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Carrier seeks greater flexibility on split rest for teams

Dillon Transportation LLC has requested an exemption from the hours-of-service regulations to allow its team drivers to take the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours off duty by splitting sleeper berth time into two periods totaling 10 hours provided that neither is less than three hours. The regulations allow for split rest by team drivers but only if neither of the two rest periods is less than two hours. Comments on the application are due February 6, 2017.

Dillon stated in its application that it is common knowledge that sleeping in a moving vehicle is more difficult than for a single driver who is able to stop the truck during their sleeper time. It argued that having the flexibility to switch with a partner allows each driver to take advantage of shorter driving periods when they feel fatigued even though they have available driving time. This will result in a more flexible work pattern improving personal and vehicular safety, the carrier said.

The carrier identified some countermeasures it would take to ensure safety under the exemption:

  • Drive time would be reduced from 11 hours to 10 hours;

  • Dillon's trucks are equipped with electronic logs; and

  • All of Dillon's tractors are equipped with speed limiters.

Dillon believes that by allowing its team drivers to exercise flexibility they will experience better quality rest as a result of this exemption. To support its request for the exemption, Dillon cited the results of a recent study conducted by Gregory Belenky, MD at the Sleep and Performance Research Center, which concluded that when consolidated nighttime sleep is not possible, split sleeper berth time is preferable to consolidated daytime sleep.

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