The trucking industry is notorious for being full of tired, overworked drivers. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a stringent set of Hours of Service regulations, they have been bypassed in the days of paper logging. Carriers, shippers, and brokers have long been able to pressure and harass drivers to violate their HOS rules due to the fact that paper logs can be easily edited. When drivers finally get some time to rest, actually getting a good night’s sleep on the road can be a challenge. Here are a few quick tips for sleeping in your truck.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Start winding down and preparing for a good night’s sleep at least an hour before bedtime. Listen to some music, read a bit, or just do something that relaxes you and gets you in the mood for sleep.
- Try to stick to a pattern. Good sleep hygiene includes falling asleep and waking up at the same times every day. If you are one of the lucky ones and your schedule allows it, try to make sure you’re in bed at the same time each night and set your alarm at the same time each morning.
- Block out the light. Close all your curtains and shades. If that doesn’t block out all the light, try using a sleeping mask.
- Block out the noise. A driver’s sleeping environment is often noisy. Use earplugs or a noise machine to block out the background noise as much as possible.
- Get comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable in your truck, you won’t sleep as well. Adjust the temperature in your sleeping quarters to one that is comfortable for you. If your pillow and mattress aren’t quite cutting it anymore, consider upgrading to something more comfortable.
The ELD Mandate and Break Time
To say that drivers have mixed feelings about the ELD mandate would be an understatement. However, the mandate is actually beneficial to drivers in several ways – including cutting down on driver harassment to give drivers more time to rest and sleep. The FMCSA’s ELD rule has several measures to prevent driver harassment. ELDs are designed to only allow very limited edits to the driving records, and even then, the original record cannot be changed. Therefore, drivers are required to comply with all HOS regulations, guaranteeing them at least a full 10-hour break each day.
It’s time that tired employees stop being a characteristic of the trucking industry. With the ELD mandate set to take full effect in December, this is finally becoming a reality.