Dillon Transportation petitions FMCSA for sleeper berth flexibility

Jan. 11, 2017

Dillon Transportation LLC, Ashland City TN, has petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for an exemption from certain provisions of the agency's hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. Dillon Transportation proposes that its team drivers be granted an exemption from the HOS rules pertaining to use of a sleeper berth (SB).

Dillon Transportation has requested that its team drivers be allowed to take the equivalent of 10 consecutive hours off duty by splitting sleeper berth time into two periods totaling 10 hours, provided neither of the two periods is less than three hours.

FMCSA requests public comment on Dillon Transportation’s application for exemption. Comments must be received on or before February 6 and can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Comments also can be mailed to FMCSA through the Docket Management Facility, US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

Dillon identified some countermeasures it would take to maintain safe operations if the exemption is granted. The safeguards would include, but not be limited to:

Drive time would be reduced from 11 hours to 10 hours.

Team drivers would be limited to 10 hours of driving prior to completing their required 10 hours total sleeper berth time. Solo drivers will continue to operate under current HOS regulations.

Dillon trucks are equipped with Omnitracs communications and electronic logging. Their drivers will continue to utilize Omnitracs electronic communications and tracking to maintain HOS compliance. All of Dillon's tractors are equipped with speed limiters.

Dillon Transportation summed up its HOS exemption request by saying it believes that by allowing its team drivers to exercise flexibility in their sleeper berth requirements, 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 (www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/briefs/12-003-Split-Sleep).