Split Sleeper Berth
Current hours of service regulations allow a driver to work 14 hours before taking a mandatory 10-hour break. Once this 14-hour duty clock has begun, the driver may not pause the clock. If a driver becomes fatigued and needs a nap or break, there is a disincentive to do so because the driver loses valuable duty hours from the 14-hour period.
The new regulation will allow 10 required hours of off-duty sleeper berth time to be split into two sections – an 8-hour/2-hour split or a 7- hour/3-hour split. Neither of the two splits will count against the 14-hour clock.
- One period has to be at least two hours long and taken either in the berth or off duty.
- The other must involve at least seven hours in the sleeper berth.
- Both periods added together must equal at least 10 hours
While these changes allow drivers and their employers more flexibility in scheduling their driving time attention must still be paid to driver fatigue. Drivers are accountable to ensure they utilize their breaks properly, so they are not driving while fatigued and employers must ensure that drivers are in compliance.
The example below assumes the driver started Day 1 having just completed 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Photo/graphic courtesy to FMCSA/USDOT
For more information:
FMCSA Hours of Service web page
Hours of Service Final Rule Fact Sheet (great for drivers)