16 Hour Rule Trucking

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The trucking industry is an essential part of the American economy, and it is responsible for transporting goods across the country. However, there are specific regulations that truck drivers need to follow to ensure safety on the road. One such rule is the 16-hour rule, which limits the number of hours a truck driver can work in a single shift. In this article, we will discuss the 16-hour rule in detail, its purpose, and its impact on the trucking industry.

What is the 16-hour rule?

The 16-hour rule, also known as the “16-hour short-haul exception,” is a regulation that applies to certain truck drivers who operate within a 150 air-mile radius of their work reporting location. This rule allows these drivers to extend their workday to 16 hours once during any seven-day period, as long as specific conditions are met.

The purpose of the 16-hour rule is to provide some flexibility for short-haul truck drivers while ensuring safety on the road. The rule is designed to reduce the likelihood of fatigue-related accidents by limiting the number of hours a driver can work without rest.

Conditions for the 16-hour rule

To use the 16-hour rule, a driver must meet certain conditions, including:

  1. The driver must operate within a 150 air-mile radius of their work reporting location.
  2. The driver must return to the work reporting location and be released from work within 14 consecutive hours.
  3. The driver must have at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty before the start of the work shift.
  4. The driver must not drive for more than 11 hours in a single shift.
  5. The driver must comply with all other applicable rules, including the 14-hour rule, which limits the total number of hours a driver can work in a single day.

Impact of the 16-hour rule on the trucking industry

The 16-hour rule has had a significant impact on the trucking industry since its implementation. It has allowed short-haul truck drivers to have more flexibility in their workday, which has improved their quality of life. At the same time, it has ensured that drivers are not working excessive hours, which could lead to fatigue-related accidents.

However, the 16-hour rule has also created some challenges for the trucking industry. For example, some companies have struggled to find enough drivers to cover all the available shifts because of the restrictions on the number of hours a driver can work. Additionally, some drivers have reported that the rule has reduced their earning potential because they are unable to work as many hours as they would like.


The 16-hour rule is an essential regulation that ensures the safety of short-haul truck drivers while providing some flexibility in their workday. Although the rule has had a significant impact on the trucking industry, it has been successful in reducing the likelihood of fatigue-related accidents. As the trucking industry continues to evolve, it is essential to balance the need for flexibility with the need for safety on the road.

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