The 30-minute break is often misunderstood by truckers. A full-proof way to avoid HOS violations is to think about what you cannot do instead of what you can do.

  • A driver cannot drive after any 8-hour period on-duty, until he or she takes the required 30-minute off-duty break.
  • Remaining on duty after the 8 hours is okay.  However, driving is prohibited. A violation can only occur while driving.
  • The 8-hour clock begins from the point at which a driver goes on duty or driving after having taken at least 30 minutes off (off duty or in the sleeper berth).
  • This rule works in conjunction with the 11 and 14-hour rules.

Here’s an example to illustrate the rule:

If you came on-duty at 1PM and took a half-hour lunch break at 3 PM, you would have to take a second 30-minute break by 11:30PM, as demonstrated by the e-log below.




It is important to be selective about when you take a break so you can avoid having to take a second break.  If you take your first 30-minute break too soon, you may be forced to take a second 30-minute break before your 14-hour window is up.  A good way to keep track of your hours of service is to sign up for a free electronic logbook.