How to maximize hours of service with the split-sleeper rule
Confused by the split-sleeper rule and how to apply it? Here's an in-depth look at how it works and how to use it
What if we told you that you could get the most out of your hours of service by simply splitting your sleeper berth?
Yes, it’ll take some planning and strategizing ahead of time, but it’s possible thanks to the FMCSA’s split-sleeper berth rule.
The split-sleeper provision was updated in the summer of 2020, providing truckers with additional flexibility when on the road. The former rule only allowed for an 8/2 split, but the FMCSA added the option of a 7/3 split to increase its usability among drivers.
Having the additional flexibility is a plus, however, the rule has not picked up steam throughout the industry. According to FreightWaves, the rule’s complexity has been the chief reason for this, as truckers have had a hard time understanding the provision and using it correctly.
This is understandable—truckers would rather play it safe than get in a pickle for incorrectly using something they don’t fully understand.
Well, as a premium ELD provider, GPSTab is here to help. We know that without a solid understanding of the regulation and an intuitive ELD app to help apply it, it can be troublesome to use the split-sleeper provision.
How it works
Let’s start with an example of how the rule works.
Let’s say you were planning to take a load from Miami, Florida to Atlanta Georgia, which is approximately a 10-hour trip. Before taking off, you know that traffic might be rough when you approach Atlanta, which could cause quite a delay.
Knowing the traffic situation, you can plan your split effectively. Starting at 4 a.m., the driver starts their 14-hour clock and uses an hour on-duty, nondriving time to get loaded.
At 5 a.m., the driver takes off and strategically stops near Valdosta, GA at 12 p.m. after driving for 7 hours. With 4 hours left on their driving time and 6 hours on their on-duty time, the driver takes a 7-hour sleeper berth and gets some much-needed rest while their clock is paused.
Now it’s 7 p.m., the driver is rested, and they’re ready to get back on the road knowing that they’ll be able to skip Atlanta’s rush hour.
Arriving at their destination in Atlanta at around 10 p.m. after driving another 3 hours, the driver takes their final 3-hour sleeper berth to fulfill their full 10-hour break required under FMCSA rules. The driver still has 3 hours of on-duty time at this point, giving them more than enough time to be unloaded so they can grab their next load the following morning.
How GPSTab makes split-sleeper easy to use
GPSTab makes it simple to apply the split-sleeper berth provision by providing customers the necessary tools to do so.
Worried about applying the provision inaccurately? We’ve got you covered. GPSTab has additional clocks available on the home screen, giving drivers and backend management HOS insight. The new clocks allow all parties to see their remaining on-duty and driving hours if they were to use the split-sleeper berth rule to pause their clock.
The clocks are labeled “SSB” and can be found at the top right corner of the “Driving” and “Shift” clocks, as shown in the image below.
These clocks, along with our system’s violation warnings, allow drivers to make quicker and safer decisions, without having to worry about a potential violation.
For more information on GPSTab and its myriad of flexible features, you can contact us at 888-228-4460 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.