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The Driver Is Out of Hours


The driver has run out of legally available driving hours, and has to park the truck for a full rest period.
Highway safety enforcement officers have caught the driver driving while out of legally available driving hours. The driver has to park the truck and is put “out-of-service”, under supervision, for a minimum of 24 hours. Fines, points, and an insurance company review will follow.


  1. The carrier will advise us of the situation, and we will advise you.
  2. Based on input from the carrier, we will confirm a new delivery ETA with you.


Safety regulations governing commercial driver hours are both strict and detailed, and are electronically monitored and calculated by tamper-proof on-board equipment in the truck cab that links directly to the truck’s power train computers. When a driver is about to run out of legal hours, he/she must stop driving within minutes, and take a mandatory rest period, usually 10 hours in duration.

Carriers and drivers, as well as Copper Run, are well aware of the use and application of these regulations, and plan trips and choose drivers based on matching their available hours remaining from their previous trips with the hours required to complete the proposed trip.

Copper Run will not assign a trip to a carrier who does not have the available hours to complete the trip within the customer’s desired schedule. At the same time, Copper Run will not accept an assignment from a customer if the desired travel and delivery time cannot be legally accomplished with the regulations that govern driver hours of work.

So when a driver is unexpectedly delayed at a pick-up or a delivery, or by highway congestion, or by bad weather, or while waiting for Customs clearance, those non-driving hours can and do add up, and in the end they count directly against available driving time, or mandatory end-of-shift time, or both.

The result is that unexpected delays make drivers run out of hours on trips they had reasonably planned to complete within their legal hours (they are allowed to drive for 11 hours each day ), and they have to stop short of their intended destination. Even when they are only 20 minutes away from you.

The reason that shippers and receivers are charged waiting time fees for delays is not because it is an opportunity to obtain some extra revenue for sitting around. The waiting time fees are charged in an effort to replace (albeit only partially) the revenue the truck would be earning and the money the driver would be earning if they were not sitting at a dock.

Because of the provisions of the hours of work rules – you are forbidden from driving once 14 hours have passed since you first came on duty for the day – those extra hours sitting at a dock can never be recovered, and the potential miles are forever lost. There is no such thing as “overtime” for a highway truck driver.

If a driver is “caught in the act” while driving over legal hours, they will be charged and placed “out-of-service” for 24 hours. Or they can be caught in an office file audit, months after the fact, and charged and fined. In either case, the carrier can also be charged and fined, and the convictions will be registered on the carrier’s safety record, an important safety performance measure used by freight brokers like Copper Run, by shippers, and by commercial insurers.


Your delivery will be delayed until after the driver has taken a mandatory rest period, usually 10 hours. This will likely push your delivery to the next day.

If the driver was caught driving while out of hours, your delivery will be 2 days late.