Issues with quality of life in a truck?

Discussion in 'Questions To Truckers From The General Public' started by CuriousBetsy52, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. zaroba

    zaroba Medium Load Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    South East PA
    Yea, the cleaning thing, I've taken things into the shower with me to wash them.

    Sink...I wish. But I only drink water so am quite cautious about using it for stuff other then drinking. The up to 30 gallons I keep in my truck only lasts about a month. Using it for other stuff would mean stopping at walmart more often to refill the jugs and unfortunately they don't all have those refill machines.

    I want to up it to 50-60 gallons, but at 8lb per gallon water does add quite a bit of weight.
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  3. LoboSolo

    LoboSolo Medium Load Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    Highway 20
    It's just a small thing, but its a big thing.

    Every time the truck goes into a repair shop, they send out the midget mechanic to pull your truck in. Mr. Midget's first move is to completely change every possible seat adjustment, when that midget ####### is only going 100'. Seat height, seat forward, lumbar adjustment, seat pitch, headrest, side supports, EVERYTHING.

    You pick up your truck, and for the next 3 days as you're trying to get your $1200 seat back to a non-crippling position, your body pays. Sore back, sore neck, sore shoulders, bad digestion.

    Luxury cars have memory for each drivers seat preferences. Truck seats don't seem to.


    Put covers (like they put over bomb switches on a fighter jet) over every adjustment switch but seat height (air ride) so those little ####ers can't change anything else for their 100' ride.
    TravR1, D.Tibbitt, Dave_in_AZ and 2 others Thank this.
  4. CuriousBetsy52

    CuriousBetsy52 Bobtail Member

    Sep 15, 2020
    Thanks to you and others who mentioned this. This seems incredibly doable and I'm honestly shocked at how few options the market has at the moment for this sort of thing. Obviously we'll need a lot of time to figure out stuff like proportions and how it would operate, but right now we'd really like to hear some more about what to expect developing for a truck. Different cab models vary wildly, so if you know of any standard among them for free space to put a smaller tank (we're thinking 6-10 gallons, prioritizing ease in refilling and storage over longevity), where our power hookups are, etc. that would be very helpful. Is there enough overhead space that we could hang the tank and make the sink gravity fed? Or something closer to the ground with a pump. Securing the tanks and such is also a major concern. Is there anything built into trucks that could make securing the parts easier? Really though, thank you all for all of the helpful feedback.
  5. TravR1

    TravR1 Road Train Member

    Nov 9, 2017
    Somethings bother some drivers while other things don't. Like a urine dispenser will help some, but others are fine with peeing in a bottle.

    BUT, i dont think anyone is fine with sleeping without AC in the summer.

    My truck turns on and off and is supposed to maintain a temp in the cab while I am in there. Except it doesnt work. If its 70 degrees outside it won't turn on. Sometimes it just doesnt turn on period. You can imagine what that was like for me in Pheonix when it was 110 outside. Even when its cool, my body will heat up the cab, and when there are two drivers its even worse. Some places we park arent the safest, we cant just leave our windows rolled down (Detroit, Memphis, etc)

    That "opti-idle" technology is crap. Truck turning on and off all night wakes up some guys too.

    The work around is an APU, but people have complaints about those too. I havent used one yet so I cant give an opinion.

    Better climate control, definitely.
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  6. gentleroger

    gentleroger Road Train Member

    Jun 1, 2010
    There are actually a lot of options on the market considering the size of the market. The issue isn't engineering, it's economics and trade offs.

    In order to put in a sink you must give up storage space. You need space for the water tank, the sump tank, and the sink itself. Considering that the cab is roughly 700 cubic feet, most of which is unavailable for storage, you start having to make choices on what you're going to carry. Adding an ape/epu to my truck meant a loss of 30 cubic feet of storage space. Adding a 2,000 watt inverter cost another 2 cubic feet. I used to be able to keep all of my tools and fluids in the drivers side box; spare clothes/bedding under the bunk; and manuals, training materials, and emergency supplies in the passenger side box. Now my tools and spare parts are spread between the two side boxes and the under bunk area is for all intents and purposes useless for storage. I went from being able to run 3 weeks without needing to resupply to barely being able to do 12 days.

    Both the clean water and sump tanks need to be designed to handle frozen water, so at 7.5 gallons to the cubic foot you're going to need at least 3 cubic feet for each tank, plus a cubic foot for the sink itself, and another for space over the sink to make it functional. While the water tank can be suspended over the bunk, you can't put the sink over the bunk, so the only practical spot is over the "tv area", so which is of greater utility?

    The space equation changes if you spec a truck for solo running, but now we start moving into economics. My company ( a mega company whose color scheme is un-rhyme-able) wants to spec their trucks in one configuration. It took years for our intermodal division to win the ability to spec their own trucks. The more configurations you order, the higher the cost. The team division gets the most new trucks, then those trucks are 'handed down' to the van truck load after 300,000. If VTL spec'd trucks have sinks, but former team trucks don't, drivers assigned to former team trucks will get cranky, and quit. Replacing a driver costs $10,000, so it's cheaper to spec all trucks as 'team trucks'. Two drivers have twice the clothes (hopefully) that a solo driver has, so giving up storage space will 'cost' double or more.

    Continuing the economic thoughts - give a driver the choice between a $500 bonus or a sink. My guess is that 70% would take the $500.

    Now we move to weight - a 6 gallon tank is going to weigh 50 lbs. Add another 10 pounds for the sink and hardware and 30 for used water. You're adding 100 lbs to the truck. My company decided that it was worth paying $14 more for landing gear to save 7 lbs. The fuel economy difference (over 10,000 tractors) was deemed significant. While I think the engineer who made this decision is a misogynistic 'donkey' who is more concerned with his own advancement than the good of the company, I have to admit his math is rarely wrong. So a sink would have to cost less than $50 before it's going to start costing the company money to operate - BEFORE maintenance costs.

    On the surface an APU saves a ton of money. But when you start looking at maintenance costs it becomes cheaper to idle - even with emission engines - than utilize apus once your fleet size grows over 100 trucks (see the math provided by "I rub my genitals against girls at the bar but I'm really good at math" engineer from above").

    In short, the products on the market for RVs can be easily adapted for CMVs, but the will to do so is not present. Adapting refrigerators to cmvs is a much less daunting project from an engineering perspective, but fridges are still an add on cost to a new cmv and I wouldn't expect them to become a standard offering anytime soon.

    There's a reason it's been a century since any real changes t0 the mousetrap - all the "improvements" cost more than they are worth.
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  7. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    Gals in the office to show more leg.
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  8. D.Tibbitt

    D.Tibbitt Road Train Member

    Apr 26, 2013
    I just put mine on the floor and push it all the way back. And recline the seat to about 130 degrees.. Very simple setting that u dont need a computer to remeber
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  9. MericanMade

    MericanMade Medium Load Member

    Aug 14, 2019
    A powerful vent hood that will allow me to blacken a ribeye without coating everything with an oily film.
    D.Tibbitt and Dave_in_AZ Thank this.
  10. Tb0n3

    Tb0n3 Road Train Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    That's why I cook on the catwalk. Only an issue if it's raining. An awning would be nice I guess.
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  11. LoboSolo

    LoboSolo Medium Load Member

    Jun 21, 2013
    Highway 20
    I do too. But Mr. Midget starts pushing buttons and moves everything else, lumbar, roller in the seat, etc. and 2 hours later I can barely walk when I get out.

    As far as a bathroom, just do it better than 3 Pakis driving team. Put the hole in the floorboard between the driveshaft and the drives so nuthin gets splattered when it drops through. Just don't use it if you are parked at a truckstop. :)
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