ABC's of Hours of Service and Tour Routing

Brief explanation of Hours of Service and tips on routing tours.

ABC’s of Tour Routing and Hours Of Service

 This is meant only as a guide, for the actual hours of service and applicable rules, see


Summary of rules


14 hour Rule – A driver may work a maximum of 14 hours in a 24 hour period.  This is from the point they “punch in”.  The only way to reset the clock is to have 10 consecutive hours off duty. 


11 Hour Rule – A Driver may drive a total of 11 hours of the 14 hours on duty. 


30 Minute Break /8 Hours – A driver needs to have a 30-minute break logged as off duty after working 8 hours.  This break applies if he will be driving.  It does not apply at an event if they will not be driving.  For example, if a driver works a 10-hour event, they do not need to show a break, but if he is driving after the 10-hour event, he would need a 30-minute break prior to driving


10 consecutive hours off duty – To reset a day, a driver must have 10 consecutive hours off duty.  For example, a driver ends driving and working for the day at 11 PM, the earliest he could start working is 9:00 AM the next day


70 Hours / 8 Day rule – A Driver may not work more than 70 Hours in any 8 day period.  A driver can do non-driving work after this 70 hour.


34-hour reset – To reset the 70 hours in 8-day rule, a driver must have 34 consecutive hours off duty.  For example, a driver ends his day at 10 PM Monday evening and has reached his 70 hours in 8 days.  The earliest he could work again is 8 AM Wednesday morning.  



Rules of Thumb for successfully routing a compliant tour


500 miles a day of driving – an average of 50 miles an hour accounts for traffic and stopping to fuel.  It’s not a hard and fast rule as driving in high traffic areas the average may be more like 400 miles.   Also, when planning a cross country trip like NYC- LA, always good to allow at least a ½ day more for weather and traffic. 


2 Days off per week – a DOT driver will generally need 2 full days off a week to remain compliant. 


Build in a maintenance day every 2-3 weeks-  When putting together a tour schedule build in a maintenance day every 2-3 weeks in addition to days off.  This will give your staff the opportunity to take the truck or trailer in for service or simply allow them to catch up on errands and things for the tour.   Clients rarely will question a maintenance day on a schedule.  


Work- Running errands, picking up the product, recapping, calling BA’s, running the truck or trailer for maintenance etc. is all considered on-duty time, so you need to factor extra time if your driver is also your manager.  In a perfect world, your driver has a good assistant TM who can handle a lot of the administrative items.  


Creative scheduling – Often times to manage DOT HOS issues you have to get creative.  For example, say you have a 5-day music festival.  Hours are 14 hours of activation per day plus you have an 8 hours set-up and 4- hour tear down.  If the driver worked all of the event days he would be at 82 hours after set-up and would need 34 hours off before he could remove the truck from the site.    In this scenario, you would need to get creative to figure out a way to gain some time.  Often times it means giving the driver off one day during the festival or having the driver come in later so he is only working 10 hours a day.