What is the Split Sleeper Berth Rule?
There’s a lot more to being a truck driver than getting behind the wheel and driving. Truck drivers have to follow regulations that govern how many hours they can drive per day, how to log their hours and how often they need to take breaks.
The split sleeper berth rule allows a truck driver to extend a shift by splitting the required 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time into two shifts. This means that drivers can adjust their schedules for longer hauls or warehouse hours by “dropping in” a rest break to comply with driving hour limitations.
How Drivers Split Sleeper Berth Time
Drivers can split sleeper berth time into two periods as long as neither period is less than two hours:
- One shift must be 2-8 hours (2/8 hour period) and can be spent in the sleeper berth, off-duty, personal conveyance or a combination of the three.
- The second shift must be 8-10 hours (8/10 hour period) long and must be taken in the sleeper berth.
- The two breaks can be taken in any order.
- If the driver completes both the 2/8 hour period and the 8/10 hour period, the 14-hour driving window is re-started from the end of the first sleeper berth shift but not until after the second shift is completed.
- Because the 14-hour driving window does not restart after the end of the second period, the split sleeper berth is not a full 10-hour reset. Instead, the start time of the 14-hour driving window is shifted.
Recent changes to hours-of-service (HOS) regulations have added a new option: the 7/3 split. This new rule is applied in the same way as the 8/2 split, only the number of hours in each period have changed.
How to Prevent Sleeper Berth Time Violations
Truck drivers are required to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to track and record how they spend their time. An ELD will help reduce the chance of making an error and receiving a citation for not following driving time regulations. Drivers may use an ELD with the split-logging exception to accurately follow the split sleeper berth rule and eliminate any confusion.