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HGV Drivers hours & the Working Time Directive – The Facts!!

We are constantly being asked questions about HGV Driver’s hours & the Working Time Directive, in the article, we sat down with our amazing tutor team to find out the definitive answers to the top 5 questions that we are asked.

So here we go, HGV Driver’s hours & the Working Time Directive – The Facts!!

1: How many hours can a truck driver drive per year?

A Truck driver can drive 2340 hours per year.

2: How many hours can a truck driver drive per week?

A truck driver can drive for a maximum of 56 hrs in any one week but is only allowed to drive a total of 90 hours every two weeks, so if the driver drove 56 hours last week, they will only be allowed to drive for 34 hours on the second week, so the 90 hours driving time per fortnight is not exceeded

3: How many hours can a truck driver work?

Under the combined working time directive and drivers’ hours, a truck driver can work a total of 60 hours per week, but only 56 of those hours can be driving; the other 4 hours will be “other work” under the working time directive.

Under the working time directive, a truck driver’s driving time and other work is calculated over a 17-week reference period; there are two types of the reference period, fixed or rolling; although you can work a total of 60 hours per week, you must average this out over the 17 weeks, at an average of 48 hours per week.

Fixed 17-week reference period – A fixed 17-week reference period starts on the first Monday in January and consists of 2 x 17-week reference periods and 1 x 18-week reference period each year.

Rolling reference period – A Rolling reference period is also 17 weeks, based on 48 hours per week, which is made up of the previous 16 weeks plus the week you are in and must total to no more than 816 hours over the 17 weeks of which 776 can be driving hours and the other 40 hours is other work.

4: How long can a driver drive before having a break?

Under driver hours rules, a driver can only drive for 4.5 hours before having a 45-minute break, if doing other work as well as driving and providing that you haven’t driven for 4.5 hours, you can take a 15-minute break after 6 hours under the working time directive.

5: How many hours can each driver drive per day when double manning?

Within a 30-hour period, each driver can drive for a maximum of 10 hours (providing they have not already extended their driving to 10 hours twice in the fixed week.  Each must rest for a minimum of 9 hours per day under the EU driver’s hours rules, leaving a total of 21 hours of duty time (working, driving or as a passenger) to be carried out by each driver.


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