The Pitman fixed shift schedule uses 4 teams (crews) and 2 twelve-hour shifts to provide 24/7 coverage. It consists of a 2-week cycle where each team works 2 consecutive shifts, followed by 2 days off duty, works 3 consecutive shifts, followed by 2 days off duty, works 2 consecutive shifts, followed by 3 days off duty. Two teams are assigned day shifts while the other two are assigned night shifts. On any given day, one team is on the day shift, one team is on the night shift, and two teams are off duty. Personnel are assigned to either day or night shifts for the 2-week cycle and work an average 42 hours per week.

Pitman shift schedule example:

Team 1: DDOODDD-OODDOOO
Team 2: NNOONNN-OONNOOO
Team 3: OODDOOO-NNOONNN
Team 4: OONNOOO-DDOODDD

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Where D=Day shift, N=Night shift, and O=Off duty

Pitman Shift Schedule

Characteristics

Plan IDC4TF12-1
NamePitman Shift Schedule
Applicability24/7 operations
Teams Required4
Shifts12-hr
Repeat Cycle14 days
RotationFixed plan, no rotation
Average Hours per Week42
Staffing FluctuationBalanced from shift to shift and day to day
Pluses
  • No employee works more than three consecutive days
  • 3-day weekend every other weekend
  • Taking 2 vacation days on one of the 2-day work week gives 7 days off
Minuses
  • Could work up to 62 hours in one week
  • Long shift length (12 hours)
  • Requires an average of 2 overtime hours per employee per week
Common UsageVery popular with police departments, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, EMS call centers and dispatchers in the United States
Notes

Refer to the 2-2/3-2/2-3 shift schedule for a variation of the Pitman shift schedule with rotating shifts.