FMCSA to study 6/4 and 5/5 sleeper berth splits

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced plans to explore more sleeper split options.

On Thursday, January 14, the FMCSA proposed a pilot program to evaluate two additional options for splitting sleeper berth periods for truck drivers -– a 6/4 split and a 5/5 split.

“During the proposed pilot program, participating drivers would have the option to split their 10 hours of sleeper berth time into two periods, provided that the two periods provide a combined rest amount of at least 10 hours in length. When operating under the pilot program exemption, drivers would be expected to split their sleeper berth time into two periods such that neither period is less than four hours in length; however, drivers would be free to choose whether or not to operate under the exemption based on their schedule. Carriers and drivers desiring to participate would apply to FMCSA for acceptance in the proposed pilot program,” the agency explained in a news release.

During the pilot program, the FMCSA will collect data on crashes, safety critical events, fatigue levels, caffeine consumption, duty status to analyze safety performance.

In September 2020, the FMCSA put several Hours of Service (HOS) rule changes into effect, one of which allowed 7/3 split to provide truck drivers with more flexibility. Trucking groups like OOIDA called for 6/4 and 5/5 splits prior to the publication of this HOS final rule.

“FMCSA continues to explore ways to provide flexibility for drivers, while maintaining safety on our roadways. This proposed pilot program will provide needed data and feedback for the Agency to use now and in the future. Gathering more data on split-sleeper flexibility will benefit all CMV stakeholders. We encourage everyone to review this proposal and provide their public comments,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck.

The FMCSA will accept public comment on the proposed pilot program for 60 days. You can click here to submit your comment.