Hotshot carrier asks FMCSA to let him install sleeper berth in pickup truck bed

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Updated May 5, 2018

A Massachusetts-based one-truck hotshot carrier is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to be allowed to install a sleeper berth in the bed area of his Ford F-350 pickup truck.

A sleeper berth in the bed of a pickup do not meet the access, location, exit, communication or occupant constraint requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Castignoli Enterprises argues that because he is a solo owner-operator, these requirements are not applicable to his operation.

“The current FMCSR regulatory requirements for sleeper berth access seem to rely on the assumption that one driver is driving while another driver is in the sleeper berth, and that truck is moving at all times,” Castignoli says in the exemption request.

The company owner adds that as a single driver, when he is off-duty, the vehicle doesn’t move and “direct access to the sleeper berth area should not be required.” Additionally, he says because the vehicle isn’t moving, “there is no need for occupant restraint systems nor a means for communications with the driver. All other dimensional requirements, ventilations and protection against exhaust and fuel leaks will be met.”

FMCSA notes in the request the applicant states that as a result of mobility issues associated with a partially fused spine, it’s easier for him to access a sleeper berth in the bed of his truck rather than one that could be installed in the back seat of the pickup that does meet FMCSR requirements.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the exemption request, which can be made here through May 24.