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.
The above information is for informational purposes only, and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice.
Mar 14, 2019 Marc Moncion