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So you were driving down the highway the other day, and as you passed a semi-truck, you noticed something odd about its cab. Behind the front doors was a long section of cab, complet with its own windows. No semi-trucks do not have a back seat, but some have a long cab because they include a “sleeper” section where the driver can grab a nap when they pull over for a break.

Do truck drivers sleep while driving?

There is no semi-truck available with an autopilot mode so drivers can sleep while it drives (not even the Tesla semi). But long-haul drivers do pull over and sleep on multi-day trips. Many trucks are set up for these kind of trips with a sleeper compartment behind the driver’s seat.

A semi-truck with a retro chrome-plated sleeper parked in a field.
Semi-truck with custom sleeper | Alliance Group

Federal and local regulations govern how long a truck driver can be on the road before they must take a break. These guidelines are designed to keep the driver alert so the driver and everyone else on the road stays safe.

Some drivers pull off the road and find a motel every time they have to stop. Others park at a truck stop and nap in the driver’s seat. A good middle ground between these options is buying a truck with a sleeper section built behind the cab.

What is a semi-truck sleeper?

Some semi-truck cabs just have a front row of seats but others have an entire second section with a bunk and small appliances. This semi-truck “sleeper” is a sort of mini RV built into the truck. Long-haul drivers use this sleeper section for a nap or an entire night off when driving for multiple days.

A custom black semi-truck with a large sleeper on back.
Semi-truck with sleeper cab | Alliance Group

There are a range of semi-truck sleeper cab configurations. Some shorter sleeper cabs save space by having the bunk above the living area and a ladder behind the seat. Others are longer and offer more room to stretch out (Road Warrior).

Some sleeper cabs have basic appliances, such as a TV, coffee machine, or even a kitchenette with a microwave. Basic comforts like these can make long-haul truck driving much more comfortable.

Do semi-truck sleepers have toilets?

Very few semi-truck sleepers have built-in toilets, but some of them do. If RVs have toilets, there’s no reason a sleeper truck couldn’t have a toilet, but few drivers need them.

2023 Freightliner Cascadia with custom sleeper | ARI Legacy

Engineers have built sleeper truck toilets that fit in boats, RVs, and even in small airplanes. There are obviously portable toilets that can fit in large semi-truck sleepers.

So why do most semi-trucks not have a sleeper? Because truck drivers have to stop to fuel up anyway—often multiple times every day. When they pull over to sleep in the truck, it is often at a truck stop where they can eat and shower as well. So while semi-truck sleepers could have a toilet, few manufacturers bother.

Next, find out why some semi-truck trailers have a tiny door set into their main door or check out a semi-truck sleeper for yourself in the video below: