When you take the first break, be it short or long, the ELD doesn’t know what you’re doing so your clocks continue. When you complete the second break, whichever one you need to fulfill the requirement, then it recognizes the split sleeper. It says right in the regs that neither period count towards your 14. It’s pretty cut and dry.
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The problem might have had its presence in the past though. I remember having heard about it more than once on XM radio Trucker's Channel that indeed there were those nonsense situations of drivers reporting DOT citing violations on their inspection reports because upon the completion of the trip during which they were spliting sleeper, instead of remaining in the truck for at least 8 hours they logged off duty and went home. But no more after FMCSA fixed it at some point.
Again, I am pretty sure that it was fixed and resolved so that now 10 hour off duty break or more is not as much a part of the split break as a full break which per definition resets a driver's driving shift and driving hours to the fullest, no matter what the driver's graph showed prior to that break. The same thing can be said about the 34 hour reset break - no matter what the logs show prior to it, the driver's resets his time completely.
Starting the 14 hour shift after the 10 hours off duty and taking 2 + off duty break, due to the ELDs imperfections, will at first show violation when driving past 14 hours shift but upon completion of the 2nd break...be it 7+ hours in the sleeper or another 10 hours off duty, the violation will be removed - as if it never happened. At least that's how it works with Keep Truckin.
I understand that I may not have enough of an authoritarian voice to convince you on this subject or anybody else - and that's good because I am the last person that would want to lead someone astray but I encourage you to try the aforementioned log book tool that is presented on the official FMCSA site and input different log book scenarios in which you'll see how the new provision works.
It would be best for whatever platform of ELD is used that it would not show any "interim" stages as violations to avoid such confusions. I am afraid that most of the law enforcement, especially those not specializing in DOT regulatory measures are relaying solely on whatever they see on the ELD screen - nothing in "red" then no violations.
I think it is a huge developer's mistake to implement the new rules this way. Very sloppy. But that is the result of lame, disconnected from the industry people to be allowed to make such decision. Keep Truckin is working on an upgrade which would indicate that the interim period of violations is marked as "alleged violation" but not yet a violation.
Practically, it would be best, as it was suggested earlier, to carry both: 1. The new split sleeper break provision print out - explaining the rules and 2. Instructional print out from an ELD provider explaining how the split breaking is resolved, if available.
Fortunately, there are only two kinds of split sleeper berth break, so the analysis is simple: there are (1) ones that have the 3+ break before the 7+ break, and (2) ones that have the 7+ break before the 3+ break. Believe it or not, in case (1) the new rule does not extend your 14 any differently than the old rule did. All the new rule does in case (1) is allow more leeway in the length of each break in the split. It's only case (2) where the new rule extends your 14 by the amount of the second, shorter break in the split, which the old rule didn't do.
Once you recognize this, it becomes easier to see that there is no circumstance in which the legality of driving at any given time depends on some future break you may or may not take. Whenever you see drivers claiming that "the ELD doesn't know yet" about a split being completed later, it's a tipoff that they don't understand the new rule.Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
Reason for edit: clarify
Sleeper Berth Provision
Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7 hours of that period in the berth combined with a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours. When used together as specified, neither qualify period counts against the 14-hour driving window."
OK Let's decipher this:
1. Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement...
We need to have a goal of 10 hour minimum off-duty to satisfy our being rested before resuming driving which can be also accomplished by splitting the off duty by a combination of two breaks.
2. by spending at least 7 hours of that period in the berth combined with a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours.
It means that at least 7 hours needs to be in the sleeper berth and at least 2 hours either inside or outside the sleeper berth. 7 hours in the sleeper is mandatory, just like before 9/29/20 it was mandatory to spend at least 8 hours in the sleeper on the longer break.
This is where I and @mathematrucker cannot get to terms:
If I understand him correctly (?), he claims that in order to satisfy break splitting, the both breaks must be observed as strictly committed to the purpose of the split breaking. For instance: let's say that you took 3 hours off duty in the middle of a day and then towards the end of the day you decide to utilize the 3 hours and you plan to spend 7 hours in the sleeper but once you arrive at the truck stop, you see the weather getting worse and you check in a motel for 10 hours - so you log it as off duty. So according to him that 10 hours off duty cannot be a part of the split break that you may consider again to take once you leave the motel and resume driving. However, had you not taken the 10 hours off duty at the motel but remained in the sleeper for the minimum of 7 hours then it would have been fine to do it.
I say that it in the above example it does not matter whether you take 7 hours in the sleeper or 10 hours off duty, because the 10 hours off duty supersedes any other break that is less than 10 hours in the sleeper berth so in a way it includes within itself all other breaks you might have taken.
3. When used together as specified, neither qualify period counts against the 14-hour driving window."
Neither combination of 7+/2+ or 2+/7+ count towards 14 hour clock.
I say that 7+ break or 2+ break is superseded by any 10 hour off duty break. Or if you will, 10 hour off duty already satisfies or contains any 7+ or 2+ break, be it in the sleeper or not.
Ok I have a question for you guys. When I retired I had only run an AOBRD. It would highlight a violation, but if I got inspected, it only showed the log itself. No violations were highlighted to aide the cop. If there were any violations, it was up to the cop to find them on his own.
Are your ELDs set up like that? Or does it show the cops where you screw up when in inspection mode. I ask because until recently, I had a DOT bear for a neighbor. He told me that the ELD companies added a lot of bells and whistles that were not required by the mandate in order to push sales of their products. That the mandate, in addition to recording engine info, miles driven and the like, only required basic logging. That is duty status and changes thereof 24 hrs a day. Nothing else including showing violations to the cop was required by the mandate. The guy is a real richard and I know from talking to him from time to time, he would have loved having a easy way to screw the guys he inspected.
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