GotQuestions? ELDs and Telematics

Q. Can you define the various duty status categories?

August 3, 2017

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A. There are four driver duty status categories: driving, on-duty, sleeper berth, and off-duty.

Driving time is defined as the time the driver actually spends behind the wheel of a truck in operation. Driving time is recorded automatically by the ELD and cannot be edited or changed to non-driving time.

On-duty time is the time a driver is working for a fleet. It includes activities such as time at a fleet terminal or shipper location, time spent inspecting or servicing the vehicle, driving time, time loading and unloading the vehicle, training time, etc. Time spent resting in the vehicle is not considered on-duty time.

Off-duty time is when the driver is “relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work,” according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. The driver must be free to pursue other activities of his or her choosing during this time.

Sleeper berth is time the driver spends in the sleeper getting some or all of the mandated 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time. The sleeper berth can also be used to extend the 14-hour limit. If the driver is in the berth for at least 8 consecutive hours, that time “does not count as part of the 14 hours and therefore, allows [the driver] to extend the time which [he or she] can use their maximum 11 hours of driving,” according to the FMCSA regulations.


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