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DOT Sleeper?


In planning my first truck purchase I need to ask this once and for all. What constitutes a DOT regulation sleeper?
Do you have to have one if you run a log book? I assume so.
Is not an extra cab dually, with fold-down bench seat in the rear considered a suitable 'sleeper'?
Can anyone give me specifics on what the sleeper has to entail?

Thanks so much!

Sleepers are not required on trucks but you'd have to get a motel every night your away from home to log legally. Motels can be very expensive, we estimate $16,000 to $20,000 a year. Sleepers and sleeper kits for back seats range from approx $1,500.00 to as much as $6,000.00. Check the links section here on the forum for different options.

As far as legal sleeper berth dimensions I think it's 75" by 24" by 24" The measurement taken off the centerline access.  There's a ton of sleeper information in this forum. I'll try to locate some of it for you in between booking loads today and direct you to it. Maybe some of the others on here can help with that?

Here's a link to the regs on sleeper berth dems.

I log off duty and have prolly 10 dot level 1's this year. I passed them all. I carry a tent in warm weather. In cold weather I sleep at the drivers lounge in a truck stop.

Where I do actually sleep is neither of those places.

If you dont have an actual dot certified sleeper one can get by with what I do.

You need to be on your A game when they approach you with questions. Its a good idea to carry a bottle of visene to get the red out of your eyes when they are approching you. Thats the 1st thing they look for.

If you seem tired, they will drill you with many questions.

Its a game even when ypu have an actual sleeper.

Oh, never sleep on public property. Always sleep on private property. Its rare that they will come and check on you, but it does happen even on private property.

The best advice is a person needs 7-8 hours of good sleep. If you sleep in your truck make sure you can rest comfortably. You might be ok for a night or two, but as the days go by, bad and uncomfortable sleep will get you in trouble one way or the other.


I've ran the same way as Carey before   . The back bench seat of a truck is uncomfortable. Sleeping crunched up with a seat belt sticking in your back is no fun. Your much better off with a sleeper, or back seat sleeper kit. I would not recommend going out on the road without some sort of comfortable bed that meets legal sleeper berth demensions and regs. You need a decent nights sleep or you'll hate being on the road.

If you stay in a motel you can write that off at the end of the year but its still taking money out of your profit. I am not out of town on a regular basis so I split the motel and backseat up. If i'm gone one or two nights I will use backseat. If i'm gonna be gone longer I will get a motel.
Bama Jack

Latest news on sleepers

Need a little advise from the pro's on if I can use the back seat. I have been reading the Forum for a while and am kind of confused I hope to be on the road in a week or two. Buy the way Great forum . Thanks

what kind of truck is it? most likely the answer is no it is  not legal.
Bama Jack


Thanks PBALLER for your response to my question the truck is a 2007 3500 HD Chevy Crew Cab Dually. The information that Big John posted looks like it might be the way I might go. I plan to be out as much a month at a time. Just didn't want to be hassled to much be the man. Thanks guys and gals for the help BamaJack.

Sleeping in the backseat (no sleeper arrangement) is uncomfortable at best and it is illegal.  That is, it's illegal to log that time as off-duty or sleeper berth.  A motel every night would be great, but the cost will eat you alive.  Even a couple nights a week in a motel can be difficult to cover, especially on a slow week.

I never had a CMV inspector ask for motel receipts, but I have heard of it happening multiple times in Maine and Colorado, for whatever reason.  

It can be done and odds are you will not have trouble, but as mentioned before, it's a game you will play on a daily basis and it's something you will grow tired of quickly.
Bama Jack

Sleeper Kits

Thanks HayJay I hear what your saying but have to do something just can't afford a motel every night at least not now. Do you think that it would do or make any differance if I bought a sleeper kit and took out the back seat like some of the guys on the forum? Also do you know of any one getting a ticket with the back seat sleeper kits? Thanks again for your help Bama Jack.

Bama Jack we have 3 guys right now using that crew cab sleeper kit 2 Dodges and 1 Ford. None of them have been hassled at all. One of the guys here with the 3500 GMC took his passenger and back seat out and built a bed on the passenger side of the truck (front to back). He says he sleeps good in it. It might be a little ify on the measurment (?) but he's been through several inspections without any trouble. He'll be here in my yard tonight, if you want i'll take some measurments this weekend for you to see exactly how ify it is? Something like this might get you through winter at least? Save you some Motel money.
Bama Jack


Thanks Gary for you response I would appreciate any help that you and the guys can give. Hope to be on the road after the first of the year an just know that I can't stay in a motel just not enough money right now to much startup cost :D Thanks again Bama Jack.

Bama Jack, sorry the truck left to get unloaded by the time I noticed your responce. The truck might be back in the yard later today. Will check when I can.
Bama Jack

Gary not your fault I was late in responding to you I was out of pocket and got back late. Again thanks for the forum and the good info. that you and the guys post on it very helpful. Again much thanks Bama Jack.

I used to have a dodge with the standard cab and was sleeping in the seat. I never got in any trouble, but more recently PA has been getting aggresive about motel receipts. I have been fortunate that when they did I had just been home and so they dropped it. I recently purchased a newer truck with a quad cab, so I took the back seat out and made up a wood platform and put a mattress on it. The length isn't long enough for a legal sleeper, but it has been working well so far. I had an officer out to do my safety audit about 3 weeks ago. It went real well and he didn't find any violations, but he told me that if I don't have a sleeper, I must have a motel receipt. He said that the mattress in the back would be fine and that the other officers he works with would ok it. He's sure you could find an officer that would measure it and give me trouble over it, but that in his opinion if it looks like you could sleep fine there it passes. I am still logging off duty not sleeper berth since I know it doesn't meet the requirements for a dot legal sleeper. You could try something similar. The mattress I put in is 7" thick and 31 X 67 and made of foam with a nice quilted cover. The regs only require 4" thick but I wanted something comfortable. So far so good I'll see how it goes over a period of time.
Bama Jack

Thanks Clyde and welcome to the forum. I had thought about making my own either out of wood or metal that would save me some money. I have looked at the factory sleepers they look good but cost a lot of money and you might still get cited. Plan on starting to operate after the first of the year if I don't hit any snags. Again thanks for the information and I wish you continued sucess.

It all depends on the officer you get at the time whether or not
you get busted sleeping in your truck that is not legal.
First of all, read the 'green book' part 393.76 on sleeper berths.
-Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations--available in all
truck stops and bookstores. You must have one anyway.
Basically you need 75"Lx24"Wx24"headroom above your mattress
to be legal. also need forward access to the driver's cabin.
The CCS kit gives you the length [per window inserts] and width due
to rear seat area and forward access between bucket seats, but fails
on legal headroom clearance. You also legally need a safety net over
the sleep area[tested to withstand 6000# force].
The Woodhouse kit covers ALL legal aspects, comes with DOT
certification, and a price tag around $2600. It also comes with a
sawsall to cut off the door panels, the only way to get the 75" length!!
Just kiddin', but they do have to cut your rear door panels out, removing
speakers and window controllers, rendering your rear windows inoperable.
You must also have a Woodhouse installed at their shop in Blair NE.
You always have a 50/50 chance of getting caught, not bad odds, but I
can personally attest to the value, safety, and importance of getting the
proper rest you need on a daily basis having been out in this industry
for four decades. Not only is safety important so you can return home to
your family [and get the honey-do's done], but overall good for your wallet and your conscience [living with causing injury or death to another].
I also don't want anyone on the road driving around me impaired, but
I am selfish.
Everyone is different and can be comfortable in many different ways and degrees. One or two nights out is completely different than twenty.
Many regulations and laws are stupid. Some are for our own safety.
Some people need saving from themselves. If we don't have some lawful
guidance forced on us, we would have chaos. Just imagine raising your children WITHOUT ANY RULES.........
From my experience, I have to agree with a law that requires drivers of
commercial vehicles to get proper daily rest. However, I strongly
disagree with the HOS [hours of service] rules in place at this time.
I also think many non-commercial drivers need severe training
and discipline.
ccoop has some pics on this forum of his CCS kit,
and I have some nice pics of my Woodhouse.[in 'Garage'-ozo Woodhouse/
MegaCab-posted May 17, 2009]
If your not comfortable, you won't stay out long-you won't make as
much $$$ if you don't-you might not be safe-just the simple bottom line.

Good post Ozo, your right it depends on who stops you and how they read the little green book. For instance I had the DOT inspector here at my place and we talked at lenght about the rules surrounding sleeper berth demensions. This guy was sharp, he caught it right off saying the CCS kit is legal under the definition because it states the measurements for the sleeper berth is to be taken off the center line access. Meaning the 24' width and height do make the CCS kit legal in his eyes.

We have a few of these kits among our group and to date nobody has been hassled. We also have had guys here with the Woodhouse kit and none of them were hassled either. Whatever a guy does he needs a comfortable place to stretch out and get his rest.

I found this thread again for reference, but thought I'd post this pic I saw awhile ago.

The big thing on the back of the tractor is a cargo box, and it does have two steer axles which are almost certainly not air ride equipped.  Doubt there's any AC either!


I drove long trucks similar to these for years. I had a flat deck behind the cab though, wasn't into dry van freight. I'll try to find some pic's of some of the trucks I use to drive and post them up.

I read the link to the sleeper regs that Gary had posted I guess my question is even if you don't use the sleeper while your driving do you still have to have access to the driving compartment and a restraint system. Just seems strange if your a solo driver, it seems kind of hard to drive while in your bunk. Just seeing if I was reading it right. Thanks

dink wrote:
I read the link to the sleeper regs that Gary had posted I guess my question is even if you don't use the sleeper while your driving do you still have to have access to the driving compartment and a restraint system. Just seems strange if your a solo driver, it seems kind of hard to drive while in your bunk. Just seeing if I was reading it right. Thanks

Hmmm, good question. Forum Index -> Business
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