending on the type of vehicle being driven, the length of the trip, and other factors. Generally, drivers are limited to a certain number of hours on the road each day and each week, and they are required to take a certain amount of time off between shifts.

The hours-of-service regulations are an important aspect of the
trucking industry, and fleet managers are complying with regulations by installing ELDs in their commercial vehicles.

Learn more about ELD Compliance solutions from Motive

Frequently Asked Questions

Hours of service refer to the maximum number of consecutive hours a commercial driver can work before taking a break or rest period. For example, in the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates hours of service for commercial drivers, with a maximum of 11 hours driving time and 14 hours on-duty time in a 24-hour period.