What is the purpose of the Split Sleeper Berth rule?
The Split Sleeper Berth provision means flexibility for a driver. It allows a driver to split the required 10 consecutive hour off-duty break into two shifts.
- One shift must be between 2 and 8 hours, and can be spent in the sleeper berth or off duty (or a combination of the two).
- The other shift must be between 8 and 10 hours, spent entirely in the sleeper.
- If you spend 10 or more hours in the sleeper berth, it can be interpreted instead as a full 10 hour off-duty break to your 14 hour driving window.
- The two breaks can be taken in either order. Successful completion of both the 2-8 hour period and the 8-10 hour period will give the driver a new starting point for the 14 hour driving window.
- Now, the starting point of the 14 hour window will begin at the end of the first period, no matter which came first.
- Since the new 14-hour driving window does not start after the end of the second period, the split sleeper berth is not a full 10-hour reset. Rather, it simply moves forward the point at which the 14-hour driving window started.
Let’s clarify this provision with an example:
You come on-duty at 12 A.M. and drive for 4 hours, but realize you feel a bit fatigued and could use a short break. You take a 3-hour break at 4 A.M. and spend 2 of those hours off-duty and 1 hour in the sleeper berth. You have now completed one of the required breaks and have 7 hours remaining in both your 14-hour window and 11-hour drive time. You jump back on the road at 7 A.M. and drive for 6 more hours, at which point your driving window and 11-hour drive time are almost up so you decide to take your second break. You spend the required minimum of 8-hours in the sleeper berth, which completes the second requirement for the Split Sleeper Berth provision. You can now retroactively apply the new 14-hour window and 11-hour drive time to the end of the first qualifying break at 7AM.