Sleeper Berth Question..

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Beth W.'s Comment
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Ok I’ve only been actually driving since last friday and on Tuesday while I was in the sleeper berth my co trainee and trainer decided to stop for a shower. I decided to get up and get one as well while I had the chance. In retrospect I realized that maybe I should have went off duty from the sleeper berth during that time. I had not been in SB for 8 hours yet.

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.

Joseph I.'s Comment
member avatar

Technically I do not know how you should have done it, but I would not worry about whether I was in sleeper berth or off duty for showering or any other off duty activity.

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.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Technically, you log exactly what you do. Now if you were taking a split break, (8/2 split) that consecutive 8 hours in the sleeper would have been important.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

When I stop for the day I immediately go to sleeper birth and in the remarks section I log rest break instead of in sleeper. IMO that should cover me regardless if I go into the store, walk my dog or sleep. I've had 2 level 1 inspections since I started doing it that way and was never questioned about it so I assume its all good. That way I dont have to worry about changing it everytime I exit the sleeper birth. If anyone can tell me that it's a bad way to do it let them speak now or forever hold their tongue...lol.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

My recommendation from logging exactly what you are doing comes from past experience.

For example. You stop at a rest area for your brake. When you get in the sleeper, you log sleeper. You wake up a few hours later needing to use the restroom. You put on your shoes and head inside.

While in the restroom, DOT pulls into the truck lot and begins conducting inspections. They see you out of your truck and heading back to it (to go back to bed). However, you're up awake and are fair game.

Believe it or not, my company has had a driver ticketed for being out of the truck sleeper when that driver was logged into the sleeper berth.

I personally have seen this happen to other drivers in rest areas. Wake up, break isn't complete but sitting in the drivers seat smoking a cigarette, checking their phone or whatever.

So again I say log exactly what you do. If its difficult to remember to change your status then stick a note on your steering wheel or whatever it takes to help you remember. Luckily my company has a statement in our permit book that says when loading or unloading that we are off duty and not required to count freight or any other responsibility beyond checking in/out and docking.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

This happened to my friend. She parked and while walking into the truck stop, DOT stopped her and said, "After you take care of your needs we will be doing an inspection."

He specifically told her he was looking for "sleeper instead of off duty" knowing drivers illegally do 8/2 splits. It is considered falsification of logs if you are caught. That type of ticket can keep you from getting a job you really want.

This also happened to one of our forum members when he did not log on duty for fueling. The officer gave him a ticket which gave him CSA points for 3 years and kept him.from getting the local job he wanted.

I am not saying people dont cut corners with off duty vs sleeper.... But you arent supposed to. Even sitting in the passenger seat eating cereal is supposed to be off duty.... Because sleeper would be behind the curtain. This is how a DOT officer explained it to me.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Joseph I.'s Comment
member avatar

I may be wrong but would definitely have to fight them on it. We get done for the weekend and truck goes into sleeper berth but I go home. So no one is in the sleeper berth and what I do or where I sleep is none of the DOT's business as long as not doing anything illegal and even that has nothing to do with driving until you back in the truck and going on duty.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Joseph might be wrong...

I may be wrong but would definitely have to fight them on it. We get done for the weekend and truck goes into sleeper berth but I go home. So no one is in the sleeper berth and what I do or where I sleep is none of the DOT's business as long as not doing anything illegal and even that has nothing to do with driving until you back in the truck and going on duty.

When I am away from the truck either taking a 34 or days off; I’m logged off duty.

Nothing will automatically put you/log you in the “sleeper”.

Log what you do, do what you log.

Simple. Follow the rules, stay in compliance and there will be no need to “fight them”.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

Staying long extended periods in sleeper berth is a BIG red flag to DOT Officers. As G says log what you do properly and do what you log. Log book violations are some of the most common violations and totally avoidable. For anyone that believes your log book is none of the govt’s business, I highly encourage you to find another field of work.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I may be wrong but would definitely have to fight them on it. We get done for the weekend and truck goes into sleeper berth but I go home. So no one is in the sleeper berth and what I do or where I sleep is none of the DOT's business as long as not doing anything illegal and even that has nothing to do with driving until you back in the truck and going on duty.

This is a totally different scenario. Going off duty when not in the truck is correct. However, I know people who told DOT they are always off duty and never go into sleeper because they get hotel rooms every night. They were asked to produce receipts. Just be legal and transparent.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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