The American Trucking Associations and Minnesota Trucking Association have jointly petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct a pilot program to study the effect of increased flexibility in the use of sleeper berth breaks by truck drivers.
“The trucking industry wants FMCSA to take its positive, laboratory-based findings on the value of split sleep and try to repeat them in a real-world field study,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Doing a pilot test using professional drivers in actual trucking operations could give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration even more scientific data on which to base future improvements to the sleeper berth rules.”
The hours-of-service rules for truck drivers require that they take 10 consecutive hours off after their 14-hour on-duty period. However, increasingly sleep research highlights the benefits of shorter and more frequent rest periods, according to both groups.
“In the case of many truck drivers, particularly those working in teams, allowing them to break up their 10-hour off-duty period into two shorter periods would be beneficial,” said John Hausladen, president of the Minnesota Trucking Association.
In addition to examining any potential benefits of sleeper berth flexibility, the pilot project proposed by the trucking groups would look at the role of technological improvements in promoting driver alertness and safety.
For several years many trucking groups,...