Drivers' working hours

Drivers' Working Hours - The Facts

With the recent clarification by the European courts of the EU law regarding 45 hour rest periods being taken away from the lorry, we thought we'd take a brief look at rules regarding drivers' working hours.

Every EU truck driver and employer should know the rules. It's important for both the driver's health but also the safety of those around them. Here are the main regulations regarding Drivers' working hours.

Driving Hours

EU Drivers' hours rules apply to anyone driving a vehicle where the maximum permissible weight of your vehicle is more than 3.5 tonnes and you are driving in the EU, the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

Drivers should not drive for more than:

  • 9 hours in a day - this can be extended to 10 hours twice a week
  • 56 hours in a weekdriver bunk bed
  • 90 hours in any 2 consecutive weeks

Breaks & Rests

All EU HGV drivers must take:

  • At least 11 hours rest every day - this can be reduced to 9 hours rest times between any 2 weekly rest periods
  • An unbroken rest period of 45 hours every week away from the vehicle cab (this EU law has recently been clarified by the ETF & European Court of Justice) - you can reduce this to 24 hours every other week
  • A break or breaks totalling at least 45 minutes after no more than 4 hours 30 minutes driving
  • Your weekly rest after 6 consecutive 24 hour periods of working, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken

What About When I'm on a Ferry?

When making a ferry crossing you may ignore interruptions to your daily rest as long as you do not interrupt it more than twice (once to get on the ferry and once to get off).

These interruptions musn't be more than 1 hour in total. They do not count towards your rest period.

If you have interrupted your rest with a ferry crossing, then you must take a regular daily rest of at least 11 hours. You cannot reduce this rest period.

In a situation where your interruptions exceed 1 hour in total you will be required to take your full daily rest as normal and all events prior to the rest will be included in your previous duty.

Remember, all driving under EU rules must be recorded on a tachograph.

For more information about drivers' hours and tachographs for goods vehicles in Great Britain and Europe, check out the official UK Government guidance.

28 February 2017

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