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13.4 Exceptions To HOS Regulations

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception

If unexpected adverse driving conditions slow you down, you may drive up to 2 additional hours to complete what could have been driven in normal conditions. This means you could drive for up to 13 hours, which is 2 hours more than allowed under normal conditions. "Adverse driving conditions" means conditions that you did not know about when you began your trip like snow, fog, or a road closure due to a crash. Adverse driving conditions do not include situations that you should have known about through proper trip planning, such as congested traffic during typical "rush hour" periods. Even though you may drive 2 extra hours under this exception, you are not allowed to drive after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.

Example: You start working at 7:00 a.m. and begin driving at 8:00 a.m. You drive 9 hours when you hit heavy fog at 5:00 p.m. The fog was not forecast. At this point, the adverse driving conditions exception would allow you to drive for 4 more hours (2 hours to get to 11 total driving hours and 2 extra hours due to the fog), taking you to 9:00 p.m. for a total of 13 hours of driving.

If, however, you start work at 7:00 a.m. and begin driving at 12:00 p.m. then drive into fog at 5:00 p.m., you could still only drive until 9:00 p.m. for a total of 9 hours of driving, otherwise you would be over your 14 hour on duty limit.

13.5 Sleeper Berth Provision

If you drive a truck that has a sleeper berth , you may use it to get the required off duty time in three ways:

1. Ten consecutive hours off duty:

You may spend time in your sleeper berth to get some of, or all of, the 10 consecutive hours of off duty time. When getting your 10 consecutive hours of off duty time, what is most important is that you do not go on duty or drive during those 10 hours. At the end of the 10 consecutive hours of combined sleeper and/or off duty time, your 11 hour and 14 hour limits would completely reset.

Logbook Example Of 10 Consecutive Hours Off Duty

2. Eight hours of sleeper berth time:

You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14 hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours will not count as part of the 14 hours, and therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

Logbook Example Of 8 Consecutive Hours Off Duty

3. Split sleeper / off duty time:

You may also use the sleeper berth in a different way to get the equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. To do this, two rest periods are required. This rule is commonly referred to as the "split sleeper berth" rule.

To use the split sleeper berth rule, you must spend at least one of the two required rest periods in your sleeper berth. The required rest period in the sleeper berth must be at least 8 consecutive hours (but less than 10 consecutive hours). This rest period will not count against your 14 hour duty clock.

The other separate rest period must be at least 2 consecutive hours long. This rest period may be spent in the sleeper berth, off duty, or sleeper berth and off duty combined. This 2 hour period will count against the 14 hour on duty limit. It does not matter which rest period you take first. After you complete your second required rest period, you will have a new point on the clock from which to calculate your hours available. This new calculation point will be at the time you completed your first required rest period.

Example of the split sleeper berth rule:

After taking 10 consecutive hours off duty, you start to work at 7:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. you begin driving and at 2:00 p.m. you spend 8 hours in your sleeper berth before resuming driving again at 10:00 p.m. Those 8 hours in the sleeper berth do not count as part of your 14 hour limit. Below is what your logbook looks like so far:

You have only used 7 of your 14 hours so far, and your 14 hour limit was extended from 9:00 p.m. that evening (when it was originally due to expire) to 5:00 a.m. the next morning (the new limit after taking 8 consecutive hours off duty in the sleeper berth). Your driving limit is still 11 hours and so far you have driven 4 of those hours. That means you have 7 hours of driving time still available, allowing you to drive from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the next morning.

At 5:00 a.m. you take your second rest period, going off duty for 2 hours. That brings you to 7:00 a.m. and our log looks like this:

Let’s recap the trip so far:

Start Time
End Time
Activity
Hours Used
7:00 a.m. on Day 1
10:00 a.m on Day 1
On duty/not driving
3
10:00 a.m. on Day 1
2:00 p.m on Day 1
Driving
4
2:00 p.m. on Day 1
10:00 p.m on Day 1
Sleeper berth
8
10:00 p.m. on Day 1
5:00 a.m on Day 2
Driving
7
5:00 a.m. on Day 2
7:00 a.m on Day 2
Off duty
2

How much time do you have available now under the 14 hour rule?

Since you met the regulation of getting the equivalent of 10 hours off duty in two periods, you now have a new calculation point for figuring your 11 and 14 hour limits. Your new calculation point is at the end of the first rest period, which was at 10:00 p.m. on the first day. Your new 14 hour period begins at 10:00 p.m. and ends 14 hours later, at noon the following day. During that new 14 hour period you are allowed 11 hours of driving.

From 10:00 p.m. on the first day to 7:00 a.m. on the second day, you used up 9 of the available 14 on duty hours. You also used up 7 of the available 11 driving hours. Therefore, you now have 5 hours of on duty time available during which you are allowed to drive up to 4 hours.

Because your 14 hour on duty period ends at noon the second day, before you can drive a CMV again after 12:00 p.m., you must have another rest period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours (if you want to use the split sleeper berth rule again). After that, you must again recalculate how many hours you will have available. Your new calculation point will be the end of the 2 hour off duty period you took earlier (7:00 a.m.). After completing the second rest period, our final log and calculation points look like this:

Day 1

Day 2

This is something you may use from time to time. You should definitely check the weather as part of your regular trip planning each day. But sometimes, a weather event occurs which was not forecast. For example, a "chance of flurries" may turn into a slick ice storm instead. A "chance of rain" may turn into a severe thunderstorm. Or you may hit dense smoke or fog which you did not see in the weather forecast. Even non-weather related events such as an unexpected road closure would also allow you to use this exception. This rule allows you to extend your drive time by 2 hours.
Remember, you can extend your driving time, but you can't extend your on duty time. That means once your 14 hour duty clock is out of time, you still have to stop driving.
We will not quiz you on this exception. If you plan on professionally driving vehicles which do not require a CDL and meet the 150 air-mile radius requirement, this is something that you should definitely know. Otherwise, this rule has no significance and will not be used.
You will not be quizzed on this exception. This rule is normally used for "line-haul" driving positions only. If you plan on driving for a line-haul carrier, you should study this rule as you will use it frequently. But if you are planning on driving OTR , you will not use this at all.
All the information covering sleeper berth provisions is extremely important to understand. If you're planning on becoming an OTR driver, you will be greatly benefited by knowing the different rules about the sleeper berth. Some of the rules surrounding the sleeper berth can get confusing, so we'll have examples later on. You might also want to have a scratch sheet of paper to help organize your thoughts and do some basic math as we go along. Bottom line is most drivers don't fully understand the sleeper berth rules and their misunderstanding costs them miles and money from their paychecks.
This is the way most drivers use the sleeper berth. Taking 10 hours off is the simplest way to reset your 14 hour and 11 hour limits. Simply take 10 consecutive hours off (either in the sleeper berth or off duty) and the 11 and 14 hour limits reset. Remember, your 14 hour on duty limit will not start again after a 10 hour break until you begin working again.
You may need to make a delivery or pick up time without being able to take a full 10 hour break. That's a situation where the 8 hour sleeper berth time would come in handy.
This is the most difficult rule to understand. Most professional drivers do not understand this rule. If you do, you'll have an upper hand over other drivers. This rule will not be used on a daily basis, but can come in very handy with tight appointment times and maximizing all your available hours to drive and make money.
Remember the 8 hour sleeper berth rule? You are simply "pausing" your 14 hour duty clock for 8 hours. Nothing more.
This rule requires two rest periods. One rest period must be 8 hours long and the other must be 2 hours long. The rest period which lasts 8 hours long does not count against your 14 hour duty clock. But the rest period which lasts 2 hours long does count against your 14 hour duty clock.
To follow along with this example, you might want to grab a pen and scratch sheet of paper. It is important that you understand this example fully. You may have to go through the example a few times but try your best to understand everything. We will provide more examples of this rule later in this section.

Here's how we calculated those hours:

  • 11hr driving limit:

    11
    - 7 (time used since 10pm)
    = 4 hours remaining
  • 14hr on duty limit:

    14
    - 9 (time used since 10pm)
    = 5 hours remaining

Remember, your 10 consecutive hours off duty can be spent in the following ways:

  • 10 consecutive hours spent in the sleeper berth.
  • 10 consecutive hours spent off duty.
  • Any combination of 10 consecutive hours spent either in the sleeper berth or off duty.

In this example, the driver spent 2 hours off duty and 8 hours in the sleeper berth for a total of 10 consecutive hours of off duty.

In this example, the driver has taken an 8 hour break instead of a 10 hour break. The time period of 1:00 am to 9:00 am does not count against the drivers 14 hour duty clock. The driver has essentially "paused" the 14 hour duty clock for that 8 hour stretch.
In order for the 8 hour sleeper berth provision to be used, all 8 hours must be spent in the sleeper berth.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

If you have used up all of your 14 hour on duty time, how many hours would you regain after an 8 hour break in the sleeper berth?
  • You would regain half of your hours (7 hours total)
  • You will still have no hours remaining
  • None of these answers are correct
  • Your 14 hour limit would reset

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Eight hours of sleeper berth time:

You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14 hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours will not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

An 8 hour break will never add more hours to any of your limits. Rather, an 8 hour break simply extends your time by not counting the break against your 14 hour duty clock. The concept is confusing, but it's actually very simple. Here are some examples.

  • If you have 5 hours remaining on your 14 hour duty clock then go into the sleeper berth for 8 hours, at the end of your break you will still have 5 hours remaining.
  • If you have 1 hour remaining on your 14 hour duty clock then go into the sleeper berth for 8 hours, at the end of your break you will still have 1 hour remaining.
  • If you have 0 hours remaining on your 14 hour duty clock then go into the sleeper berth for 8 hours, at the end of your break you will still have 0 hours remaining.
  • As you can see, you will not gain any hours back after taking an 8 hour break. Instead, your available hours have simply been extended.

    So why would you ever want to take an 8 hour break instead of a 10 hour break? Here's an example:

    Let's say you have a delivery in the morning, but you are not allowed to park at your delivery location overnight. Instead, you have to stop at a truck stop 20 miles away to park for the night. In order to make your appointment on time, you must leave after only resting for 8 hours. If that's the case, you can still make the delivery on time by taking an 8 hour break instead of a full 10 hour break.

    Little situations like this will come up frequently as a truck driver. That's why it's so important to understand these little loopholes and tricks. We'll go through more examples later on in this section, but try to have a full understanding of the 10, 8 and split sleeper rules.

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What happens if you spend 8 hours in the sleeper berth?
  • You will regain 8 hours on your 14 hour on duty time
  • Spending 8 hours in the sleeper berth will completely reset your 60/70 hour on duty clock
  • Spending 8 hours in the sleeper berth will completely reset your 14 hour on duty time and your 11 hour driving time
  • Those hours will not count as part of your 14 hour on duty time, and therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Eight hours of sleeper berth time:

You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14 hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours will not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Basically, when you take an 8 hour break in the sleeper berth, your time simply extends. You can't reset your hours completely, but those 8 hours will not count against your 14 hour on duty time.

In other words, let's say you have the following hours remaining:

  • 14 hour duty clock: 7 hours
  • 11 hour driving clock: 6 hours

If you go into the sleeper berth, in 8 hours you will still have the same time remaining.

If you had taken 10 consecutive hours off instead, your 14 and 11 hour limits would have completely reset. That's why the 8 hour sleeper berth rule should only be used when necessary. Normally this rule is used when it is necessary in order to make a delivery legally and on-time.

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Which statement is true?
  • All of these statements are true
  • If you spend 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, you can extend your 14 hour limit
  • If you spend 10 consecutive hours off duty or in a sleeper berth of your truck, your 11 and 14 hour limits completely restart
  • When using the split sleeper berth rule, you can take your 10 hour break by splitting 8 hours off in the sleeper berth and taking an additional 2 hours off duty

Quote From The CDL Manual:

1. Ten consecutive hours off duty:

You may spend time in your sleeper berth to get some of, or all of, the 10 consecutive hours of off duty time. When getting your 10 consecutive hours of off duty time, what is most important is that you do not go on duty or drive during those 10 hours. At the end of the 10 consecutive hours of combined sleeper and/or off duty time, your 11-hour driving and 14 hour duty-period limits would completely restart.

2. Eight hours of sleeper berth time:

You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14 hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours will not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

3. Split sleeper / off duty time:

You may also use the sleeper berth in a different way to get the “equivalent of at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.” To do this, two rest periods are required. You must spend at least one of the two required rest periods in your sleeper berth. The required rest period in the sleeper berth must be at least 8 consecutive hours (but less than 10 consecutive hours). This rest period will not count as part of the 14 hours. The other, separate, rest period must be at least 2 consecutive hours (but less than 10 consecutive hours). This rest period may be spent in the sleeper berth, off duty, or sleeper berth and off duty combined. It will count as part of the 14 hours (unless you spend at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth). It does not matter which rest period you take first. After you complete your second re­quired rest period, you will have a new point on the clock from which to calculate your hours available. This new “calculation point” will be at the time you completed your first required rest period.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

The Sleeper Berth Provision is extremely important for you to be familiar with. It is one of the most confusing parts about the HOS regulations, yet, if you know the rules it will make your life much easier and help your paycheck at the same time. With more and more companies switching to electronic logbooks, understanding all the ways you can legally drive is critically important.

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How many on duty hours are remaining after the following has been logged (use a scratch sheet of paper if you need to):

- On duty/not driving: 3 hours

- Driving: 4 hours

- Sleeper berth: 8 hours

- Driving: 7 hours

- Off duty: 2 hours

  • Both the 11 and 14 hour limits have reset so all hours are now available
  • 14 hour clock: 7 hours
    11 hour clock: 6 hours
  • 14 hour clock: 5 hours
    11 hour clock: 4 hours
  • There is no time remaining on the drivers 11 or 14 hour clocks

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Example of the split sleeper berth rule:

After taking 10 consecutive hours off duty, You start to work at 7:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., you begin driving and at 2:00 p.m. you spend 8 hours in your sleeper berth before resuming driving again at 10:00 p.m. At 10:00 p.m. Those 8 hours in the sleeper berth do not count as part of the 14 hour limit.

This means that you only used 7 of your 14 hours so far, and your 14 hour limit gets extended from 9:00 p.m. that evening to 5:00 a.m. the next morning. Your driving limit is still 11 hours and so far you have only driven 4 hours. That means you have 7 hours of driving time still available, allowing you to drive from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m.

At 5:00 a.m. you take your second rest period, going off duty for 2 hours. That brings you to 7:00 a.m.

Since you met the regulation of getting the equivalent of 10 hours off duty in two periods, you now have a new calculation point for figuring your 11 and 14 hours. Your new calculation point is at the end of the first rest period, which was at 10:00 p.m. Your new 14 hour period begins at 10:00 p.m. and ends 14 hours later, at noon the following day. During that new 14 hour period you are allowed 11 hours of driving.

From 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. you used-up 9 of the 14 duty-period hours and 7 of the 11 hours of driving time. Therefore you now have 5 hours of duty time available during which you are allowed to drive 4 hours.

Because your 14 hour duty period ends at 12:00 noon that day, before you can drive a CMV again after 12:00 noon, you must have another rest period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours (if you are using the sleeper-berth exception). After that you must again recalculate how many hours you will have available. Your new calculation point will be the end of the 2-hour off duty period you took earlier (7:00 a.m.).

TruckingTruth's Advice:

This example can be pretty confusing. Go back to page 95 for the full write up and explanation if you're still confused. It's very important to have a good understanding of the split sleeper berth provision.

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The 14 hour limit can be extended by:
  • Spending 8 consecutive hours either in a sleeper berth or off duty
  • Spending 8 consecutive hours off duty
  • None of these answers are correct
  • Spending 8 consecutive hours in a sleeper berth

Quote From The CDL Manual:

2. Eight hours of sleeper berth time:

You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14 hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours will not count as part of the 14 hours, and therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Remember, in order to extend the 14 hour limit, all 8 hours must be logged as sleeper berth time. You can't spend the 8 hours off duty or switch back and forth between sleeper berth and off duty time.

In most cases, it makes more sense to simply stay in the sleeper berth for 2 more hours (total of 10 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth). That way, instead of extending the 14 hour limit, you create an entirely new starting point for the 14 hour limit and will have all 14 hours available again.

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Which statement is true about extending the 14 hour on duty clock by using the 8 hour sleeper berth provision?
  • You can section the 8 hour break into two 4 hour segments
  • The 8 hours can be split between sleeper berth time and off duty time as long as those hours are consecutive
  • None of these answers are correct
  • You must spend all 8 hours consecutively in the sleeper berth

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Eight hours of sleeper berth time:

You may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14 hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours will not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, would allow you to extend the time during which you could use your maximum 11 hours of driving.

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If you hear on the radio that there is a major snowstorm forecast along your route, will you qualify for the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception?
  • Yes, anytime hazardous weather is forecast along your route, you may drive an additional 2 hours
  • No, in order to qualify, the adverse weather event must not have been forecast
  • No, weather can never be a reason for using the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception
  • None of these answers are correct

Quote From The CDL Manual:

If unexpected adverse driving conditions slow you down, you may drive up to 2 extra hours to complete what could have been driven in normal conditions. This means you could drive for up to 13 hours, which is 2 hours more than allowed under normal conditions. Adverse driving conditions mean things that you did not know about when you started your run, like snow, fog, or a shut-down of traffic due to a crash. Adverse driving conditions do not include situations that you should have known about, such as congested traffic during typical “rush hour” periods.

Even though you may drive 2 extra hours under this exception, you must not drive after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

In order to qualify for the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception, you must be slowed down due to an event which was not forecast.

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Under the adverse driving conditions exception, how many additional hours can you drive?
  • 3 extra hours
  • 5 extra hours
  • 4 extra hours
  • 2 extra hours

Quote From The CDL Manual:

What Is the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception?

If unexpected adverse driving conditions slow you down, you may drive up to 2 extra hours to complete what could have been driven in normal conditions. This means you could drive for up to 13 hours, which is 2 hours more than allowed under normal conditions. Adverse driving conditions mean things that you did not know about when you started your run, like snow, fog, or a shut-down of traffic due to a crash. Adverse driving conditions do not include situations that you should have known about, such as congested traffic during typical “rush hour” periods.

Even though you may drive 2 extra hours under this exception, you must not drive after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.

Example: You begin to work at 7:00 a.m., start driving at 8:00 a.m., and drive 9 hours when you hit heavy fog at 5:00 p.m. The fog was not forecasted. At this point, the adverse driving conditions exception would allow you to drive for 4 more hours (2 hours to get to 11 and 2 extra hours due to the fog), taking you to 9:00 p.m. for a total of 13 hours of driving.

If, however, you come to work at 7:00 a.m., start driving at 12:00 p.m. and drive into fog at 5:00 p.m., you could still only drive until 9:00 p.m. for a total of 9 hours of driving. You would have to stop driving at 9:00 p.m. because you would have reached the 14 hour limit.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

The adverse driving conditions exception may come in handy from time to time. If you run into unexpected weather conditions or have an unexpected delay such as a road closure, you can extend your 11 hour driving limit. Don't take advantage of this exception, but by all means use it when necessary. Just be sure to mark the time, location and type of the unexpected weather hazard on your logbook.

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