Semi Truck With Sleeper History

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 02/17/23 •  6 min read

Semi Truck With Sleeper History

What is a Sleeper in a Semi Truck?

A sleeper is a tractor unit with an extended cab and a sleeping compartment mounted behind the cab.

Live Mechanic Help 24/7
Chat With A Mechanic Online

Connect with a verified mechanic in minutes. No appointments. No high fees. No waiting. Get back on the road and enjoy the ride.

These types of trucks are used by long-distance drivers delivering packages that cannot be delivered in a single work shift, and by law require a 10-hour sleep period.

Unlike other vehicles, sleepers are heavy trucks and must be handled by a licensed and experienced truck driver. We are responsible for the safe operation of commercial vehicles that carry the products we use every day.

The sleeper also allowed the drivers to be on the road for days or weeks at a time. They use the formula that one driver drives and the other sleeps. In this way the driver keeps the truck in motion continuously.

Not all trucks have sleepers. Heavy trucks were created only to carry heavy loads over long distances, but all trucks in those days were day trucks.

Day cabs do not have sleepers, so truck drivers had to stay in hotels or sleep in upright seats in trucks. When the first semi-truck sleepers were installed, this change allowed drivers to spend months on the road.

Live Mechanic Help 24/7
Chat With A Mechanic Online

Connect with a verified mechanic in minutes. No appointments. No high fees. No waiting. Get back on the road and enjoy the ride.

Today there are day cabs and sleeper cabs. You can choose it depending on your transportation needs and, of course, your budget.

How was the Semi Truck with Sleeper Found?

In today’s trucking industry, sleepers are often equipped with internet access, satellite TV and cooking electricity, much like modern RVs. Some even have granite countertops and gorgeous hardwood floors. These charming, well-appointed bedrooms are often taken for granted, but this kind of luxury wasn’t always the case.

In the 1940s, very few trucks had sleepers. Such were often considered “death traps” because the cab was between the engine and cab. If an accident occurs while passengers are asleep, there is little escape from the vehicle. Instead of a sleeper, the driver had to sleep in his own seat, stay overnight at a rest stop on the route, or find a room in someone else’s house.

The first regular model with overhead ties was developed by Freightliner in 1953. It was a small and uncomfortable space, but at least the driver could lay down without paying for the motel. Tighter regulations limited the amount of time a driver could drive continuously, and as distances increased, the need for larger and longer cabs increased.

Today’s thresholds are very different and often customized to some degree. In addition to a full range of equipment and amenities, we provide drivers with comfort and safety. They have certainly come a long way in the last 60 years.

Semi Truck With Sleeper History

How Much Does a Sleeper Truck Cost?

High-end towing units have ample storage space for personal items, blackout curtains and air conditioning. The only important thing they lack is sanitary facilities.

Most sleepers have a double bed that can be pulled down from the wall. A thick curtain usually separates the bedroom from his truck cab to keep light out.

Since truck storage space is limited, truck sleepers have several storage areas that can be used by the truck driver to store clothing, groceries, utensils, toiletries, and other personal items. .

The above features are the most common features found in sleepers with basic features.

Used sleepers range from $40,000 to $250,000. A new custom sleeper will cost between $200,000 and $300,000.

Sleepers are expensive, but you have to remember that they are there to make you more money in the long run.

In general, the more money you spend on a sleeper, the better the quality of the half-cabin super sleeper.

Equipping a truck with basic functionality is cheaper than ordering a custom high-end miniature house on wheels.

Why is It called a Coffin Sleeper?

In the 1920s and 30s, OTR truck drivers began adding small sleeping cabins to their trucks. These early sleepers were sometimes called coffin sleepers because of their incredibly small size and the danger to everyone inside if they tipped over.

But since then, truck sleepers have come a long way in size, comfort and safety. Today’s sleepers range from simple models with bunk beds and built-in kitchenware to bespoke luxury cabins with built-in motorcycles and his garage.

Depending on how much you’re willing to pay, the level of comfort and customization available increases. Used Vending estimates that the new sleeper (not including the tractor) will cost $55,000, while the custom deluxe version will cost around $150,000.

Purchasing both a truck and a new standard sleeper would be $200,000 to $300,000. But pre-owned can run anywhere from $8,500 to $275,000, depending on customization and sophistication.

What are the Things We Should Consider in Buying a Semi Truck Sleeper?

The quality of beds in sleeper cabins can have a significant impact on long-haul fleet driver turnover. For similar reasons, it also affects the retirement age of property owners. Most truck outfitters offer a choice of single beds, twin bunks, or larger beds for couples driving as a team.

Storage space is a must when staying in a relatively small sleeper for weeks or months. Luckily, manufacturers are adept at turning unused crevices into useful storage compartments. When looking for a new truck cab, the amount of storage space you need and the model you’re looking for has plenty of room.

These spacious bedrooms might have closet-sized bathrooms with portable toilets and showers or sinks. Fairly rare in OTR truck fleets, but relatively common among owners and operators.

Some drivers are put off by the extra cost of installing a bathroom in a sleeper cabin as most arrive in custom-built trucks!

The final consideration when investing in a truck sleeper, whether new or used, is the type of powertrain. Sleepers use far more electricity than day cabs! They have lights, HVAC systems, kitchen appliances, personal electronics, and even sleep aids like electric blankets and sleep apnea devices.

To get around this, most OEMs are now adding an auxiliary power unit (APU) to their trucks. The APU is specially designed for sleeping cars and the power supply is not connected to the starter battery. If you are looking to purchase a sleeper for a particular truck, you should check the type of auxiliary power source.

(Visited 72 times, 1 visits today)

Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.