How is the 34 hour reset calculated and is it required for the 8 day cycle?
The U.S. hours-of-service regulation allows a driver to “restart” their 60-hour in any 7 consecutive days, or 70-hour any 8 consecutive days clock calculations by taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty (or in the sleeper berth) or some combination of both.
The reference to the 34-Hour Restart is found in Sections 395.3(c)(1) and (c)(2).
After a driver has taken at least 34 consecutive hours off duty, he/she has the full 60 or 70 hours available again depending on the cycle they have selected. The use of a “valid” 34-hour restart resets a driver’s “weekly” hours back to zero.
In addition, a driver may perform other on-duty tasks, such as loading or unloading and paperwork, after reaching the 60/7 or 70/8 hour limits. The driver simply may not legally drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on a public road when the limit has been reached. The caveat is that this on-duty time will continue to count against a driver in this cycle, which means he/she will have to take 34 consecutive hours off duty in order to reset his/her cycle, take the required rest before starting a new work day, or ensure that he/she is under the prescribed 60/7 or 70/8 hour limits.
Please note that the 34-hour restart is an optional, and not a mandatory regulatory provision as a driver can continue with the moving window of days, by adding a new day after dropping an old day on the back end. i.e. days 1-7; days 2-8 and days 3-9 etc…
As an example, if a driver follows the 70-hour/8-day limit and works 14 hours per day for 5 days in a row, he/she will have been on duty for 70 hours in that 8 day window. The driver would not be able drive again until he/she drops below 70 hours worked in this 8 consecutive day period. However, if the motor carrier allows the driver to use the 34-hour restart provision, he/she would have driving time available immediately after 34 consecutive hours off duty going back to zero on the clock. The driver would therefore begin a new period of 8 consecutive days and have a full 70 hours available in that new cycle.