Sleep Schedule

Topic 7964 | Page 1

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Lady Lanes's Comment
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I have been thinking about a trucking career for years but the only thing that is making me hesitate to get started is the sleep schedule or the lack thereof. What is the sleep schedule like for a driver and will I be tired all the time? I hate the feeling of being constantly fatigued.

Lady Lanes's Comment
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Can anyone tell me about their personal experience with this ? Anyone? Anyone? I know that it is hard to get a good night's sleep all the time but I am just curious about other ladies' personal experiences with sleeping at night/day or a variation of the two.

Amy P.'s Comment
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Speaking for myself, I don't have an issue. Learning to manage your time is one of the more tricky things to master when you start, but once you do, you will have it down. The rules state that after 14 hours on duty, you have to take a 10 hour break. After 70 hours, you have to take 34 hours. There are work-arounds that will keep you rolling more if you want, but there's nothing wrong with a nice routine wherein you get a sound sleep each night. If a driver is constantly fatigued, they're not managing their time properly.

Bridgette A.'s Comment
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Hello Lady Lanes, I drove truck for 20 years, you will get into your own routine out there and yes there will be times when your log book says your on the sleeper line however no one told your body that lol, there will be times when your sleep pattern will be interrupted. The important thing to remember is that you will have to learn how to adjust to things like daylight saving time, this always messed with me. Your loads don't always go smooth either therefore you may be running late or may have had a break down, these are all things that will interrupt your sleep schedule. The truth is when I was driving I always got my rest but at all different times of the day and night. There is no set schedules in trucking just to be honest with you. However it is a wonderful career choice and if you love traveling then you will most likely love it. For me learning to adjust was a small price to pay for a joyous life changing experience. Good luck and I hope you decide to go for it :)

Lady Lanes's Comment
member avatar

Hello Lady Lanes, I drove truck for 20 years, you will get into your own routine out there and yes there will be times when your log book says your on the sleeper line however no one told your body that lol, there will be times when your sleep pattern will be interrupted. The important thing to remember is that you will have to learn how to adjust to things like daylight saving time, this always messed with me. Your loads don't always go smooth either therefore you may be running late or may have had a break down, these are all things that will interrupt your sleep schedule. The truth is when I was driving I always got my rest but at all different times of the day and night. There is no set schedules in trucking just to be honest with you. However it is a wonderful career choice and if you love traveling then you will most likely love it. For me learning to adjust was a small price to pay for a joyous life changing experience. Good luck and I hope you decide to go for it :)

Thank you for your reply, Bridgette A. I guess I can get used to an irregular sleep schedule sometimes, just as long as I'm not rolling around sleep deprived. That sounds like it could be dangerous!

C. S.'s Comment
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As everyone has said, you will have nothing near a "normal" sleep schedule in trucking. Some days you will get 8-10 hours of sleep, others you'll be lucky to get three. You will get to bed and wake up at all different hours of the day and night to accommodate pickup/delivery schedules and timezone differences. If you're anything like me over the counter sleeping tablets will become your best friends. It is a bit better for solos than for teams, as a team driver I need to sleep while the truck is moving more often than not.

I will say there have been times when I am simply too tired to drive safely. In that case I find a safe place to pull off the road and take a nap, sending a late call for the load if needed. Obviously it's not something you should be doing on a regular basis, but I have no problem telling my company I'm too fatigued to drive, and they've never said a word about it. It's better that the load be late than not get there at all because you fell asleep at the wheel and crashed, potentially killing yourself and other motorists in the process.

One more thing---team or solo driver, do NOT allow yourself (or your teammate if applicable) to sleep or doze in the passenger seat. If you can fall asleep there, you can fall asleep behind the wheel. Telling your body it's not acceptable and going to the sleeper when you're drowsy reduces the likelihood that it will happen in the driver's seat.

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