New Hours of Service Regulations (555/06)


Ontario Regulation 555/06 came into force on January 1, 2007. In this document we will attempt to explain how the new rules affect drivers and operators.

This document was last updated April 23, 2007.

This is based on our interpretation of the regulations and some areas need to be clarified. If you have any questions or comments please send an e-mail.

The first 3 sections of the new regulation deal with definitions, duty status descriptions and exemptions from the regulations respectively. Then it gets into the actual hours of service rules which seem to be quite complex.

The best way to look at the new rules is to break them down into a series of rule sets. These rule sets must all be met and overlap somewhat, but are less confusing when each is viewed independently. We can identify these as Day (rules that relate to a defined 24 hour day), Shift (this is the way driving and on duty limits have traditionally been looked at), Splits (splitting off duty time in the sleeper berth) and Cycles.

Duty Status Descriptions (Sec 2)

Duty Status Categories

The 4 duty status designations have not been changed. However, it is important to see what is considered on duty and off duty.

Off Duty
Off Duty any time that is not On Duty other than in the sleeper berth
Off Duty Sleeper any time spent in the sleeper berth (sleeper berth is described in Sec 8 of the regulation)
On Duty
On Duty Driving driving the vehicle
On Duty Not Driving inspecting, servicing, repairing, cleaning and warming up
traveling as a co-driver when not in the sleeper berth
loading and unloading
inspecting and checking the load
waiting for servicing, loading, unloading or dispatching
waiting while vehicle or load is inspected
waiting en-route due to accident or other unplanned occurrence

Personal Use

If you use the vehicle for personal use this is considered off duty provided the following conditions are met:

  • the use is for personal, non-commercial purposes
  • the vehicle is not loaded
  • any trailers are unhitched
  • you do not drive more than 75 km per Day
  • you make an entry in the logbook or time sheet indicating that the vehicle was used for personal use and the start and end odometer readings.

Travelling as a Passenger

If you travel as a passenger to a location where you are to drive, the time will be considered off duty if you take 8 consecutive hours off duty at that location before starting to drive. Otherwise, the travel time will be considered on duty.

Off Duty

When you are not on duty, you are off duty. This can be in the sleeper or not. Note that the definition of a sleeper berth is in Sec 8 and you must be in an acceptable sleeper berth to be in the Sleeper duty status.

Waiting is On Duty Time

NOTE: There is no provision in the new regulation that allows you to be excused from on duty while waiting for loading and unloading, etc.

Time Counted While Performing Exempt Duties

If you are exempt under Sec 3 for any time period, the times are still taken into account when you are not exempt. For example, if you drive a municipal transit bus (exempt) and a school bus (not exempt), the time spent driving the transit bus will affect the compliance with the regulations when driving the school bus.

Day (Sec 4, 5 and 6)

The first set of rules applies to a given Day. We will use the capitalized word Day when referring to this time frame.

A Day is defined as 24 hours starting from a specified time. This time must be defined by the operator (can be different for each driver) and can only be changed when the driver resets a cycle (see Cycles below). The least confusing choice would be midnight.

In a given Day, a driver may drive up to 13 hours, be on duty for up to 14 hours and must take at least 10 hours off duty.

Of the off duty time, at least 2 hours must be separate from a continuous 8 hours off required under the Shift rules. These 2 hours may be spread throughout the Day in periods of at least ½ hours.

NOTE: It is possible to have 10 hours off duty in a Day and still be in violation. Any off duty periods that are less than ½ hours do not count towards the total (Sec 6(2)).

NOTE: It may be possible to have 10 hours off duty in a Day and still be in violation of Sec 6(3). For example:

Off Duty (or Sleeper) for 8 hours ending at 04:00 (4 hours off duty during the Day, 4 the previous Day). 4 Hours of Off Duty
Then On Duty for 14 hours (up to 13 of which can be Driving) until 18:00. 14 Hours On Duty
Off Duty or Sleeper for 6 more hours (until midnight) plus 2 more the next Day (until 02:00) to make a full 8 hours under Sec 9. 6 hours Off Duty

This seems to make 10 hours of off duty during the Day, but 2 of the hours must be separate from the 8 continuous hours required under the Shift rules (Sec 9) so a violation of Sec 6(3) occurs. The problem is that all 10 hours are part of a continuous 8 hours. The violation would be eliminated if you wait until 04:00 the next Day to go back on duty.

NOTE: It seems that taking less than 10 hours off during a Day is a violation even if you are not driving on that day.

Shift (Sec 9 and 10)

The second set of rules are most like the previous regulations. They deal with the amount of time between 2 periods of at least 8 continuous hours off duty. Lets call 8 or more continuous hours of off duty time OD Periods.

Between 2 OD Periods you may not drive after 13 hours driving or 14 hours on duty.

Also, you may not drive after 16 hours from the end of an OD Period regardless of how much of that time was spent driving or on duty. You need to take another OD Period before you can start driving again. We will refer to this as Elapsed time.

If you use a ferry that takes more than 5 hours you can combine time in the sleeper waiting to board the ferry, time in a rest accommodation on the ferry and time at a rest stop within 25 km of disembarking the ferry to make an OD Period. You must keep receipts for the ferry and the accommodation as supporting documents.

Sec 9(2) is quite confusing and has to deal with when the OD Period starts (the beginning of the last segment described above) and that the periods before must not be counted in elapsed time under Sec 9. What this is for is unclear at this point.

Splits (Sec 8 and 11)

If your truck is equipped with a proper sleeper berth (Sec 8 describes this) you can split the OD Periods into 2 periods — lets call them Split Periods. To help simplify things, the time from the end of the previous Split Period or OD Period to the current Split Period we’ll call OnD1. The time from the end of the current Split Period to the beginning of the next Split or OD Period we’ll call OnD2.

  • Only time in the Sleeper can be counted. Off Duty time doesn’t count.
  • You may not drive if the total time driving in OnD1 plus OnD2 is 13 hours.
  • You may not drive it the total on duty time in OnD1 plus OnD2 is 14 hours.
  • You may not drive if the total time in OnD1 plus OnD2 is 16 hours regardless of the status.
  • If you are a single driver:
    • Each Split Period must be at least 2 hours.
    • The total of 2 Split Periods must be at least 10 hours.
  • If you are a team driver:
    • Each Split Period must be at least 4 hours.
    • The total of 2 Split Periods must be at least 8 hours.
    • You must enter the time that a co-driver is in the vehicle in the Remarks section of your logs.

NOTE: You must also meet the requirements for the Day (Sec 4-6) as described above. That means that you still need to have 10 hours off duty time during a day, even for team drivers.

Cycles (Sec 12, 13 and 14)

There are now only 2 cycles rather than 3.

The operator must select which cycle the driver will be on and can only change the cycle after a reset.

Regardless of which cycle you are on, you cannot drive if you have not taken at least 24 continuous hours off duty at least once in the previous 14 days.


The 7/70 cycle allows you to be on duty up to 70 hours in 7 days or back to the day that the cycle was reset.

You must take 36 continuous hours off duty to reset the 7/70 cycle.


The 14/120 cycle allows you to be on duty up to 120 hours in 14 days or back to the day that the cycle was reset.

You must have at least 24 continuous hours off duty by the time that 70 hours have accumulated in the cycle. This effectively means that you must take off at least 24 hours for every 70 hours on duty.

You must take 72 continuous hours off duty to reset the 14/120 cycle.


Deferral Rule (Sec 7)

You may defer up to 2 hours of the off duty time in a Day to the next Day and increase the driving and on duty time by the same amount provided:

  • The time is not part of an OD Period (i.e. 8 continous hours required by the Shift rules).
  • The time is added to an OD Period in the next Day. Effectively, you must take at least 10 continuous hours off.
  • The total time off duty in the 2 Days is at least 20 hours.
  • The total time driving in the 2 Days is at most 26 hours.
  • The total time on duty in the 2 Days is at most 28 hours.
  • You must clearly mark on the logs of both days that the deferral is taking place.
  • You are not splitting off duty time during either of the 2 Days.

Off Duty Exception

NOTE: You may no longer use the Off Duty Exception rule.

Adverse Conditions (Sec 15)

If you encounter adverse driving conditions that were not known (or could have reasonably been known) when the before you began driving then you may increase the amount of driving and on duty time by up to 2 hours in a Day and decrease the off duty time for that Day by the same amount.

You may also increase the Shift driving and on duty times between OD Periods by that amount but you may NOT increase the 16 hour elapsed time between OD Periods.

If you exceed the on duty hours for your cycle, you must make it up by the end of the next Day.

The reason for the extension must be noted in the Remarks section of the logbook or time record.

Log Entries (Sec 16 to 22)

The information that needs to be recorded in the log is slightly different than before. Some of the information that was optional before is now mandatory and there is some new information that must be recorded.

The following information needs to be put into the logbook at the beginning of the shift or Day:
Driver’s name (full name)
Co-driver’s name (if applicable)
NEW – Start of Day if not midnight (NOTE: This is NOT the start of your shift)
NEW – Cycle that you are on
Starting odometer reading
NEW – On duty times from any days in the last 14 days that you did not have a logbook due to any exemptions from having to keep one (unless you have copies of the operator’s time sheets for those days)
NEW – Number plates of truck and trailers (NOT just unit numbers)
Operator’s name
Full address of home terminal AND principle place of business of operator (if different than home terminal)
The following information should be recorded during the day when duty status changes:
Start and end of times at each duty status (on grid)
Location of each change includes city, town, village or highway location (highway and mileage marker or exit number) AND province or state
NEW – If you are driving within a single location and have several driving and on duty not driving periods of less than 1 hour, you can combine all the driving into 1 period and on duty not driving into 1 period.
NEW – Time a co-driver enters (and leaves?)
NEW – Reason for adverse conditions extension if taken
NEW – Personal use notes — indicate start and end odometer reading as well as a notation that the vehicle was used for personal use.
The following information should be recorded at the end of the shift or Day:
Total time in each duty status
Total time for the day?
NEW – End odometer reading
Total mileage driven by driver
Signature of driver (if handwritten log)
NEW – Indicate that off duty deferral was taken and whether this was the first day or second day of such a deferral

Logs can be done on a computer or other electronic device provided they can be printed when necessary or a handwritten copy can be created. The driver must sign and date a log printed in this way to verify that it is accurate.


You are not required to keep a daily log for a Day when:

  • You start and end at the same location
  • You do not travel outside a 160 km radius from that location

The operator must keep a record for the Day with:

  • date, driver’s name and the location of start and end
  • the cycle driver is following
  • the hour at which each duty status starts and ends with the total of each duty status during the day
  • the number of hours on duty and off duty for Days that the driver was exempt during the previous 14 Days
  • the driving and on duty not driver periods can be combined if the driver drives within a single municipality as described for a daily log

Log Retention (Sec 23 to 26)


You need to have the previous 14 days worth of logs (or time records if you were exempt from requiring a daily log during any of those days). You also need to have your current log complete up to the last duty status change. You must also keep any supporting documents (e.g. receipts).


The operator should receive the original of a daily log and supporting documents within 20 days. They must have them at the principle place of business within 30 days of receiving them and keep them for at least 6 months. If the documents are in an electronic format, they must be accessible from the primary place of business.

Driver Working for Multiple Operators

If you drive for more than one operator during a given day, you must designate one of them as the primary operator. You must include all operators and their primary business addresses on the log. The original of the log is forwarded to the primary operator and copies to each of the others. Supporting documents should be sent to the operator that they relate to.

International Driving

When driving in the U.S. there are many differences between the regulations:

  • The OD Period min 10 rather than 8
  • Driving time max 11 rather than 13
  • No limit on on duty time although the elapsed time is 14 rather than 16
  • Splits must be 2 periods, 1 which is at least 8 hours. The smaller period can be a combination of off duty and sleeper. In Ontario, all the time must be in the sleeper.It is possible to be okay in US but in violation as soon as you cross back to Ontario. For example, if you take 8 hours in the sleeper and then you have a period with 1 hour off duty followed by 1 hour in the sleeper, you are okay in the US but not in Ontario.It is possible to be okay in Ontario but in violation in the US. If you take 4 hours and 6 hours that is valid in Ontario but neither is 8 hours so it is not valid in the US. Also, a valid team driver split in Ontario is not necessarily valid for US.Also, keep in mind that any period of off duty sleeper that is less than 8 hours is included in the elapsed time calculations when in the US.
  • Cycles are either 7/60 (NOT 7/70) or 8/70. There is no 14/120 cycle. There is no 8/70 in Ontario. Probably best to work to the 7/60 cycle if you will be driving in the US. It may be possible to designate 7/70 for Ontario and 8/70 for the US.
  • The concept of a Day is used only in the calculation of cycles. The start time of a Day must be recorded on the logs and is determined by the carrier.


The US regulations allow an Adverse Conditions exception similar to that in the Ontario regulations. It allows up to 2 extra hours of driving time but the 14 hour elapsed time cannot be exceeded.

Interprovincial Driving

The Ontario regulations are slightly different than the Federal regulations. Each province has mirrored the Federal regulations but there may be slight differences in each province. At this time we have not done any comparisons between the provinces but we are currently working on a document that shows the differences between the Ontario and Federal regulations.