Driving a commercial vehicle is a safety sensitive position that requires you to be at your best whenever you’re on the road. Of course, that means avoiding things that hinder your driving ability and judgment, like drugs and alcohol. However, research and data collected over the years have shown that adequate rest is very important to safe driving as well.
It’s tough to find a nice, quiet place to rest when you’re driving a truck across the country. That’s why drivers consider their sleeper berths lifesavers. Here are a few ways you can use the sleeper berth when it comes to on-duty, driving, and off-duty hours. Just make sure that your sleeper berth meets safety regulations.
First, a sleeper berth can be used for your required 10 consecutive off-duty hours. As long as you don’t operate your vehicle or perform work-related tasks, you can emerge from the sleeper berth with a new 11 hours of driving time and 14 hours of on-duty time.
The sleeper berth can also be used to “extend” your window of driving time. This means that you could drive for part of the 11 hours, rest in your sleeper berth, and then finish the remainder of those 11 hours. However, you must spend at least 8 full consecutive hours back there. Any less and you would be violating rules.
The final element of the sleeper berth provision is a little more complicated. It allows you to “reset” the calculation point for driving hours. To do so, you must rest in the sleeper berth for at least 8—but less than 10—hours. You must then take a second rest period, either in the sleeper berth or just off-duty, of at least 2 hours. The new point of calculation for available hours is now the end of your first rest period. So if you drove for 6 hours in between the two rest periods, you would be allowed an additional 5, for a total of 11.
We always encourage our drivers to follow rules and regulations—not only because it’s the law, but also because it keeps everyone safer. If you or someone you know is interested in CDL driver staffing and placement services in all areas of Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, visit Platinum Drivers today.