Day Cab Truck vs. Sleeper Cab Truck: What’s the Difference?

Red Semi Truck

Many different types of trucks serve different purposes – two, in particular, the day cab and sleeper cab trucks.

What is the difference between a day cab truck and a sleeper cab truck? Day cab trucks don’t contain sleeper cabins attached to their back. They also have only one compartment over the truck’s engine. The sleeper cab truck, on the other hand, has a separate compartment, used for sleeping and resting, and is attached to the truck’s cabin.

Day Cab Truck

In most locations, it’s common to see day cab trucks traveling up and down the roads. Day cab trucks are usually used to efficiently transport retail cargo to their respective destinations, generally in less than a couple of days or so. They were never really designed for long journeys that’ll keep you on the road for long periods.

Sleeper Cab Truck

Hence, the rise of the sleeper cab truck. “Sleeper” refers to the sleeper cars that were used on trains offering sleeping facilities to the passengers that were traveling overnight. In 1967, in the United States, the DOT or Department of Transportation was constituted. This department, then, went further to set a maximum number of hours’ drivers could work. This now meant that drivers needed to find somewhere they could lay their heads after hours.

Many truck drivers preferred to rest and sleep in their truck cabins rather than book a room at a road-side motel. Truck makers began to take notice of this and started manufacturing trucks that have extended cabins that would provide drivers with a sleeping area. You can find similar regulations in Australia as well as many other places in the world. You might even say that sleeper cabins revolutionized the world of truck driving.

Which Is Better?

Semi Truck Parking Lot

Both trucks are excellent options and can help anyone earn a pretty good living. But, a lot of truck drivers will often give it up to the sleeper cab, especially those that have to spend months on end on the road. Sleeper cab trucks usually ride smoother, are much roomier, and get excellent fuel mileage.

Advantage of Day Cab Trucks

With that said, the advantage of day cab trucks is that they are usually a lot cheaper than their sleeper cab counterparts. They also allow you to carry slightly heavier cargos and can maneuver better in tight quarters, which is actually what makes it an ideal option for inner-city facilities.

Disadvantage of Day Cab Trucks

On the other hand, one downside of these trucks is its “doghouse”. With the truck’s cabin sitting just right above the engine block, a section of the cabin’s interior has to be raised a bit to allow for sufficient clearance, hence why theses trucks are also commonly referred to as “cabovers”. The cover rises typically up between the front seats, meaning that when it reaches time for the driver to get some shut-eye, you’ll need to take your shoes off at the foot-well and go on all fours when climbing into bed, or “doghouse”. For the limber and young, it isn’t too tricky, but those a little older might prefer being able to stand up and walk to bed.

Anyway, it comes down to being all about business and where the truck will be working. If predominantly in the inner cities, then a day cab truck would be the ideal option. It will make things much easier for you. However, if you intend to use the truck for over-the-road runs, spending months on end on the road away from home, then you might want to strongly consider going for the sleeper cab option for greater comfort.

Does Aerodynamics Matter?

Aerodynamics is essential with sleeper cab trucks. Most truck manufacturers are doing an excellent job when it comes to the aero in the vehicle, kudos to them. The trucks today have sleek overall designs that effortlessly slice through the air.

A lot of people think because day cab trucks don’t usually accumulate as many miles as their sleeper cab counterparts do, nor do they travel at high speeds, that investing in aerodynamics is a waste of time. Aerodynamics is helpful at almost any speed. Most fleets both keep and maintain their day cabin trucks longer than their sleeper cabs, so you must keep in mind the fuel costs you’ll incur over long travel durations when buying day cabs.

Working with Your OEM

However, one thing that brings some issues to the aerodynamics picture is that products from OEM aren’t interchangeable. This, in turn, means that component level comparisons wouldn’t be that meaningful. Working with your OEMs will help you better understand how the specifications of the vehicle differ when looking to pair the right application for the right vehicle.

 This just shows that aero features are basically a unit of interrelated systems and parts that work hand-in-hand to help improve the overall truck’s airflow. Getting rid of just one of the parts will end up interfering with the whole equation. 

Whether you’re getting diesel for two dollars or four dollars per gallon, aero devices contained in the total package will help lessen driver fatigue as well as save you some money here and there. Wouldn’t you consider that a winning combination?

MOBILE INNERSPACE Truck Sleep Mattress

If you spend a lot of time on the road, then you’ll appreciate how this mattress (view on Amazon) tries to make you feel like you’re at the comforts of your home. MOBILE INNERSPACE’s new gray checkered design not only looks both fresh and inviting, but it also has the same durability, comfort, and value you’d expect from them.

This innovative mattress-in-a-box allows easy installation and will take you just a couple of minutes to set up. Place it onto the sleeper cab and watch it roll itself into full-size. Even though the mattress is rolled packed, it doesn’t compromise on quality, which makes it easy to load and store in the sleeper cab. You’ll be doing your back a huge favor when buying this product.

Pros:

  • Compression rolled designed for easy maneuverability
  • 30-Day Sleep Guarantee
  • 4-inch high-density polyurethane foam
  • Department of Transportation approved

Cons:

  • Smaller than what you’d think
  • Missing camper

Milliard Memory Foam Mattress (Tri-Fold)

This portable and luxury sleep unit (view on Amazon) is perfect for both the day cab as well as the sleeper cab trucker. It samples 4.5-inch polyurethane medium-firm foam supports a 1.5-inch soft, spongy memory foam layer that helps provide the perfect balance between rich softness and supple body support, which can even send the lightest of sleepers into dreamland. All this without having to endure bedframes that poke and creak.

Not only is this perfect for the long-distance truck driver, but it can also be used for camping or sleeping an unexpected guest. Whatever the scenario, this product is sure to give you a fantastic sleep experience. Furthermore, this foam has been rigorously tested and is not manufactured using any PBDE flame retardants, ozone depleters, CFCs, formaldehyde, heavy metals, or prohibited phthalates.

Pros:

  • Has very comfortable support and therapeutic qualities
  • Has air-flow ventilation designed to help regulate sleep temps for maximum comfort and support
  • Constructed using luxurious memory foam materials
  • Includes a removable ultra-soft jacquard bamboo cover that has an anti-slip bottom

Cons:

  • Has a slight chemical smell to it

Lavizo Portable Car Heater

This high temp heat outlet (view on Amazon) can help ensure a convenient warming effect and fast heating of your cabin. It can quickly heat up the interior of your cabin within 1-minute and will keep you warm during those cold winter nights. It has an in-built fuse with an automatic power-off feature for protection. It’s also perfect for both defrosting as well as defogging. Also, you can install it with adhesive if you so desire.

Pros:

  • Rapidly heats within thirty seconds or so
  • 180-degrees bracket specifically designed to all for free adjustments (which makes it both very practical and convenient)
  • Easy-to-use

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t get as hot as expected

Conclusion – What Is the Difference Between a Day Cab Truck and a Sleeper Cab Truck?

Many people often choose sleeper cab trucks over day cabs because of extra storage and sitting, of course, and because most of them usually look so much cooler. A day cabin truck is just not that motor home you sometimes need. With that said, it depends on what you intend to use the truck for. If it’s for short distance traveling, then you don’t really need a sleeper cab. Hopefully, this post has informed you on what the difference is.

References:

Kris Peter

I am a lifelong advocate of sleep, continually learning, and striving to be better than I was yesterday.

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