If you’re familiar with the trucking industry, you’ve most likely heard of the 60-hour/7-day or 70-hour/8-day cycle. The 60-hour/7-day cycle limits a driver to 60 hours of on-duty time during a 7-day window, while the 70-hour/8-day cycle limits a driver to 70 hours  of on-duty time over an 8-day period.


The 8-day and 7-day windows are often referred to as a “rolling” time frames, but what does this mean?

A “rolling” window simply means that as you advance to the next day, you regain hours from the beginning of the cycle. For the 60/7 cycle, this means that as a driver advances to what would be considered Day 8, he or she would recuperate on-duty hours that were spent 8 days back as newly available driving hours. The same method is applied to the 70/8 cycle -as a driver advances to what would be considered Day 9, he or she will regain available driving hours that were spent 9 days back.  


Can I stay on-duty (non-driving)?

Yes, a driver can remain on-duty and perform other tasks outside of driving (regardless of which cycle is followed), but those additional on-duty hours must be taken into account when assessing an individual’s available driving hours during his or her current cycle window.


Let’s clarify with an example:


On Tuesday, the driver began a new 70/8 cycle after completing the requirements for a 34-hour restart. His on-duty hours, both driving and non-driving, are subtracted every day from the 70 hours allotted over the 8-day window. On Wednesday, Day 9, the driver regained on-duty hours used on Day 1. The 8 hours he regained, plus the 4 hours he still had remaining in his 70-hour cycle, gave him a total of 12 available, on-duty hours, during which he can drive on Wednesday.


Calculating cycle hours can make trucking logbooks on the big road messy and complicated. How can the process be simplified?

Try electronic logging as an alternative to paper-logs. You can download a free electronic logbook from the app store. Many of these mobile logbooks automatically calculate remaining hours of service and alert drivers to potential violations.