Not all hours of service (HOS) laws are the same in every country. It’s important drivers understand these rules to operate and complete their trip safely, especially if they’re crossing the Canada–United States border. In Canada truckers are allowed to drive for up to 13 hours during a day without taking a break, provided that they don’t exceed 14-hours without a break. However, in the United States truckers can drive for up to 8 hours without a break, and drive 11 hours in a 14 hour day, followed by 10 hours off duty.
When operating in Canada or the U.S, drivers must comply with that country’s HOS laws even if they don’t live there. Drivers will be subject to violations if they fail to comply with the country they’re driving in HOS laws.
Canada has two duty cycles and a driver must be in compliance with at least one of them and know which they’re using. Cycle one is 70 hours in a 7-day cycle, no driving may be done after accumulating 70 hours on duty in 7-days. Cycle two is 120 hours in a 14-day cycle. No driving may be done in this cycle after accumulating 70 hours on duty without taking 24 consecutive hours off duty.
When driving in Canada following Cycle one, to reset your hours to zero, you must take 36 consecutive hours off duty. For Cycle two to reset your hours to zero, you must take 72 consecutive hours off-duty.
America also has two duty cycles and a driver must be in compliance with at least one of them and know which they’re using. Cyle one is 70 hours in 8 days and cycle two is 60 hours in 7 days. To reset your hours to zero, you must take 34 consecutive hours off-duty.
Stated by the FMCSA the difference in HOS regulations for drivers transporting property after on-duty time is, “In the United States, for drivers of property no driving may be done after 14-consecutive hours until the driver first takes 10 consecutive hours off duty.” In comparison the FMCSA concludes, “When operating in Canada, no driving may be done after 14-hours of on-duty time in a day or after 14-hours on-duty in a work-shift after having taken 8-consecutive hours off-duty.” After comparing the HOS laws between both Canada and the U.S, we can see why it’s important for drivers to understand them in order to avoid violations.