As any truck driver knows, high-quality sleep is absolutely essential to good health. In fact, it’s just as important as a nutritious diet and regular exercise. It improves your mood, boosts your brain performance, reduces your risk of developing serious health problems like heart disease and dementia, and, of course, increases your safety on the road. All truck drivers should aim to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted, refreshing sleep per night. But if you’re just exploring the possibility of this career path, you might wonder where all of this sleep is meant to occur. Where do truck drivers sleep?
Where Do Truck Drivers Sleep?
First, it’s important to note that some truck drivers sleep in their own beds at the end of the work day. Local drivers typically don’t drive long distances away from home, so their trucks (sometimes called “day cabs”) don’t contain sleeper berths. In rare instances, if they’re asked to drive further away, their company may arrange for them to stay in a motel room.
However, you’re likely thinking of truck drivers with routes that span across the country when you ask the question, “Where do truck drivers sleep?”
Most of the time, truck drivers sleep in their trucks. Their trucks include a sleeper berth (i.e., a small room located behind the driver’s seat), which includes a comfy bed, a heater for colder weather, and cabinets for storing personal items. Many include additional comfort items, such as a TV, fridge, or microwave. The sleeper berth will include a power inverter and/or an auxiliary power unit to boost the truck’s electrical system, ensuring it’s able to power the AC/heat and electrical appliances. Basically, your sleeper cab will contain all the necessities you need to hang out, relax, and sleep after a long day of driving.
Where Do Drivers Park Their Trucks?
Considering their gargantuan size, it’s not a surprise that semi-trucks can’t rest just anywhere. Generally, drivers park their vehicles in designated rest areas or truck stops located along their route. In some cases, they may be able to park at company terminals or a customer’s facility. In many areas of the United States, semi-trucks are prohibited from parking on interstate ramps and road shoulders, so it’s important that truck drivers double-check their routes and locate designated rest stops.
Do Truck Drivers Ever Sleep in Hotels?
Hotels can be quite expensive to sleep in on a regular basis, and they rarely have enough parking space for semi-trucks. So, while they’re on the job, most truck drivers prefer to sleep in their trucks. However, sometimes drivers might splurge on a hotel or motel for a little change of scenery.
What About the Bathroom?
Although sleeper cabs these days contain numerous modern conveniences, they rarely include a bathroom or shower. This means that most drivers occasionally park at a truck stop or rest area that allows them to use the bathroom. Modern truck stops are quite competitive so many offer clean, well-functioning showers these days as well. For example, TA/Petro, Love’s, Pilot/Flying J, and Sapp Brothers are known for providing showers for truck drivers. Typically, showers cost somewhere in the range of $5 to $15. Again, it’s important to check your route and do a little research so that you know where showers are located along your stretch of the highway.
PRO TIP: Many truck stop chains offer reward programs that you should take advantage of when you can. For example, many chains offer one free shower for every 50 gallons of fuel that you purchase. Others have tiered reward programs, which can make it possible to take unlimited showers in a month.
Remember that sleep isn’t just essential to your health and safety; it’s also a federal requirement for truck drivers. The FMCSA requires drivers to keep electronic logs documenting their driving time. So, after a long day on the road, find a convenient truck stop, grab some snacks, settle in with your favorite TV show, and enjoy some shut-eye.
Looking to further your career as a truck driver? Contact BLC Transportation today. We have opportunities for both company drivers and lease-purchase drivers. With our lease-purchase program, you can make 90 percent of the line haul while driving new trucks that provide comfort, fuel efficiency, and reliability. Plus, we offer bonuses and incentives, a health insurance subsidy, a friendly passenger/pet policy, assistance with registering for an LLC, and more. Join our team today!