The FMCSA MAY Be Offering Flexibility to Sleeper Berth Rule

Anne Ferro- FMCSA Administrator
Anne Ferro- FMCSA Administrator

Anne Ferro, FMCSA administrator, challenged carriers to implement a sleeper berth pilot program and report its findings.  The agency wants to see if there are better options to the current sleeper berth rule.

Ferro made the proposition at this year’s Mid-America Truck Show, saying, “Help me answer the question: How do you provide that flexibility and ensure compliance. That’s what we need to get to. Let some carriers frame the question and propose a pilot and tell us what it would mean from their perspective.

Drivers and carriers have expressed their concerns and anger over the current regulations, prompting the FMCSA to reevaluate and research the current rule.

It has taken us a couple of years to do this research, Ferro said. I have not seen the final draft. It’s been very important research for me because I want us to be able to speak more knowledgeably and have a better conversation with everybody about the challenge that the sleeper berth rule today poses and what are some options. Does this research present us any options? I don’t know.

According to The Trucker, drivers express 2 primary concerns about the current sleeper berth regulation:

First, in light of the agency’s stated mission of reducing driver fatigue, drivers are frustrated they can’t stop the 14-hour clock to take a quick nap when they do get tired.

Second, they are frustrated with a rule that requires them to spend eight consecutive hours in the sleeper berth instead of being able to split those hours up as they choose so long as no period in the sleeper berth is less than two hours.

Ferro is not making any promises, insisting the current hours of service will still apply, but says they will take the carrier’s findings into account.

Trucker, what do you think of the current sleeper berth regulations?  What would you propose? Email us at [email protected]