Day or night conduct your actions as though you are only a few feet from your fellow resting drivers pillow.  Maybe we can make this a new golden rule of the road.

My last blog post was on our Circadian Rhythm which can be interrupted quite easily. After a few incidents over the last few weeks, all of which I’m sure were not intentional still managed to break my night’s sleep.

I have several examples of events which have happened over the last month that have awakened me from sleeping while in my truck. There was a guy who decided to do a thorough and complete pre trip in between the rows of trucks in which drivers were asleep in their trucks. I applauded the thoroughness in which the driver was performing this pre trip inspection. I listened as this driver pumped the brakes down to test the brake shut off valves on the dash. What was not appreciated was all the noise that this required as I was then awake after being in a sound sleep.

The next incident I experienced was with a driver who evidentially had one flat tire on a dual wheel assembly. Once again, I was in a deep sleep as the road service man began to remove the lug nuts from this driver’s wheel. This created lots of noise not any more than 7 feet away from my ears. Needless to say… I again was awakened by all the unexpected noise.

The final unpleasant memory of which there are many and these are just a sample goes like this…. I’m asleep at a truck stop fairly close to the interstate and it’s a beautiful mid 60 degree evening, quiet and peaceful for one’s daily rest. This particular evening I’m in a truck with no APU, the temperature is just right and therefore, I have the sleeper windows open for air circulation. This was the perfect evening for meaningful restful sleep. After I’m well into a good sleep, the peacefulness soon was gone as a driver decided to demonstrate his driving skill by downshifting through each and every one of his gears at high RPM with straight stacks. While I must admit, he was quite skilled and I couldn’t detect any missed gears, I wanted to come unglued as once again I awoke from this unpleasant event. What is important from this last incident is the fact that it was totally unnecessary as the truck was on flat ground and had no need to utilize the Jake Brakes to that extent.

These incidents have made me think of my own actions within our parking/sleeping areas. (Travel centers, rest areas and any other parking area.) At the current time, I’ve been using a rental truck as my own truck has been at the test track. The rental truck has a very loud and annoying back up alarm and therefore, I try to pull into a parking area or coast backwards without the truck being in the reverse gear as to try to not awaken anyone. When I get up in the morning, if the trucks surrounding me have their curtains pulled and are still sleeping, I will pull the truck out of the parking spot to an area where no one is sleeping to conduct my pre trip inspection.

I don’t want to blame any drivers personally for their actions but rather I want to bring awareness to our fellow drivers that we each take one another into consideration when we are parked and resting. We all require good rest in order to be our best. Let’s be courteous and think of others.



Comments (2)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/T™, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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I try to be considerate of others,I think some drivers just dont know or dont care enough to keep the noise down.

April 25, 2015 17:51:59 PM

Interesting blog Henry. I was once a very light sleeper and when a baby roller over in the crib I was immediatly awake making sure everything was ok. I now can sleep through fire alarms at hotels and this is a true story. There are some noises that wake me such as the back up alarm, the alarm when a reefer starts, but I hear the noise, place the noise, and go back to sleep. What wakes me up and I stay awake until the people go away is talking. Talking beside a truck with the curtains drawn is not a normal noise of a truck stop and I have a very difficult time going back to sleep. The sad part is you bring up an abnormality in trucking talking about the thorough pre trip first thing in the morning and then the common occurrence of the use of jakes and straight pipes going through a truck stop. Consideration of people sleeping in their truck 24 hours a day should be observed and considered when deciding what work to perform on your truck when your neighbors are sleeping. As a team driver I am well aware of the noise people make in the day time while Bob is trying to sleep in the morning and the sun is up.

April 21, 2015 6:45:58 AM