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A Guide to Knowing the Trucking Rules in Canada and the US

Whether you’ve recently passed your truck driving lessons or have been travelling for a while, you’d know that driving from Canada to the United States can be exciting and rewarding. It lets you explore breathtaking landscapes, meet new people, and enjoy the open road. This opportunity also allows you to enjoy job security. 

While this endeavour can be exciting for any driver, this adventure also has its responsibility, like knowing the trucking regulations in Canada and the US and the maximum allowed driving hours. This step is especially crucial before crossing the border. 

If you want to avoid costly consequences and enjoy a stress-free ride, this article will differentiate the different trucking rules between Canada and the United States. 

What Is the Maximum Allowed Driving Time?

The driving time is how long a truck driver spends behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Understanding this essential aspect of driving will help ensure everyone’s safety and efficient delivery of goods and services. 

In the United States, drivers can only work 11 hours after taking ten hours off. However, they can work up to 13 hours in Canada after an eight-hour break. You must track your driving hours carefully if you’re driving between these two countries. Otherwise, you could get in expensive legal trouble. 

What Is the Duration of Shift Regulations?

It’s illegal for truckers to drive in the United States for more than 14 consecutive hours. On the other hand, the limit is 16 straight hours. It means Canadian drivers have more flexibility in shift lengths than their US counterparts.

What Are the Ideal Duty Cycles?

The United States government states that workers can work up to 60 hours in seven days or up to 70 hours in eight days. Meanwhile, in Canada, the regulations allow up to 70 hours of work per week and up to 120 hours in 14 days.

Can You Schedule Deferrals?

Whether for safety concerns, legal obligations, or personal preferences, deferral is a common habit that drivers implement. However, you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to avoid responsibility and neglect essential tasks. 

You can’t delay your working hours in the United States, but in Canada, you can postpone up to two hours of off-duty time to the following day if you satisfy specific requirements.

What Should You Include in Your Logs?

When travelling in the US, you must keep a detailed record of your trip, including the distance travelled, date, vehicle number, starting time, carrier name, and your signature. You must also include a shipping document number and the shipper’s name. On the other hand, while you’ll need most of the same information when travelling in Canada, you don’t need to include the shipping document number or shipper name. 

What Are Your On-Duty Hours?

When driving in the US, you should take a break after travelling continuously for 14 hours to reduce fatigue and prevent road accidents. On the other hand, when trucking in Canada, you can’t drive for more than 14 hours after having had eight hours of rest. While both countries have a 14-hour driving limit, there are still variations in their regulations, like the mandatory eight hours of rest in Canada, that drivers should remember.

How Much Off-Duty Time Should You Have?

American workers have the right to take ten hours off in a row, and if they work for eight hours straight, they can take a 30-minute break. On the other hand, Canadian employees can take an eight-hour break before driving for ten hours a day. 


Driving a truck from the United States to Canada and vice versa can be exciting, but you must understand both countries’ road regulations to stay safe and avoid legal trouble. You can be responsible by passing your truck driving lessons and educating yourself about road laws. 

If you’re an aspiring driver looking for high-quality truck driving lessons in Toronto, visit Sprint Driving School! Our expert instructors will help you practise road safety and avoid legal trouble. Call us now!