Over the road tractor trailers have come a long way in only a few years. Until recently, truck design was seldom focused on comfort, drivability, or usability. That has changed. Modern truck designs prioritize ergonomics, convenience, and safety. Today’s modern trucks use state-of-the-art electronics, cab purposed products, and driver input to make OTR (over the road) tractor trailers a home away from home.
Bedding – There are hundreds of manufacturers specializing in truck mattresses. The most common are nylon-covered, hypo-allergenic, hard core foam centers with soft foam tops. They’re available in a variety of sizes. These are a far cry from the thin bed rolls, sleeping bags, or sleeping in the seats, which earlier drivers dealt with.
Kitchen Appliances – No longer a hot plate plugged into a roadside motel, but mini-fridges, microwaves, coffee pots, etc., have made life on the road more palatable.
Entertainment – When it’s time to take a break, drivers are no longer limited to the local AM radio talk show. By using AC/DC transformers, TVs with built-in DVD players and stereos have become common.
State-of-the-Art Electronics – The world has caught up with over the road truckers. iPods, iPads, and laptops have all made life on the road easier. GPS units, cell phones, and other devices provide up-to-date weather, road conditions, and traffic updates for a safer, better prepared long haul.
The Driver’s Seat – Not only have creature comforts been considered for the resting driver, but for the working driver as well. Seats, which were not much more than straight backs with springs and stuffing, are now designed for comfort with multiple adjustment settings. Dashboards and gauges are laid out with the driver in mind, and even the ride has been vastly improved.
OTR trucks have come a long way. When it comes to truck design, drivers are no longer an afterthought or taken for granted, but given the consideration they deserve. OTR driving is a difficult job and a large responsibility. Drivers should be offered everything available to make their job more comfortable and safer. No, it’s not your father’s truck, but we think he’d be proud to drive it, don’t you?