According to California state law and code of regulations, there are a number of duties that California truck drivers and tractor trailer drivers must follow. Below, an overview of these items includes:

Maximum Driving and On Duty Time

Drivers Record of Duty Status

Alcohol and Zero Tolerance

Drivers Fatigue

Vehicle Condition

Safety Inspection

Maximum Driving and On-Duty Time
Interstate drivers, intrastate bus drivers, and drivers of tank vehicle with a capacity of more than 500 gallons transporting flammable liquid may not:

  • Drive more than 10 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty; or
  • For any period after having been on duty 15 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty.

Intrastate truck drivers, may not:

  • Drive more than 12 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty; or
  • For any period after having been on duty 15 hours following eight consecutive hours off duty.

Drivers Record of Duty Status:

Every motor carrier shall require every driver used by the motor carrier to record his/her duty status for each 24 hour period. The information that must be recorded is as follows:

  • Date
  • Total Miles driving today
  • Bus, truck, tractor, and trailer number
  • Name of carrier
  • Drivers signature / certificate
  • 24 hour period starting time
  • Main office address
  • Remarks
  • Name of co-driver
  • Total hours
  • Shipping document number(s) or name of shipper and commodity


Alcohol Zero Tolerance

No person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle when that persons blood alcohol level is found to be 0.01% by weight, or greater. No person shall be on duty or operate a commercial motor vehicle while the driver possesses and alcoholic beverage of not less than one-half of one per centum of alcohol by volume.

Driver Fatigue

No driver shall operate a motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a motor vehicle, while the driver’s alertness is impaired through fatigue, illness, or other cause.

Vehicle Condition – Daily Inspection and Written Reports by Drivers

Before driving a motor vehicle, the driver shall:

  • Inspect the vehicle daily to ascertain that it is in safe operating condition and equipment is in good working order.
  • Review the last vehicle inspection report.
  • Sign the report

Daily Report – Truck Drivers:
The following list excludes school bus drivers or publicly owned and operated transit system drivers:

  • Service brakes including trailer brake connection
  • Parking hand brake
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Coupling devices
  • Wheels and rims
  • Emergency equipment

Daily Report – School Bus Drivers:

  • All gauges, indicators, and warning devices
  • Horns
  • Driver’s seat and seat belts
  • All doors, door emergency releases, and windows
  • All seats, handrails, and modesty panels
  • Interior and exterior lighting systems
  • All heating cooling and ventilating systems
  • All glass and mirrors, including adjustment of mirrors
  • Windshield wipers and washers
  • All required emergency equipment
  • All tires, wheels, and lug nuts
  • Brake system (including):
    • Air compressor governor cut in and cut out pressures
    • Static pressure for air loss
    • Applied brake pressure loss
    • Low air pressure warning devices
    • Emergency stopping systems
    • Parking brake
    • Antiskid device
    • Vacuum gauge, ensuring it reads not less than 15 inches
    • Low vacuum warning devices
    • Brake pedal for brake adjustment

If you have been involved in a California trucking collision, contact us today. Speak to Mr. Dolan, or one of our other highly-qualified trucking accident attorneys. The consultation is free.

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The Dolan Law Firm

1438 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-636-8160
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