An Easy Guide to Basic HGV Driver Working Hours in the UK

One of the most fundamental ways drivers and fleet managers can keep HGVs safe is to adhere to prescribed driver hours. This is in addition to vehicle safety technologies. Remember, overworked or sleepy drivers are more prone to lose concentration or make poor judgments. Therefore, when it comes to HGVs, it only takes a second or two for a tragic and potentially fatal accident to occur.

In addition, overtired drivers may even fall asleep behind the wheel. Even though our StopSafe technology is meant to prevent this, it’s never a good idea to take the chance. That said, it’s critical for both employers and drivers to understand their basic responsibilities when it comes to driving hours. Unfortunately, it can be tough to figure out how to organize a driver’s schedule based on the type of job they do. Therefore, we’ve put together this quick guide.

In the United Kingdom, there are restrictions on the number of hours that HGV drivers can drive. These limitations are based on European Union norms, although they are also codified in British law. Here are the most important guidelines:

• Driving time is limited to 9 hours per day. However, this can be raised to ten hours twice a week if necessary.
• The maximum weekly driving time is 56 hours.
• The maximum biweekly limit is 90 hours.
• HGV drivers are required to take a break by law

Required Schedule for Breaks

HGV drivers are required by law to take a 45-minute break after 4.5 hours on the road. This driving time may be continuous and completed all at once. Alternatively, it can be broken up into several shorter intervals. Ultimately, they must take a 45-minute break if they reach the first 4 hours 30 minutes mark. The break, just like driving, can be completed in one sitting.

Conversely, the driver can take a split break, which consists of a 15-minute session followed by a 30-minute period. If the first phase of a split break is less than 15 minutes, it is not considered a break. However, it will not be considered driving time either. Therefore, only split breaks with a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes will be considered. If these aren’t followed, the driver and fleet manager may be breaking the law. If you are looking for lorry driver training then see here.

Is There A Difference between Driving and Working Time?

These two terms may sound similar, but they are not. Working time is defined as whatever you perform in conjunction with a transportation operation. On the other hand, drive time is defined as time spent behind the wheel. That said, working time includes, but is not limited to the following:

• Actual driving
• The process of loading and unloading must be monitored.
• CPC training for drivers or industry-specific employment training
• Vehicle cleaning and maintenance
• Vehicle defect inspection and reporting daily
Work in the office
• Waiting periods in which the driver has no idea how long they will last.

Wind Up

In most cases, driving time is categorized under working time like in this scheme. As such, working hours aren’t always defined the same way, but explaining this is quite complex. However, if you need additional information, there is an excellent, thorough guide available online.