At Minimax Express, we get a lot of questions about driving a truck and working in the trucking industry. Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
How can I get my truck driving license?
In July 2017, the province of Ontario made training mandatory for all Class A license applicants. Mandatory entry-level training will include at least 103.5 hours of instruction and cover the entry-level knowledge and skills needed to safely operate a large truck on Ontario’s roads.
Once you’ve completed the training, your driving record will be updated automatically.
If you meet all the other Class A requirements you can take a Class A road test at a DriveTest centre. The training will be valid for life.
How many hours can a driver operate a commercial vehicle?
Canadian hours of service differ from American rules. In Canada, the rules refer to ‘per day’ and ‘work shift’. Per day refers to a calendar day and a work shift refers to the time between two periods of rest of at least eight hours. Drivers must be in compliance with both the ‘per day’ and the ‘work shift’ regulations at all times.
- A driver must have 10 hours off-duty in a day.
- A driver cannot drive more than 13 hours in a day.
- A driver cannot drive after 14 hours on-duty in a day.
Mandatory Off-Duty Time:
- After a period of at least eight hours off-duty, a driver cannot drive more than 13 hours.
- After a period of at least eight hours off-duty, a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for 14 hours.
- After a period of at least eight hours off-duty, a driver cannot drive after 16 hours has elapsed.
Driving Cycle Requirement:
- An operator shall designate a cycle for the driver to follow.
- There are two cycles available, a seven-day cycle or a 14-day cycle.
- In a period of seven consecutive days, a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for 70 hours.
- In a period of 14 consecutive days, a driver cannot drive after having been on-duty for 120 hours. Drivers following this cycle shall not drive after accumulating 70 hours on-duty without having taken 24 consecutive hours of off-duty time.
- On any day, all drivers must have a period of at least 24 consecutive hours off-duty in the preceding 14 days.
- A driver may only switch the cycle they are on if they start a new cycle.
- To start a new cycle, a driver on the seven-day cycle must take 36 consecutive hours off-duty.
- To start a new cycle, a driver on the 14-day cycle must take 72 consecutive hours off-duty.
What is an ELD?
An Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is technology used by drivers of commercial motor vehicles to automatically record driving time and Hours of Service (HOS) records. This device also captures data on the vehicle’s engine, movement, and miles driven.
ELD solutions are typically offered in two formats: An all-in-one package including a device with a pre-loaded mobile app, or a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) solution which the carrier can put on their existing hardware (depending on compatibility). A smartphone or tablet can be used as part of the ELD solution, provided that it meets FMCSA technical specifications and is certified and registered.
What is a fuel surcharge?
A fuel surcharge is a way of adjusting the amount paid to move freight by taking into account significant variation in fuel prices, compared to the base cost of fuel used in costing a shipment. The fuel surcharge is set weekly by The Freight Carriers Association (FCA).
What is the Freight Carriers Association?
For over 60 years, the Freight Carriers Association (FCA) and the North American Transportation Council (NATC) have been recognized for their expertise on matters related to Canadian Domestic and U.S.-Canada for-hire trucking.
The FCA represents motor carriers engaged in for-hire trucking in the Canadian domestic market.
The NATC represents Canadian and U.S. based motor carriers engaged in for-hire trucking in the North American transborder market.
These two organizations develop, publish, and maintain rate structures and software for use by motor carriers, and their customers, and provide quality information in a timely fashion to assist their members and other parties involved with the motor carrier industry.
The FCA/NATC publish a weekly Fuel Calculation Bulletin. This bulletin is available on a subscription basis to all interested parties and provides information on diesel fuel cost changes and their impact on total costs.
How safe are trucks?
For additional trucking industry-related questions, contact Minimax Express.