How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Drive?


The unsung heroes among us are truck drivers, transporting various types of shipments and goods that keep the Canadian economy running smoothly. Ensuring road safety depends on protecting both the public and drivers.

Ensuring that economic needs coexist with the safety of drivers as well as other people on the road, Canada has enforced rules to govern the number of hours a truck driver can work. So, today, in this article, we shall delve into the details of Canada-specific driving hours rules and laws.

How many hours are truck drivers in Canada legally allowed to drive?

Safety and truck transportation efficiency hinge on the issue of how many hours a driver can legally drive in Canada. It is through government regulations that the country addresses this issue of driving hours.

As such, it has been determined that on a daily basis, truck drivers shall be permitted to drive for 13 hours and no more. This number has been determined after careful observation of traffic and driver behavioral patterns over extended periods.

Laws That Stipulate Driving Hours

According to the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (HOS), how long a truck driver can operate a commercial vehicle is strictly governed.

These hours have been determined with the intent to achieve improved road safety, prevent fatigue-related accidents, and support rested truck drivers.

These laws also help ensure that your truck’s essential parts and components don’t get worn out too quickly from overuse. In case your vehicle encounters such issues, you can find new replacement parts for heavy-duty trucks and trailers here.

Key Provisions of the HOS Regulations:

The HOS regulations have a strict and well-laid-out set of criteria upon which the laws have been built, ensuring that road safety is not compromised for economic growth and vice versa. These rules are:

  • Daily Driving Limits: 

After having been off-duty for at least 8 hours, truck drivers in Canada are usually allowed to drive for around 13 hours in a 24-hour span.

  • Weekly Driving Limits: 

Daily limits are complemented by weekly limits in driving restrictions. Driving more than 70 hours in 7 consecutive days is not allowed in some situations. Off-duty time, a full 36 hours in succession, can reset this limitation.

  • Rest Breaks: 

By taking regular rest breaks, truck drivers can help combat driver fatigue. Within the initial 8 hours of driving, there is a 30-minute break mandatory.

  • Cycle Limits: 

Canada also enforces cycle limits. Even if they have not reached their weekly driving limit, a commercial vehicle operator cannot drive beyond 14 hours in a day.

  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs): 

Mandatory for Canadian commercial vehicles, ELDs stand out. By using these devices, drivers can stay compliant with HOS regulations.

  • Penalties for Violations: 

Failure to comply with these regulations may lead to financial penalties and the suspension of a driver’s commercial driver’s license.

  • Exemptions and Special Rules:

Such industries and goods are eligible for exemptions and special guidelines, such as the transport of livestock or agricultural products.

The Importance of Compliance:

Safety is the primary reason for the establishment of these laws. To fulfill the purpose such rules are meant to serve, drivers should inculcate a sense of responsibility among themselves towards complying with these driving hour rules.

These regulations help mitigate the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue in commercial vehicles.

Ensuring that one sticks to the rules and does not flout the law also helps in preventing unnecessary legal action, which can be a hassle for all parties involved. For truck drivers and their companies, abiding by safety rules goes beyond legal mandate to become a moral duty.


In Canada, the number of hours a truck driver can drive is regulated to maintain road safety and reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue.

By striking a balance between the economic demands of transportation and safety on our roads, Canada aims to ensure that all truck drivers can continue to be the backbone of the economy while keeping highways safe for all.