Do Truck Drivers Sleep In Their Trucks? (Where Do They Sleep)

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There are always so many truck drivers on the road traveling long distances and hauling heavy cargo. You begin to wonder if it’s long-distance travel they can’t just drive the whole way, so do truck drivers sleep in their trucks? They must sleep somewhere, so where do they sleep?

Pickup Trucks With the Nicest Inter...
Pickup Trucks With the Nicest Interiors
Sleeper Cab Trucks

Most over-the-road truck drivers sleep in their sleeper cabs, a small compartment behind the driver’s seat. The sleeper cab is equipped with everything truckers need to stay comfortable while on the road. Truck drivers usually stop at company facilities, rest areas, and truck stops to sleep.  Truck Drivers that drive local routes usually get home each day to sleep in their own beds. 

There is much to discover about these drivers’ trucks as a second home away from home. When considering where these truck drivers sleep, there is a combination of different factors such as location, type of cab, and how far they have to travel. Below, we go into much more depth about these fantastic sleeper cabs truck drivers sleep in and what to anticipate if maybe you ever decide to change careers and become a truck driver.

Where Do Truck Drivers Sleep?

Truck drivers sleep at different locations because they travel all over, delivering goods to distant destinations. We will get into the different types of truck cabins, what to expect inside these cabins, and where truck drivers stop for the night to sleep.

The Different Types Of Truck Cabins

Trucks are categorized into two types: those with a sleeping cab and those with a day cab. A sleeper cab is substantially larger than a regular cab, and it’s typically utilized when truckers are going to be away from their homes for an extended period.

If you see a truck without a sleeper cab, it’s a good bet that they’re on their way home to sleep for the night.

A day cab truck is less expensive than a sleeper cab truck since it lacks the extra compartments and is just used for deliveries.

Trucks with sleeper cabs, on the other hand, are a result of need. While sleeper cab trucks have grown in popularity among drivers, the importance has not diminished for day cab trucks.

Day cab trucks are helpful and efficient in cities, and they’re ideal for drivers who reside in the cities where they operate. It eliminates the need to sleep in their vehicles and allows them to return home after a full day’s work.

Day Cab v. Sleeper Cab
Left: Day Cab / Right: Sleeper Cab

What Is Inside A Truck Sleeper Cab?

A full-size mattress, pillows, and sheets are provided inside a sleeper cab to make sleeping as pleasant as possible.

The sleeper cabin may have a small refrigerator, a microwave, a flatscreen television, an entertainment system, a game console, a tiny wardrobe, grooming tools, and possibly even a portable toilet, and other amenities.

What is inside these cabins all depends on the manufacturer and driver preferences. The drivers strive to squeeze as much use as possible out of their sleeper cab, but there is a limit to what you can accomplish with such limited space.

For the convenience of its drivers, some businesses may acquire specialized trucks with luxurious sleeper cabins.

What Is The Size Of A Truck Sleeper Cabin?

Initially, manufacturers designed sleeper cabs with no consideration for comfort. As a result, the original size and measurements ranged from 18 to 24 inches.

They then increased the size to 36 to 48 inches for long-distance truckers. Modern trucks now include sleeper cabins ranging from 36 inches to 244 inches.

This massive increase in size makes them significantly more homelike, giving drivers additional living space. It also allows drivers to stay on the road for extended periods, even weeks.

Today’s sleeper cabs are likewise drastically different, with several conveniences and features on the interior, and have come a long way.

sleeper cab semi

Where Do Truck Drivers Stop To Sleep?

Truck drivers typically make stops at truck stops, company facilities, and cargo owner parking lots. The truck drivers don’t stop at hotels usually as the rooms are too costly for truckers. In addition, hotels consume time, and most outlets cannot accept trucks.

A truck stop or company parking lot allows truck drivers to park their vehicles and rest before resuming their journey. Truckers usually stay in hotels or motels only when it is unsafe to keep the engine running or too risky to be out in the open.

Truck stops are usually where most truck drivers stop along their trip. The truck stops are most commonplace for truckers because they offer many proper facilities such as parking, fuel stations, restaurants, laundry services, rented showering spaces, and a truck service station.

Some Truck Stops even offer CAT Scales which help truck drivers save time by weighing their vehicles to show they are within regulation on the road.

Do Truckers Sleep With Their Trucks On?

Yes, however, it depends on whether the vehicle has an auxiliary power unit or APU. The APU works like a generator that provides electricity to the truck silently. Most trucks do not have APUs; thus, the engine must be running to keep the cab cool or warm while sleeping.

Most long-haul truck drivers will sleep in the cab of their vehicle, which demands the ability to run numerous equipment such as lights, radio, fans, etc. Furthermore, truck cabs may quickly get heated, especially during the warmer months.

In these circumstances, air conditioning is required to find comfort when sleeping and keep the cab from heating up to dangerous levels. The cab’s air conditioning will effectively have to operate constantly.

Unfortunately, only a minority of truck drivers have the pleasure to experience an APU in their trucks because most companies would like to avoid carrying the extra cost of buying and equipping them.

What Is The Average Amount Of Sleep Truck Drivers Get?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, people require seven to nine hours of sleep every day to live a healthy lifestyle. Although, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health poll, 27% of long-haul truckers get up to six hours of sleep every day in 24 hours.

Truck drivers don’t get much sleep because their company employer sets a time for delivery to be made; otherwise, they will incur monetary penalties. Also, in America, the legislation only allows drivers 11 driving hours per day on the road. This can put tremendous pressure on the driver.

If a truck driver thinks he’ll be able to find a parking spot after 9 hours but isn’t confident one will be available closer to the 11-hour daily travel limit, he’ll have traveled less for the day.  As a result, he’ll have to make up for it in some way to meet the delivery schedule.

Where Do Truck Drivers Go To The Bathroom?

Truck drivers use rest areas or truck stops most of the time to go to the bathroom or the lucky few they have installed a portable toilet on board if the sleeper cab has space.

However, you may also be able to see ultra-modern, customized, or luxury semi-trucks with a built-in bathroom. The bathroom allows the truck drivers to spend less time and money at truck stops.

Truck Stop

What Are The Truck Stops Showers Like?

Most people imagine truck showers as filthy rooms with a showerhead affixed to the wall, yet truck stop facilities are typically spotless and well-kept. When you buy a shower, it comes with a door lock that assures no one can get in while you’re using it.

After you’ve finished, a janitor cleans the room again before the next shower to ensure it’s sanitized and ready. To go inside the shower, you will usually need to input a code. Truck stops also provide clean towels that you may use whenever you need them.

Showers at most truck stops mimic those at a professional hotel, and most provide complimentary showers if you spend more than $50 on diesel fuel.

Conclusion

Truck drivers have a tough life and live on the road for long periods. They have a second home where they sleep, eat and travel in their trucks. Truck drivers deserve our appreciation because they have a tough job that takes them away from home for extended periods of time and we would not have certain goods and services we enjoy today without them.

Harold Thornbro