Vehicles That Are Exempt From California Truck Driver Overtime Laws
Some vehicle types automatically disqualify drivers from receiving overtime under state wage and hour laws, including:
Operators of farm vehicles are not eligible for California overtime. However, drivers could be entitled to overtime compensation on the days that they are not driving a farm vehicle. In addition, drivers who are hauling farm vehicles or equipment as cargo are not operating farm vehicles, and can still be covered under state overtime laws.
Hazardous Waste Vehicles:
If you are a driver or are riding as a second in a vehicle that transports hazardous waste, you are unable to claim overtime under California law. If you work for a company that operates many different kinds of vehicles, you may be eligible for overtime on the days that you are not transporting hazardous waste.
Vehicles Towing Trailers More Than 40 Feet Long:
The operator of any truck towing a trailer over 40 feet in length is exempt from California overtime pay.
Public Utility Vehicles:
Any truck or vehicle that is regulated by the California Public Utility Commission (PUC) is overtime-exempt.
Vehicles Towing Trailers With A Total Gross Weight Rating Over 10,000 lbs:
Operators of trailers with a total gross weight rating of more than 10,000 lbs. are usually exempt from overtime. Since gross weight ratings are notoriously difficult to calculate, it may be worth consulting with a wage and hour attorney to determine overtime eligibility.
A driver’s right to overtime matters because it can mean the loss of thousands of dollars over the course of his or her career. Under California law, a driver is eligible for overtime for any hours worked over eight in a single day or over forty hours per week. Most drivers meet these quotas regularly, entitling them to much more than their regular pay rate—and if the driver is owed incentive pay, lost wages may be even higher.