Truckers sleep routine

As an OTR driver, does one always maintain the same sleep schedule? It says in DOT regs that a trucker must take a ten hour rest after driving eleven hours. That leaves three hours unaccounted for. Would that mean that if I started driving on Monday at 9am I would be starting at 6 am Tuesday and 3 am Weds?

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Jan 06, 2009
by: jimmy

RE: sleeping and trucking. i drove for 32 years and i always got my rest with maybe 2 or 3 exceptions. how did i do it? it's simple, i managed my time. you have to be somewhat flexable. i am a day person. i workduring daylight hours an sleep at night and i sleep 8 hours nightly. being flexable means going to bed at 6 pm sometimes or getting up at 3 am if necessary. know your body and remember you are the captain of the ship. most trucks you see in the ditch at 5 am are drivers that thought they could do do without sleep. when you get dispatched, take a few minutes and run it thru your mind. can i do it safely and legal, if not refuse the load. you aren't superman. be upfront with dispatch if you can't do it. you will have to fudge on your logbook almost daily. you are at the mercy of traffic, equipment, shippers, dispatchers, weather etc. if you manage your time, you will have smooth sailing 99% of the time. keep those wheels rolling. no goofing off.

Oct 17, 2008
How honest are you?
by: Anonymous

I have found that in my husbands situation--sleep? Unfortunately is a figure of most's imagination. If polled, I am willing to bet a dollar to a doughnut that fudged logs, and little sleep is truly the way it is.

I personally know all of the FMCSA regulations, unfortunately (depending on who you drive for) most companies will push you beyond your hours. It is stated that you are only allowed behind the wheel for 11 hours, sleep for 10, and the other 3 are considered "on duty" this meaning loading, unloading, load securement ect. It means times that you are "not" behind the wheel. You will also see a lot of companies pushing drivers to use load times to have "split time in the birth" of course we all know that is not to be done.

It would be ideal if you could have a routine, unfortunately in this occupation, it is just not something that is regularly possible. Unexplained delay in load's (loading, unloading, ect) can keep people from doing that.

Sep 26, 2008
Answer to truckers sleep routine
by: The Crazy Trucker

Now way, no regular routine for sleep! (wishful thinking)

That 11 hours of driving could start at 5am or 9am.

As the rules stands right now, from the time you start driving for the day you only have 14 hours to do 11 hours of driving. After 11 hours of driving or 14 hours of being on duty you must take 10 hours off duty or in the sleeper birth.

In between your 11 hours of driving you can blow 3 hours and still get your full 11 hours of driving.(you do what you want in that 3 hours, eat, take a shower, use the bathroom, take a break, wait to get loaded or unloaded, whatever) If you blow more than that 3 you can't legally get your 11 hours of driving in until after your 10 hours off or in the sleeper birth.

It's a little difficult to accomplish this sometimes if your shipper or receiver keeps you waiting for ridiculous amounts of time. That's when logging get to be challenging.


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