Calculating Part 395.1(g)(A)(3) Sleeper Berth Provision, also recognized as the split sleeper berth rule, has always been a challenge for many drivers. Now that ELDs are widely being used, this has become even more of a challenge as drivers are finding that they either have been calculating the split sleeper berth incorrectly, or they are not truly understanding how their ELD calculates the time remaining in their 14-hour driving window when the split sleeper berth is being utilized.
Since EROAD works diligently to help both drivers and carriers in understanding how the FMCSA regulations work with our technology and compliance solutions, we thought it would be useful to review some things that a driver should consider when using the split sleeper berth rule as well as how it works on our ELD.
Using the Split Sleep Berth Provision
To use the Split Sleep Berth Provision, a driver must take at least eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate two consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.
Drivers may take the 2-hour break before taking an 8-hour sleeper berth break; however, doing so means this break will not stop the 14-hour clock. These hours will be counted as part of the 14-hour driving window.
Taking 8 or more hours but less than 10 hours in the sleeper berth for the first break will stop the 14-hour clock. These hours in the sleeper berth do not get counted as part of the 14-hour driving window.
All time worked or driven between the two rest periods is then subtracted from the 14-hour and the 11-hour rulesets thereby giving the driver new calculation points which provides more flexibility for driving.
How the EROAD ELD calculates the Split Sleeper Berth
Once the driver has taken a valid 2/8 or 8/2 Split SB, the ELD will then calculate the remaining time for both the 11-hour drive time and the 14-hour driving window.
Beginning at the end of the first valid break, the ELD will then begin counting the new time available for the driver’s remaining HOS. It is a common misunderstanding for many drivers to think that they have new 11-hour and 14-hour time limits at the end of the last break.
What is most important for the driver to understand is that the ELD will show them in violation until they have partnered the 8-hour sleeper-berth period with the 2-hour break. Drivers must know how much time is available to work and/or drive after the 8-hour sleeper berth period until they must take the minimum 2-hour break requirement. It is their responsibility to calculate that time correctly, and if they don’t, they will stay in violation.
All in all, utilizing the split sleeper berth should be a much simpler undertaking with the advent of ELDs. Reviewing the split sleeper berth and how it works on the driver’s ELD will be a win-win for everyone involved and should not only increase the use of this very useful provision, but also decrease the number of HOS violations from it being used incorrectly.