19 Nov

16 Hour Rule

What is 16 hour rule in Canada?

16 hour rule states that a Work shift can be extended to 16 hours

To understand this rule, first we need to know the meaning of the following terms: –

Elapsed time:

  • Elapsed time is simply the time between two points. As an example, in below graph, elapsed time between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM is 3 hours

Work shift:

  • Work shift is the time (Elapsed time) between 2 off-duty periods of at-least 8 consecutive hours




Work shift rules

  • Work shift starts from the last period of at-least 8 consecutive hours of off-duty or sleeper berth
  • Work shift cannot be more than 16 hours. In other words, you must not be on-duty after the 16th hour of Work shift.
  • 16 hours (Work shift) includes on-duty, driving and off-duty hours. These off-duty hours are not part of the mandatory 8 consecutive off hours.
  • 2 hours out of 16 hours of work shift should be accounted as sleeper berth and/or off duty
  • Maximum driving allowed is 13 hours within a Work shift
  • Maximum on-duty allowed is 14 hours within a Work shift
  • At least 8 consecutive off hours must be taken after 16 hours Work shift.


Example describing the work shift (16 hours)





In the following example: –

  • After having off-duty/sleeper berth for consecutive 10 hours, a driver came on-duty at 12:00 AM for an hour and started driving at 1:00 AM
  • After driving for 3 hours, he went off-duty for 30 mins at 4:00 AM and started driving again at 4:30 AM
  • At 6:30 AM, he went off -duty again for 30 mins followed by 4 hours of driving from 7:00 AM
  • 1 hour of off-duty was taken from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Now, the shift was extended to 16 hours from 14 hours and the driver was on-duty till 4:00 PM instead of 2:00 PM
  • The 30 mins and 1 hour off-duty periods are not calculated as part of 14-hours shift but are calculated as a part of 2 hours in the 16 hours Work shift. During this whole elapsed time period (12:00 AM to 4:00 PM), the driver still had maximum 14 hours for on-duty and 13 hours for driving



Disclaimer- The rules and regulations are subject to change any time. Readers must verify with the authority, FMCSA / MTO and must not rely on the contents of this blog.

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