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Where do truck drivers sleep? And other sleep-related questions

A young man wearing a plaid button-up shirt and jeans takes a mid-day nap in the sleeper of a semi-truck.

Unless you’re a truck driver with daily home time – and Schneider does have many local driving opportunities – you’ll need to master the art of sleeping in a truck sleeper cab.

Here are some of the top questions we receive related to where truck drivers sleep so you can begin to prepare yourself for sleeping while you’re out on the road.

1. Where do truck drivers sleep?

Truck drivers who drive a local configuration, sleep in their bed at home. Truck drivers who drive an over-the-road or regional configuration, sleep in the single bunk or double bunk in their truck sleeper cab.

Watch this semi-truck tour video to get a look at the inside of a semi-truck sleeper and better understand where truck drivers sleep.

2. What size bed is in a semi-truck?

Typically, the mattress found inside of a semi-truck is twin-size. However, the mattress can vary a few inches in both length and width based on the truck’s make and model.

3. Do truckers sleep on the side of the road?

Truck drivers should only park on the side of the road in emergencies. Not only can drivers receive tickets for parking on the side of the road, but it can lead to dangerous accidents for both the driver and other motorists.

At the end of their day, truck drivers are encouraged to park their truck at company facilities, truck stops and rest areas along their route or near their delivery location. Some customers open their parking lots for truck drivers to park at overnight.

4. How many hours of sleep do truck drivers need?

According to the FMCSA Hours of Service rules, a truck driver can drive a maximum of 11 hours per day. That means drivers have the rest of the day to eat, relax, do laundry or sleep.

According to the CDC, adults ages 18-60 need seven or more hours of sleep each night. However, each individual driver needs to determine how much sleep he/she needs in order to safely perform their job duties.

5. How do truckers stay warm at night?

There is specific equipment and technology within trucks to help keep drivers warm or cool while sleeping (not all truck drivers sleep during the night; some drive at night and sleep during the day).

Many newer semi-trucks come with Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) to keep drivers comfortable while in the sleeper berth without having to idle the engine. Older APU models are typically diesel-powered while newer ones are usually battery-powered.

Truckers who drive older trucks that are not equipped with APUs typically use bunk heaters to keep warm while they sleep. Bunk heaters run on diesel to heat the inside of a semi-truck.

Get more of your driving questions answered

Check out all our truck driver blogs and get answers to the most frequently asked questions, like how many hours a truck driver can drive and how to get a HazMat endorsement.

About the author
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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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