One of the best ways to ensure that HGVs are safe is to make sure that drivers stick to their specific driving hours. If a driver is too tired due to being overworked, then they can easily become unfocused which can lead to them making poor decisions while driving. The thing about driving HGVs is that it only takes a moment of poor judgement or sleeping at the wheel to cause a devastating accident. Of course, we have a StopSafe system to help prevent this issue, but it is best to avoid this situation at all costs.
It is very important that both employers and HGV drivers are fully knowledgeable about their obligations especially when it comes to driver hours. It is challenging to plan out driving schedules since the type of work that needs to be done varies. So, be sure to look at the guide below.
UK HGV driving hour limitations
The main rules are set according to the EU regulations which are based on British law. Some of these rules are:
- HGV drivers can only drive for up to 9 hours on a daily basis. It is possible to increase this to 10 hours per day, but note that this can only be done two times for the week.
- The maximum number of hours a driver is allowed to drive is 56 hours per week.
- On a fortnightly basis, the maximum number of hours is 90 hours.
There are also legally mandated breaks that every HGV driver needs to take. Each break should be a minimum of 45 minutes. Drivers can drive continuously or over shorter spaces of time. In any case, once a driver has been driving for 4 hours and 30 minutes, they will have to stop for a 45-minute break.
In a similar fashion to driving, the break can be taken in one period or it can be split up in a split break. Basically, a split break is where the driver takes a 15-minute break and then drives for a short period and then has another 30-minute break.
In the event that the first break in a split break is less than 15 minutes then it isn’t seen as a break. That time is also not referred to as driving time. In order for a split break to count, it needs to be at least 15 minutes followed by another break that is at least 30 minutes. If the timing of these breaks isn’t honoured, then this is a criminal offence by both the fleet manager and HGV driver. If you are looking for HGV driver training then see here.
Working and driving time differences
Even though these two times may seem to be the same, that is not the case. The time that is spent driving is known as driving time and working time is anything that is done in relation to the company’s operation.
Some of these tasks include:
- Getting the HGV loaded or offloaded
- Cleaning the vehicle
- HGV maintenance
- Admin work
- Checking the vehicle for issues and reporting any issues
- Job training that are industry specific
- CPC training
- Monitoring any activities related to offloading or loading
- Waiting periods that were not predicted
So, as you can see, driving is a part of working time. The working time hours aren’t controlled in the same manner as the driving time hours. Be sure to check out the comprehensive guide that fully covers all the details.