SLEEPER CAB PETITION STIRS SUPPORT
❝22-inch Somewhere better than a foam mattress isn’t too much to ask.
— Tony Elkins
HOW are you supposed to manage your fatigue when you’re sleeping in what feels like a shoebox?
Truckie David Noel started a Facebook page earlier this month calling for a change in length regulations – measuring everything from the “forward-most king pin back”.
“Just everything in front of that articulation point should not be included in the measurements,” he told Big Rigs.
The Facebook page kicked off on November 2 and before the weekend was out had more than 400 likes from truckies and other individuals showing their support for his call to change the measurement rules.
“The idea behind this is not to extend the overall length of the trailers but just have better ride quality and sleeping quarters,” he said.
Mr Noel, who stands at six feet tall, said he couldn’t lay flat in a lot of bunks. He said he’d been playing around with the idea for the last 10 years but recently was inspired by the power of social media so put his suggestions out there.
“What’s the worst that can happen, I’m just going to watch it grow and grow and try and get (the suggestion) out there,” he said.
“The idea is the power of the people, (I want) to get more numbers behind it to show that it’s more than just me (who thinks this), see what they think and take it from there.”
Mr Noel received a positive response from truckies on social media.
Tony Elkins said he had argued this for decades.
“The standard space for an office worker is 10sq m not including walkways, tea room, meeting room, toilets and other amenities,” he said.
“Of course it is expected that this area is quiet and has air-conditioning. This is for 7.6 hours a day (38-hour week).
“But it’s perfectly acceptable to send a truckie to work, eat, rest and sleep for a week in a fraction of that space.
“Imagine having your office workers arrive Sunday afternoon and sit and work, eat and sleep in a cubicle – no, half a cubicle – until Friday. Only leaving to unload in a warehouse or shower in a service station. Unreasonable you say?
“Yet thousands of truck drivers every week are expected to do just that. Somewhere better than a 22-inch foam mattress isn’t too much to ask.”
Bradley White said sleeping bunks kept getting smaller to accommodate more load.
“Bloody disgraceful really,” he said.
“Where is the fatigue management so we can get a good rest?
“Shouldn’t matter what length prime mover we use as long as the trailers’ lengths are legal.”
But Dom Williams said he’d rather see it be compulsory to allow drivers to fit a microwave so they could eat home-cooked food while away for days on end.
“At least then we wouldn’t have to eat roadhouse crap,” he said.
“Most of the big outfits in the west won’t allow any modifications at all, even if it would be a health benefit.”
You can find the petition by searching on Facebook for “Change the 19 and 26 metre rule”.
SIZE MATTERS: All manner of large sleeper cabs were on display at the Dallas truck show earlier this year.
David Noel started the petition on Facebook.