We all know, that sleeping patterns are extremely important when it comes to your health, and there is many jobs that are very hard to work with, when it comes to sleeping patterns and a tractor trailer driver, is sure part of the madness of Sleeping and waking up all in one days worth.
Let’s begin explaining generically a Trucker’s sleeping pattern first.
In order to understand sleep we need to understand how their e-logbook works.
A truck driver gets 11 hours of drive time, and 14 hours of on duty time. Allowing to work up to 70 hours a week. Let me explain:
* He will go on duty at 8 am on his E-logbook, kinda like clocking in for work.
*His 14 hours will begin then.
* Now before he can start his truck he has to use 15 min to do a pre-trip (I will get in to this at another time)
* Once that is done, he can start to drive, his next stop will be picking up a load.
* All that time the e-logbook will categorize it as driving time, with his on duty time still running.
*His 11 hours of drive will begin.
* Let’s add traffic his 30 minutes drive is now an hour.
* He is no longer driving, but his on duty clock keeps going, he will chain his load, this procedure can take 10 min to 45 min depending on the load and weather.
*Destination Charlotte NC, 2 Hrs trip becomes 4 hours with accidents, bumper to bumper.
He has give or take 9 hrs left on his On Duty hours.
He has give or take 6 hours Left on his Driving time Hours.
Hope that made sense because, if he has not enough hours of one or the other, he will be sitting or using a truck stop to reset and refresh his Clock. When he is done for the day and needs to reset his clocks, he needs 10 consecutive hours of Off Duty. He one day will start at 3 am, next day will be 11 am, so on so forth, but your bed time and your body internal clock knows than when it gets dark is when you suppose to sleep. Tiredness is a true issue in the trucking company and this schedule as unfair as they seem, are designed to protect you and the trucker.
Sleeping at home!
I have finally realized than when he comes home, either we are on trucker mode. Or we are on recharging mode!. You see when he is in the truck, waiting to get unloaded, or he is done for the day, the only thing left to do is watch TV or a phone to distract himself with, and when he is home, there is a lot to come home to. It takes a minute or two to get him to… as I call it Home mode, but once we are in that mode, things become normal per-say with eight hours of sleep, and sleeping patterns that are good, remember he only has one night or two nights at home which makes that not enough for him to help with his mood, or his health. Remembering that even one day of sleeping at home is better for your trucker, the schedule that you may have planned for him and his return might need to go in the trash, just keep your head up, because that sometimes is all we can do for our truckers.