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U.S. Sleeper Berth Rules and examples

As you will find, there are significant differences between the Sleeper Berth rules in Canada and in the U.S. Use the samples and FAQs below to familiarize yourself in more detail about the differences, which can be particularly useful for federal carriers traveling in teams in both countries.

Reference blog: Canadian Sleeper Berth Rules and examples

 

Basic U.S. Sleeper Berth Rules

If a driver drives a truck that has a sleeper berth that meets the requirements of Part 395, the driver may use it to get the required off-duty time in three ways:

  1. A driver may spend time in their sleeper berth to get some, or all, of the 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time. When getting 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time, what is most important is that a driver does not go on duty or drive during those 10 hours. At the end of the 10 consecutive hours of combined sleeper and/or off-duty time, a driver’s 11-hour driving and 14- hour duty-period limits would completely restart.
  2. A driver may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14-hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours does not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, allows a driver to extend the time during which a driver could use their maximum 11 hours of driving.
  3. A driver may also use the sleeper berth in a different way to get the “equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.” To do this, a driver must spend at least 8 consecutive hours (but less than 10 consecutive hours) in the sleeper berth. This rest period will not count as part of the 14 hours. A second, separate rest period must be at least 2 (but less than 10) consecutive hours long. This period may be spent in the sleeper berth, off duty, or sleeper berth and off duty combined. It does count as part of the 14 hours. It does not matter which rest period a driver take first. After a driver completes their second required rest period, he/she will have a new point on the clock from which to calculate their hours available. This new “calculation point” will be at the time they completed their first required rest period.

Example:

  • 7:00 AM : A driver comes to work
  • 10:00 AM : A driver begins driving
  • 2:00 PM : The driver spends 8 hours in sleeper berth.
  • 10:00 PM : The driver resumes driving.

Those 8 hours in the sleeper berth do not count as part of the 14 hours. This means that the driver only used 7 of their 14 hours so far, and their 14- hour limit gets extended to 5:00 a.m. the next morning (original 9:00 p.m. limit plus 8 hours). A driver’s driving limit is still 11 hours and so far as the driver has only driven 4 hours. That means the driver has 7 hours of driving time still available, allowing the driver to drive from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.

  • 5:00 AM : The driver takes their second rest period, going off duty for 2 hours. That brings the driver to 7:00 AM.

 

 

How much time does a driver have available now under the 14-hour rule?

Since the driver meets the requirement of getting the equivalent of 10 hours off duty in two periods (2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.), the driver now has a new calculation point for figuring their 11 and 14 hours. Their new calculation point is at the end of the first rest period, which was at 10:00 p.m. Their new 14-hour period begins at 10:00 p.m. and ends 14 hours later, at noon the following day. During that new 14-hour period, the driver is allowed 11 hours of driving.

From 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. the driver used 9 of the 14 “new” driving window hours and 7 of the 11 hours of driving time. Therefore, the driver now has 5 hours of driving-window time available during which they are allowed to drive 4 hours.

Because their 14-hour driving window ends at 12:00 noon that day, before they can drive a commercial motor vehicle again after 12:00 noon, a driver must have another rest period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours (if a driver is using the sleeper-berth exception). After that, a driver must again recalculate how many hours they will have available. The driver’s new calculation point will be the end of the 2-hour off-duty period they took earlier (7:00 a.m.).

 

 

Remember that a driver is allowed to do non-driving work after the 14-hour limit is reached, just no more truck driving (but the additional on-duty time would count toward a driver’s weekly 60- or 70-hour limit).

A driver could continue using the sleeper- berth regulation and recalculating their hours available until a driver has 10 consecutive hours off duty. After 10 consecutive hours off duty, a driver has 11 hours of driving time and a 14 consecutive-hour driving window available again.

This regulation is found in Section 395.1(g)

 

EXAMPLE 1: Sleeper-Berth Use

Split S/B Time Including 30-Minute Rest Break Provision

Violations: There are no violations.

Explanation: This is an example of the S/B provisions and the 30-minute rest break provision rule. There are three separate calculation points (CPs) indicated. CP#1 starts after 10 consecutive hours off on Day 1. After CP#3 on Day 2, the driver takes a 1/2-hour off-duty break between 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. in order to meet the prohibition on driving if 8 hours or more have passed since the end of the driver’s last off-duty period of at least 30 minutes. He/she took the 1/2 hour break to extend driving time availability even though not at the 8 hour on-duty limit yet. The 14 consecutive- hour “driving window” calculation started at 2:00 m. on Day 2 (CP#2) and continues until 4:00 p.m., when the driver goes into the S/B for 8 hours.

 

EXAMPLE 2: Sleeper-Berth Use

Split S/B Use/No Valid Split Included (With Violation)

Violations: There is an 11-hour rule violation from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. on Day 2.

Explanation – 11-Hour Limit: After 10 hours off duty, the driver had 11 hours of driving time available at 10:00 a.m. (CP#1) on Day 1. At the end of Day 1, the driver had 3 hours remaining and, without a valid 10-hour break, the driver violated the 11-hour limit by driving an additional 1 hour at 6:00 a.m. on Day 2.

[NOTE: The driver had 8 consecutive hours in the S/B, but that break does not give the driver any extra driving time (that is, it does not change the calculation point by itself). In addition, the driver cannot use the S/B provision because he/she did not obtain the equivalent of 10 hours of rest by getting a combination of at least 8 (but less than 10) consecutive hours in a S/B and another break of at least 2 (but less than 10) consecutive hours.]

 

Explanation – 14-Hour Limit: Calculation of the 14-hour limit begins at 10:00 a.m. on Day 1 (CP#1). The driver used 9 of 14 hours on Day 1. Although the driver then got 8 consecutive hours in a S/B, that rest break is not included in the 14-hour calculation. The 14-hour calculation continues into Day 2, and at 7:00 a.m. the driver has accumulated 13 hours and has not driven a CMV past the 14-hour duty limit.

[NOTE: The driver had 8 consecutive hours in the S/B, but that does not change the calculation point because the driver did not obtain a second break of at least 2 (but less than 10) consecutive hours. ]

 

EXAMPLE 3: Sleeper-Berth Use

Split S/B Use With Multiple Split S/B “Pairings” Explanation

Violations: There are no violations.

Explanation – 11-Hour Limit: After 10 hours off duty which included off-duty time from a prior day not shown in the example, the driver had 11 hours of driving time available at 2:00 a.m. (CP#1) on Day 1. The driver used those 11 hours by 4:00 p.m. on Day 1, when he/she entered the S/B for 8 consecutive hours. Because the driver accumulated at least 10 hours of rest using a combination of at least 8 consecutive hours in a S/B and another break of at least 2 consecutive hours, he/she was eligible for the S/B provision. This moves the calculation point to the end of the first of the two periods of rest, or 10:00 a.m. on Day 1 (CP#2). Starting the calculation from there, the driver accumulated another 10 hours of driving by 5:00 a.m. on Day 2. By 7:00 a.m. on Day 2, the driver accumulated another pair of qualifying breaks totaling at least 10 hours. This moves the calculation point again, to the end of the first of the two breaks, or 12:00 Midnight on Day 2 (CP#3). From there, the driver accumulated another 10 hours of driving by 1:00 p.m. on Day 2. This pattern continued, with no 11- hour violations.

[NOTE: When using the S/B split provision, the order of the qualifying breaks does not matter – the break of “at least 2 hours” can fall before or after the S/B period of “at least 8 hours.”]

 

Explanation – 14-Hour Limit: Calculation of the 14-hour limit begins at 2:00 a.m. on Day 1 (CP#1). The driver accumulates 14 hours by 4:00 p.m. before entering the S/B. Because the driver then met the requirements for the S/B provision (see above), the calculation point moves to the end of the first qualifying break, or 10:00 a.m. on Day 1 (CP#2). So at Midnight on Day 2, the driver had accumulated 6 hours (any S/B period of at least 8 but less than 10 consecutive hours is excluded from the 14-hour calculation).

By 7:00 a.m. on Day 2, the driver accumulated another pair of qualifying breaks totaling at least 10 hours and has not exceeded the 14-hour limit. This moves the calculation point again, to the end of the first of the two breaks, or Midnight on Day 2 (CP#3). From there, the driver accumulated 13 of 14 hours by 1:00 p.m. on Day 2 (any S/B period of at least 8 but less than 10 consecutive hours is excluded from the 14-hour calculation). This pattern continued with no violations.

 

EXAMPLE 4: Sleeper-Berth Use

Improper Use of Split S/B Break Time (With Violations)

Violations: There is an 11-hour rule violation from 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and a 14-hour rule violation from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., both on Day 2.

Explanation – 11-Hour Limit: After 10 hours off duty, the driver had 11 hours of driving time available at 10:00 a.m. on Day 1 (CP#1). The driver did not have another 10-hour break (or the equivalent) until 1:00 p.m. on Day 2, so the calculation point never The driver accumulated 6 total hours of driving on Day 1 and reached the 11 hour (driving) limit at 6:30 a.m. on Day 2. The violation begins here when the driver drives the CMV.

 

Explanation – 14-Hour Limit: Calculation of the 14-hour limit begins at 10:00 a.m. on Day 1 (CP#1). At Midnight on Day 1, the driver still had 8 hours remaining because any S/B period of at least 8 but less than 10 consecutive hours is excluded from the 14 hour calculation. The driver reached the 14-hour limit at 8:00 a.m. on Day 2, where the violation began.

[NOTE: The S/B periods in these examples do not establish a second calculation point because the driver did not obtain a combination of at least 8 (but less than 10) consecutive hours in a S/B and another break of at least 2 (but less than 10) consecutive The second S/B period was only 1½ hours in length.]

 

Now see the Canadian Sleeper Berth Rules and examples.

The above information is for informational purposes only, and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice.

About the Author: Marc Moncion

Marc is the Head of Safety, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs for Fleet Complete. Marc is an author and industry subject matter expert that has worked in numerous senior transportation management roles for over 25 years, including an Inspector for the MTO. Marc sits on several Federal/State/Provincial regulatory bodies, and frequently provides commentary on emerging technology, best practices and regulatory affairs. In addition, Marc is a commercial driver’s licence (CLD) holder, and can drive all types of commercial vehicles in North America.

 

portrait of Marc Moncion - Head of Safety and Compliance Affairs