Breaking Down Truck Driver Guidelines


Truck drivers are held to a different standard than their ordinary-vehicle-driving counterparts. After all, there’s a reason why they’re issued commercial driver’s licenses. Under California law, there are a number of regulations that they must adhere to in order to be allowed to stay on the road. As you can imagine, many of these rules come down to safety. The occupation is an inherently hazardous one, and lives can rest on the shoulders of a truck driver’s tenacity to follow the law. 


Here is a breakdown of some of the more newsworthy guidelines put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the state of California:


Hours of Service


Fatigued driving is a major cause for concern in the trucking industry. Falling asleep at the wheel or not paying enough attention because you’re too tired can lead to serious repercussions should you get into an accident. That’s why there are hours of service restrictions in place. 


According to the FMCSA, property-carrying truck drivers must cap the number of hours they drive per shift. The information below is taken directly from their site



  • 11-Hour Driving Limit
    Property carrying truck drivers “May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.”


  • 14-Hour Limit
    Property carrying truck drivers “May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.”



Required Rest


Even though under the FMSCA’s regulation 49 U.S.C. 31141 California trucking companies are no longer required to offer paid breaks to their drivers, it doesn’t mean they can skip their breaks. All California truck drivers are still required by law to take a break for at least 10 minutes every four hours, and a 30-minute break to eat every 5 hours.


It’s important to note that many driver safety groups are petitioning this clause, as it removes the incentive to take breaks, since they are no longer a source of income for the driver. With that said, safety always comes first, and by law, drivers must rest if they want to remain in good standing. 


Regular Physicals


All commercial truck drivers must have a physical examination performed every two years in order to evaluate their fitness to drive. If the driver has any injury or condition which affects his or her ability to drive safely, they will not be allowed back on the road. 


Examples of this include losing fingers in an accident which leads to an inability to grip the steering wheel securely, or having to regularly control diabetes with insulin shots and risk passing out on the job. The rigors of commercial trucking can take a lot out of a person, and if they aren’t fit enough to accept the challenge, it could lead to an accident, or worse, loss of life. 


Transport Your Tradeshow With Pyramid Logistics


Our team knows the ins and outs of trucking guidelines, and only hires the cream of the crop to ensure your tradeshow materials arrive on time, in a professional manner. Our drivers are a highly experienced group with years of know-how that make them an invaluable asset when moving precious cargo.

If you’d like to learn more about partnering with us, click here