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 Depending on the results of an FMCSA pilot program, relief may soon be on the way for commercial truck drivers who use a sleeper berth. The agency plans to recruit 200 truck drivers to participate in the pilot, which would allow them to use their sleeper berths in shorter chunks of time without sacrificing work hours.

The idea is to produce statistically reliable evidence on the questions whether split sleeper berth time affects driver safety performance and fatigue levels. Drivers in the pilot will be allowed no less than 3 hours each and still get the equivalent of 10 hours off. Splits may be 3 and 7, 4 and 6 or 5 and 5 hours, for example. Current rules do not allow these shorter durations.

Before the pilot can begin, FMCSA must obtain approval from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

This article is reposted from J.J. Keller Compliance Focus (Aug. 2017)