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Like many professions, HGV drivers are governed by a specific EU law regarding the HGV drivers’ working hours are calculated and strictly controlled to try and avoid tiredness and loss of concentration on the road, which – as we know all too well – can be a killer.

In this case, LGV / HGV drivers hours are controlled because they are driving something which could do a great deal of damage to themselves and other road users if they were to lose control of it.  These are the basic rules about HGV drivers’ working hours you need to know.


Standard breaks

A standard working day would see you working for 4.5 hours, taking a 45-minute break, and then working for another 4.5 hours.

HGV drivers’ working hours - Standard breaks

Split breaks

Split breaks would mean you work for 2 hours, take a 15-minute break, work for another two hours, take a 30-minute break, and then work for another 4.5 hours. It’s very important to do it with your breaks in this order because you’re not allowed to take a 30-minute break followed by a 15-minute break.

HGV drivers’ working hours - Split breaks

Weekly limits

You can only work a 10-hour day twice a week maximum.

HGV drivers’ working hours - Weekly breaks

Multi-week pattern

The maximum number of hours you can work per week is 56.  If you work 56 hours in one week, you must not work 56 hours the following week and can only work a total of 90 hours over two weeks. This means your second week would need to be no more than 34 hours, and the week before you 56-hour week would need to be a maximum of 34 hours too.

HGV drivers’ working hours - 1 week fixed

HGV drivers’ working hours - 2 weeks

Other work and daily rest

You need to take other work into account when totally your daily rest. You need to take a minimum of 11 hours of daily rest per day if your working hours are between 7 pm and 6 am, and any other work you do outside driving cannot happen during this time.

HGV drivers’ working hours - Daily Rest


You need to take a minimum of 9 hours of daily rest if all of this work occurs between 6 am and 9 pm, and this is called reduced rest. In any single week, you can only take three days of reduced rest, and the other two days must be full 11-hour rests.

HGV drivers’ working hours - Daily Rest 2

Carrying your records

You need to carry a record of your working hours wherever you go. Not only do you need to carry them for the current driving day, but also for the previous 28 days


If you’re unable to see any of the images above, please click here to download the HGV Drivers’ Working Hours, to staying legal PDF.

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