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Hotshot hauler to FMCSA: Can I install sleeper berth in pickup?


A single-vehicle hotshot carrier out of Massachusetts has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for an exemption that would allow for the installation of a sleeper berth in the bed of a pickup truck.

The FMCSA has asked for public comment on Castignoli Enterprises’ unusual request to convert the bed of a Ford pickup into a sleeper berth.

From a Notice document issued by the FMCSA in the Federal Register:

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requests public comment on an application for exemption from Castignoli Enterprises (Castignoli) to allow a sleeper berth to be installed in the bed of a Ford F350 pickup truck that, when operated in combination with certain trailers, is a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). A sleeper berth installed in the bed of the pickup truck does not meet the access, location, exit, communication, or occupant restraint requirements for sleeper berths in the FMCSRs. Castignoli believes that the sleeper berth installed in the bed of the pickup truck will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.”

Castignoli argues for the exemption by pointing out that as a solo driver, “there is no ready need for access between the sleeper berth and the driver’s compartment”:

“I plan to incorporate the sleeper berth into the bed of the tow vehicle. The utilization of this type of sleeper berth, would allow myself (as the sole driver) to meet the hours of [10-hour] service rest period requirements by utilizing a sleeper berth incorporated into the bed of the vehicle (Rear covered, ventilated, insulated, bed with cap and full size twin mattress) in lieu of a motel each evening. The tow vehicle/trailer combination would not be operating on the roadway during my 10-hour rest period, so there is no benefit in having the access requirements to the driver compartment, nor any need for communication with the driver (myself), nor any occupant restraint requirement as the vehicle is not moving while I am sleeping. The sleeper berth is separate from the trailer behind the tow vehicle, and is therefore separate from the cargo.”

The FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposed exemption though May 24. You can click here to comment on the exemption.


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