How to Extend the 14 Hour Rule Using the Sleeper Berth Provision

Drivers and dispatchers alike find the 14 hour rule extension a bit confusing, so people don't use it. The sleeper berth provision is one of the most complex hours of service regulations. Using it correctly, however, offers some significant benefits. We wrote this article, hoping it will help explain the flexibility afforded by the so-called “8 and 2 split”.

Duty Clock Extension

The DOT's sleeper berth provision is, in essence, a 14 hour rule extension. As long as a driver spends eight consecutive hours inside the sleeper berth, this time does not count toward their 14 hours of on-duty time. That effectively extends the time during which drivers can use their 11 hours of driving time.

8 and 2 Split

To take advantage of the sleeper berth provision, drivers have to “split” their 10-hour break. They can do that by spending eight consecutive hours inside the sleeper berth and later taking a shorter 2-hour break. This 2 hour period can be spent inside the sleeper, off-duty or in a combination of both.

On Duty Clock Re-Calculation

Remember, the 8 hours inside the sleeper do not count toward on duty time. The second break, however, does count against your 14 hours. After a driver completes their second rest period, their new 14-hour clock starts from the end of the first break.

Here’s an example of the rule in action:

  • The driver starts his day with a pre-trip inspection and fueling at 6 am. It takes him 45 minutes to fill up to add a 15-minute pre-trip inspection he logs 1 hour of on-duty time.
  • Starting at 7 am driver logs 5 hours of driving.
  • He goes inside the sleeper at noon and logs the next 8 hours there
  • Because the 8 hours he spent in his sleeper berth don’t count towards his 14 on-duty hours, the driver has only used 6 of his 14 hours so far. He still has 8 hours to use, meaning his on-duty time will extend to 4:00 am.
  • His driving limit is 11 hours, and he has only used 5 hours so far. He can log 6 more driving hours during the next 8 hours.
  • So, at 8 pm, he starts driving again and logs 5 more hours of driving.
  • He arrives at a customer at 1 am and unloads in 2 hours, logging the time as on-duty.
  • At 3 am, driver logs 1 final hour of driving which takes him to the closest rest area.
  • At 4 am, the driver takes his second break of 2 hours, which makes him to 6 am.

 

 

Undoubtedly, this makes for one hell of a day. Continuous use of the sleeper berth provision is indeed impractical. This way, the drivers have a high level of flexibility when servicing customers with specific needs, such as the night receiver we used as an example above.

You can read more about the new FMCSA personal conveyance rule.

You can read more about DOT rules about ELD malfunctions here.