Rules for drivers vary from one place to another. The rules we are going to discuss are rules that cover ‘carriage of goods by road’ rules. This refers to journeys made in part or entirely on public roads. HGV driver training may not explain these rules but they are very important for you to know if you want to drive large goods vehicles.
Most large goods vehicles, or LGVs that are over 3.5 tonnes, have to abide by the Drivers’ Hours Rule that has been set by the EU. These rules set limits for driving, which includes fortnightly, daily and weekly. There are minimum break times that drivers must take while they work, and they have to take minimum breaks for daily and weekly periods of rest.
There are also Working Time Regulations in place. The drivers are covered by them too. Furthermore, the regulations define drivers are people:
- Driving Time
An amount of driving time through the day that places drivers under the EU rules for the entire day. This means drivers have to apply with break, rest and daily driving requirements. They also need to abide by driving limits and weekly rest requirements.
- Daily Breaks
After a driver has been driving for 4.5 hours, they have to take a 45 minute break. Unless they have taken a rest period, then they are required to take the break. They cannot carry out any kind of driving work during their break.
Bear in mind this excludes other types of work other than just driving. If you drive for 2.5 hours, work for an hour, then drive for another 2.5 hours, then this means you need to take the 45 minute break. Instead of doing 45 minutes, you can take a 15 minute break and a 30 minute break in the 4.5 hour period.
- Daily Driving Time
Nine hours in a day is the maximum daily driving time allowed. If you drive for 4.5 hours, followed by a break of 45 minutes and then you drive for another 4.5 hours, then this means it can increase to 10 hours two times per week.
The daily driving time is the number of hours you have drove for, but between the end of a break to the following daily break. It can also be the total amount of hours deriving between a daily rest period and a weekly one. Make sure you keep this in mind.
- Weekly Driving Limit
Fifty-six hours in any fixed week is what the weekly driving limit is set out. An example of this is working four days at nine hours, plus two days at 10 hours per day. Midnight (Monday) is when the fixed week starts. It then ends in exactly a week.
- Rest Periods
Each 24 hour period, drivers have to take their daily rest. It cannot be interrupted. Rest doesn’t count as spending time doing other work, and this includes doing self-employment work.
A regular daily rest period refers to an 11 hour min. rest period. Drivers are allowed to split their rest periods (daily period) into two periods, but the first one has to be three hours. Drivers are able to take the rest break at any point of the day, but the second one has to be a nine hour rest period. The total minimum amount of rest would be 12 hours.
If you drive a large LGV, then make sure to keep the above in mind. The rules are in place to protect drivers. Make sure to stay up to date with EU regulations.