Why can't I use a break of more than 10 hours for my Sleeper Split shift?

Any Sleeper Berth period of 10 hours or more is counted as a 10-hour shift reset, and will reset your clocks instead of extending them.

Sleeper berth breaks that qualify for the split sleeper berth provision are only excluded from the 14-hour "driving window" when the rest periods are properly paired. This means you must complete a break of at least 2 hours, and a break of at least 7 hours, that when paired together add up to at least 10 hours Off Duty or in Sleeper Berth.

However, the FMCSA released extra guidance on how to interpret the sleeper split rules, including this question and answer:

Question: May a 10-consecutive hour off-duty period be paired with a subsequent qualifying 7+-consecutive hour sleeper berth period?

Answer: No. A 10-hour off-duty period cannot be paired for use of the split-sleeper provision. At the completion of a 10-hour off-duty period, the driver has reset both the 11- and 14-hour "clocks."

Regulatory Topic: Hours of Service

Published Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020

Issued Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020


What this means is that any break over 10 hours will reset your clocks, not pause them like a qualifying sleeper split break should.

If your first break goes over 10 hours, congratulations! You have brand new 11- and 14-hour clocks to use.

If your second break goes over 10 hours, you may have some problems. Any clock extension you calculated from your first off duty break will be taken away once your second break goes over 10 hours.


You can read the full Sleeper Berth Provision here

You can read the full list of FAQs about the new sleeper berth provision rules here