Hours of Service Recap – A Trucker’s 101


This year’s Hours of Service rule changes have caused more than their fair share of consternation. From frustrated drivers to trucking executives left scratching their heads, we’re getting inundated with requests to decode the FMCSA’s 395.3 regulation. So, we’ve decided to tackle the 60/7 vs. 70/8 rule set, recaptured hours — or the hours of service recap — and the new 34-hour restart rule changes in a series of blog posts.

We want to be sure you have a crystal clear understanding of what’s mandatory, what’s not and how it all works…

…and we’re kicking things off with the basics of the recapture.

Recapture on-duty hours with recap

Let’s say you’re operating on the 70/8 rule set (or, put more simply, that you can’t be on duty for more than 70 hours during the course of eight consecutive days).

If today were an on-duty day for you, it would be Day 1.

You’d then have to add your Day 1 hours to the on-duty hours you accumulated during the course of the previous seven.

As your block of eight days advances at 12 o’clock midnight, you recapture the on-duty hours that have dropped off your log at 12:01AM.

The hours of service recap in practice

We get a lot of questions about the hours of service recap, and many come from new drivers.

So, let’s talk through an example.

Assume you’re brand new to the job, and you started on a Monday without any previous on-duty hours to take into consideration.

If you work 8-1/2 on-duty hours each day—from your first day on the job until the following Monday—you’ll have accumulated 68 hours on-duty.

When you roll into Tuesday, your Day 8 shifts from the Monday of last week to the previous Tuesday. And the 8-1/2 hours that just fell off your rolling total (shown in light blue)? They’re now available to you again.

Hours of service recap or 34-hour restart?

As of July 1, 2013, drivers must adhere to new 34-hour restart provisions, including the two 1AM – 5AM rest periods (we’ll explore that rule in-depth in a future blog post).

Some things to keep in mind…

First and foremost, it’s important to highlight the fact that you’re not required to use the 34-hour restart rule.

It’s simply another tool you may use to manage your available hours and, depending on how much time you spend on-duty, the restart may be the quickest way to get you back behind the wheel.

However, because the 34-hour reset rule states that you can only take one weekly reset—or one every 168 hours, from the beginning of your previous reset—those new limitations might be a key reason you look at the use of the recapture.

If you’re working 8-3/4 hours of on-duty time or less each day, though, this may be a moot point. You could conceivably work to infinity without ever needing to take a 34-hour restart.

We hope this has been helpful.

Up next? A detailed look at the 34-hour restart.


11 thoughts on “Hours of Service Recap – A Trucker’s 101

  1. I was told by other drivers that i can work 70 hours in seven days and when i starts my 8th day that my 1st day is falling off because i was recaping my hours. But on his 8th day i was not over 70H. Does that means i can work the eight day and on the 8th day i gaining back hours from his 1st day. IS THAT RIGHT ?? PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
    Thank You!

  2. I understand the process of recapping hours after midnight of the seventh and eighth day but as I understand it further that a driver is able to recapping hours until the fourteeth day of driving, when we need to take a 24 hour break. My question, are we still able to recap hours after this 24 hour break or does that stop the recapping process? If it does then why not just say we need to reset after 14 days of recapping? If no,t then every 14 days we need to do our 24 hour break as long as we are able to stay recapping without running low on hours. Which is it? Thanks

    • Can you help us understand your situation a little better? What rule set are you referring to? Is this oil field? (We just wanted to confirm that you didn’t mean the new-ish 34-hour restart.) We know of no limit on the 14 days of recapping unless it’s something specific to a state rule. If you’re only on duty an average of 8.75 hours each day, you can recap forever until something happens that causes you to hit the 70 or 60 hours that require a reset. If you can help us understand the exact rule set, we can try to give you a more complete answer. Thanks!

  3. State Trooper just told my driver that he can work 70 hours in seven days and when he starts his 8th day that his 1st day is falling off because he is recaping his hours. But on his 8th day he is over 70H. That means that he is working his eight day and on his 8th day he is gaining back hours from his 1st day. IS THAT OK??
    Thank You!

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