There are different types of rules that apply to drivers according to the type of vehicle that they drive. The rules in this post are applicable to the vehicles used for “carriage of goods by road”. These rules apply to any journey that is made in part or entirely on the roads that the public uses. See this guide from Easy as HGV.
The EU Drivers Hours Rules are applicable to the drivers for most of the LGVs (large goods vehicles), which are over 3.5 tonnes. LGV drivers usually have tachographs in their vehicles. The EU Drivers Hours Rules have set limits in place for fortnightly, weekly, and daily driving, and have specific break time minimums for the working day of a driver, and weekly and daily rest periods. Drivers of these vehicles are covered by something known as the Working Time Regulations.
The EU rules are the 2006 Regulations which define drivers as any individual who:
– Drives the vehicle
– Is transported on a vehicle to drive
1. Driving Time
Driving over the course of the day regardless of the time-frame puts a driver in the scope of EU rules for the entire day. This means the driver is required to comply with rest, break, and daily driving requirements, along with driving limits and requirements for weekly rest.
2. Daily Breaks
Part of being an HGV driver means that after driving for 4.5 hours the driver has to take a break of 45 minutes (uninterrupted) unless the driver takes his/her rest period. When they are taking a break they are not permitted to drive at all.
This will exclude conducting “other” work rather than actually driving. For example, if the driver has been driving for 2.5 hours, then does “other” work for an hour, then drives again for 2.5 hours, the driver must take a 45-minute break.
The 45-minute break could be replaced with a break of 15 minutes at least and then a 30-minute break in a 4.5 hour period.
This means you are allowed to drive for 2 hours, take a break for 15 minutes, drive again for 2.5 hours and then take a break of 30 minutes. After a 45-minute break, the following 4.5 hour driving period will start again. There is a difference for the professional drivers that are Territorial Army members, that are not covered in this article.
3. Daily Driving Time
The driving time maximum is 9 hours in a day. This means you are allowed to drive for 4.5 hours, take a break for 45 minutes, followed by driving again for 4.5 hours. You can increase your daily driving time to 10 hours, 2 days a week.
Daily Driving Time is the driving time total between the end of the day rest period on one day and the start of the next day’s rest period. It can also be worked out on the total driving time accumulated between weekly and daily rest periods.
4. Weekly Driving Limits
The driving limit over a week is 56 hours in “fixed” weeks. This includes 4 X 9 hour days and 2 X 10 hour days which comes to 56 hours. A “fixed” week begins at midnight on a Monday and will end one week later.
5. Rest Periods
Drivers have to take rest periods daily within each 24-hour period. This rest has to be a period that is uninterrupted. Any time spent with work that involves other employment which includes self-employed work is not counted as rest.
A daily rest period of 11 hours is known as the “regular” daily-rest period.
Drivers are permitted to divide “regular” daily-rest periods into 2 periods. The initial period has to be a minimum of 3 hours of uninterrupted rest, that the driver is allowed to take during his/her working day. The 2nd period has to be 9 hours or more of rest that is uninterrupted, which comes to a 12 hour total every day.