How much rest do truck drivers typically get while out on the road?

by Jeff
(Edmond, OKlahoma, USA)

I am concerned about the amount of rest truckers get while out on the road. How many hours of sleep do they typically get? How often and how many breaks/rests do they typically take in a day?

How many trucking companies fatigue their drivers on a continual basis? I am concerned because I usually need about 9 hours of sleep to function at my best. I can get by with 8 or even 6 but much less than that and I am totally useless.

Also, when does the work day start each morning. I have heard stories about drivers getting up at 2am to start their day.

Is that common?

Thank you guys for all of your help.

Comments for How much rest do truck drivers typically get while out on the road?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 19, 2011
by: NickV

Well Jeff you will learn this once you get in school and to explain it is pretty long but the jist of it is you have 14 hours a day to work, thats it. 11 of which can be driving, after that you have a mandatory 10 hour break.

This is the law, DPS WILL check your log book and if you dont follow this you will be pulled off the road so dont try and get exactly 11 hours cause it never fails for a truck stop to be full and have to move on to another one. Your dispatcher should be more than happy with you moving 450 to 500 miles a day and if hes not then contact a fleet manager.

If you are on strickly interstate highways with no traffic in 11 hours its possible to get 600 miles so you can understand with a break or fuel 450 to 500 is understandable.

As far as starting at 2 start when you can. More time that load is under you the more time your missing out on the next one and time is money out there. But as far as sleep you have that 10 hours to do as you please.

Sometimes dinner may take longer or laundry and you only get 8 but that time is given to the driver to rest for the next drive. Like Hervy said, DONT EVER let your dispatcher walk on you and make you feel like you have to drive illegal. You let him/her do it once it will happen again and again. With the new laws out if DPS catches you, and they will trust me, they will strip your license quicker than you got it.

Best thing to do is run legal no matter what and thats that. If your with a company that kinda hints to you about running double logs or cheating your books its not a reputable company and its time to look elsewhere.

Stay clean, stay focused, and dont do anything your gut tells you not to. 90% of truck driving is common sense.

Oct 19, 2011
How to deal with being forced to run unrested
by: Hervy

I call this driver abuse, lol.

Can't lie, there are a few trucking companies out there that will put this stress on drivers.

Mostly though, it won't be the entire trucking company to do this, it's more likely to be individual dispatchers that try to handle a trucker this way.

What you have to do is stand up for yourself at the beginning and let them know you intend to run legal and get enough rest to no be a safety hazard on the road.

Most of the time this should curb the problem in the few places that you will encounter this issue. You should talk to someone over the dispatcher if he/she continues to try and run you illegal.

Document your communication around these attempts to get you to drive illegal. I wouldn't stress about this. Just be proactive.

After the fact, you can report a company for trying to make you run unsafe.

If they fire you, you also have recourse.

Go here How to check out and report a trucking company

Also, if they have a record of higher than the national average accidents or out of service events due to log falsification or out of hours violations, it might be an easy case to build.

About getting rest Getting proper rest

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask A Trucker.