The Rules Of Trucking: Canada Versus US

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When it comes to driving a Canada-to-US route, you need to know more than the rules of the road. The reason for this is that both countries have their own unique trucking regulations, and ignorance of these rules can cost you.

The Rules Of Trucking: Canada Versus US

Before securing your payload, doing a final check and pulling out to head to your cross-border destination, be sure that you are well-versed on what is expected of you on both sides of the border. Much of these rules have to do with how many hours you can legally spend behind the wheel. Read on for the rules of trucking – Canada versus the US.

Driving Time

While U.S. regulations require drivers to work no more than 11 hours after 10 hours off, Canadian regulations call for up to 13 hours of driving each day after eight hours off. If you’re travelling from Canada to the US or vice-versa, you’ll need to keep accurate logs of the number of hours you spend behind the wheel.

On-Duty Hours

In the US, you need to take a break after driving 14 straight hours. Meanwhile, in Canada, you are not permitted to drive after a 14-hour shift following eight hours off. While both countries have a 14-hour limit, there are still differences – such as the eight hours off requirement in Canada –that you need to be aware of.

Off-Duty Period

As per US regulations, you’re entitled to 10 consecutive hours off, and when working you’re entitled to get a half-hour break after the eighth straight hour into your work shift. In Canada, meanwhile, you’re entitled to eight hours off before driving 10 hours a day.

Duration of Shift

US regulations mandate that you cannot drive after completing 14 straight hours, and in Canada, you cannot drive after you’ve completed 16 straight hours. Obviously, the shift length is more flexible in Canada than south of the border.

Duty Cycles

According to US regulations, duty cycles allow for 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days, while Canadian regulations permit 70 hours in seven days and 120 hours in 14 days.


You won’t be allowed to do any deferrals in terms of hours in the US, but in Canada, you can defer as many as two off-duty hours to the second day as long as you meet certain conditions.


If travelling within the US, your logs must include grid, total miles driven, date, vehicle number, starting time, carrier name, your signature, shipping document number, shopper name and more. In Canada, you’ll require most of the things you’ll need in the US; however, you won’t need a shipping document number or shipper name.

As you can see, there are some differences in terms of trucking rules in Canada and the US. Familiarize yourself with the regulations so that you can stay in compliance… and avoid potential fines.


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