Idaho Schedule: 12 Hour Shifts for 24x7 Coverage

The second most popular 12 hour shift schedule used is, what is known as the Idaho Schedule.

February 7, 2022

Looking over all of the schedules that we have converted to templates over the years, we notice that the most popular in 12 hour shifts, and overall, was the Pitman Schedule.

However, the second most popular 12 hour shift schedule was, what we call, the Idaho Schedule. It uses a rotation of [4 on 3 off] [3 on 4 off] and [3 on 3 off] [4 on 4 off].

Idaho schedule templates

It is a 2-week, 12 hour shift schedule template. One crew works [4 on 3 off] [3 on 4 off] and the other works [3 on 3 off] [4 on 4 off]. 4 templates are required; 2 on day shift and 2 on night shift.

*** What is a template? - a template could be a single employee or a squad of employees working the same shifts. This would depend upon your department size and minimum staffing levels.

Above is a picture of what it would look like in Excel or Word. Below is what this 12 hour shift schedule for 7 days a week would look like as a template in scheduling software:

Squad 1 - Night - 12 Hour Shifts

Squad 2 - Night - 12 Hour Shifts

Squad 3 - Day - 12 Hour Shifts

Squad 4 - Day - 12 Hour Shifts

While these are all 12 hour shifts, they keep a consistent day or night shift allowing the employees to adjust to the timing. This schedule does follow a similar pattern as the Pitman Schedule. They both have 4 shifts in one week, 3 shifts in the next, to equal out 42 hours each pay period.

Let's explore some other positive and negative aspects of this schedule:


  • Consistent day/night shift
  • Most days worked in a row = 4
  • 4 days off in a row
  • Comp time accumulation - approx. 104 hours a year
  • Every other Saturday off


  • Not equal - 2 squads get 2 Sundays off where other gets only every other Saturday
  • 12 hour shifts can be hard on employee's health
  • With unequal weekends off and only 2-week template, may need to switch templates often (shift bids)

The Idaho Schedule provides 24x7 coverage for patrol with 12 hour shift schedules for 7 days a week. If this is not the right schedule for your department, check back on our blog regularly for more schedule examples.

PowerTime can handle 24x7 schedules, such as the Idaho, with ease. Call us today to get your questions answered and find out how much time scheduling software will be able to save your department (800-749-5104). Or learn more by clicking the button below.

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