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Everything truck drivers should know about Daylight Saving Time

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Daylight Saving Time (DST) — not Daylight Savings Time — can have a big impact on truck drivers. Shifting sleep schedules, logging considerations and dealing with roads filled with fatigued drivers can all pose a challenge for truck drivers dealing with the time change. 

Here’s everything truckers need to know about DST for March 2023.

When do I change my clocks?

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 12 (and ends again at 2 a.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023). Every state aside from Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) and Hawaii observes DST.

You should set your clocks one hour ahead spring forward — before you go to bed Saturday night. While most devices automatically adjust for DST, you should double-check their settings. This is especially important if you rely on your phone as your alarm clock.

How do Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) handle Daylight Saving Time?

Schneider has used electronic logs since 2010, as e-logs (ELDs) are now federally mandated. Most e-log providers automatically handle the DST calculations for drivers. 

Regardless of springing forward or falling back, drivers still need to adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations of how many hours a truck driver can drive.

E-log DST examples:

  • If you work 1 a.m.-10 a.m., it should show you worked eight hours versus nine because you moved forward one hour during that timeframe.
  • If you start your 10-hour break at 10 p.m. on Saturday, your 10 hours off duty would usually end at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Because this is a DST day, though, you will complete your 10 hours at 9 a.m.
    • You must still take a full 10-hour break and follow all HOS rules.
  • Same goes for the 34-hour restart. If the restart crosses over DST on Sunday, you will reach your 34 an hour later than it would appear.
    • You must still take a full 34-hour reset and follow all HOS rules.

How Daylight Saving Time can impact electronic logging devices:

The times for the duty status before daylight savings ending will show a Daylight Time designation (EDT, CDT, etc.). Statuses after the time change will appear under the Standard Time designation (EST, CST, etc.). 

Since this is not a standard day, the time on your March 12 log will add up to 23 hours, regardless of what device you use.

  • For tablets with HOS functionality, your device will automatically spring forward one hour at 2 a.m. of your regulatory home terminal time. The log graph will show the time period from 2 to 3 a.m. missing on the graph (example: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6).
  • If you are using paper logs, you must flag your log in the remarks section with the words, “Spring Time Change.”

How can truck drivers stay safe during Daylight Saving Time?

Getting a healthy amount of sleep is critical, as fatigue often plays a role in accidents that happen around DST. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who only sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

The following are a few tips drivers can follow to stay safe around Daylight Saving Time:

  • Adjust your sleep schedule: Plan ahead so you can be alert and avoid fatigue. Adjust your bedtime so you gradually go to bed one hour earlier during the week leading up to DST.
  • Know how the time change impacts you: Take note of the electronic logging information above. Double-check your pickup and delivery times, ETAs and Next Available Times (NATs).

Looking to sleep better on the road?

Check out our collection of sleep-related blogs to help improve your sleep and stay safe on the road.

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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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