Truckers Health What is your master fire escape plan for your sleeper berth?

Sam McCloud

Well-Known Member
How can I receive training on how to to learn not to burn or die of smoke inhalation should my cab become full of smoke or flames while I am sleeping?

To survive a cab fire you need:

  1. to be warned or waken in a hurry if something starts to burn or emit smoke: usually bad or overloaded wiring will start to smoke or cook before flames erupt
  2. protect your lungs and eyes from smoke
  3. see your way out safely through a cloud of smoke
  4. have one or more avenues out of the vehicle safely
A vehicle cab is a tight confine to try to escape from in an emergency so time is even more crucial than would be as in a home fire.

Some drivers tie their doors shut to provide security against criminal breakin, but this could slow evacuation in case of smoke or fire.

If you use one or more smoke detectors in your cab or berth, you have to have a way to position them so they detect the smoke as quickly as possible. In a company truck, you need a handy way to hold your personal detectors securely but temporarily in place in a proper position for early smoke detection without damaging company property.

Why OSHA has not mandated smoke and CO detection equipment to be permanently built into all commercial vehicles in which employees may sleep is beyond me.
The side emergency windows/exits in sleeper units do not look easy for non-athletic drivers to get out quickly also. I think your best chance to get out fast is by being awaken as early as possible once smoke is given off so you can beeline out the front cab door.

If I were a driver sleeping in cab, I would always have enough clothing on while sleeping to be decent or protected from cold weather should I have to get out quickly.
I would sleep in my socks in winter and always have sweat pants and a shirt on. In the summer I would have at least gym shorts and shirt on.
 

Sam McCloud

Well-Known Member
Use the ejection seat.
That's one safety advantage fighter pilots have over truck drivers. I'm trying to be serious, however.
I might find a fire-safety forum and pose this question there or maybe I can ask my local fire chief. Do CDL schools or employers ever train their drivers on such matter? A truck is a 80,000 pound rolling death trap after all. Death by burning seems the most horrible way to see one's Maker face to face.
 

Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
That's one safety advantage fighter pilots have over truck drivers. I'm trying to be serious, however.
I might find a fire-safety forum and pose this question there or maybe I can ask my local fire chief. Do CDL schools or employers ever train their drivers on such matter? A truck is a 80,000 pound rolling death trap after all. Death by burning seems the most horrible way to see one's Maker face to face.
The captain goes down with the ship
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
Training? No, there is none. You bail out of whichever door isn't engulfed in flames. I think you're being a little paranoid about the situation. Truck fires do happen, but they're not a frequent happenstance.
 
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r3gulator3

Friendly Neighborhood Former Technician
Supporter
In the sleeper I’m going out my bunk door. The one marked in case of emergency. My favorite thing about Petes. They still leave you a way out of the bunk without having to kick out a glued in window. I think all trucks should still have an easy open egress door in the bunk.
 

Sam McCloud

Well-Known Member
In the sleeper I’m going out my bunk door. The one marked in case of emergency. My favorite thing about Petes. They still leave you a way out of the bunk without having to kick out a glued in window. I think all trucks should still have an easy open egress door in the bunk.
Peterbilt's PACCAR brother, Kenworth, also has an old-fashioned easy-to-get-out-in-an emergency easy-to-load-your gear sleeper door too!

I'm going to have seriously rethink my loyalty to VOLVO!

Kenworth for years has been my favorite OTR truck brand and the classic W900 conventional tractor with long-tall hood is still the most beautiful rig in production today.

I've just looked at late model Freightshakers, including Cascadia, and Mack too. They both too appear to have the usual all-American sleeper door! Better shake than burn still!

I'm going to have to be sure any company I work for only assigns me a tractor with a SLEEPER DOOR.

It appears that just Volvo and International have those mickey-mouse kick-out sleeper windows.

I was praising Volvo too soon before knowing more about them. I was praising Vovo about their exclusive rollover airbags. Screw this! I would rather get crushed to death quickly by a rollover than get barbecued alive trapped in a burning sleeper.

I'm going to contact both Volvo and International and tell them how stupid this is. It is not only inconvenient but dangerous not to have egress doors on the berth area.
 
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Ontario Outlaw

Hozer Witta Hood
Supporter
Peterbilt's PACCAR brother, Kenworth, also has an old-fashioned easy-to-get-out-in-an emergency easy-to-load-your gear sleeper door too!

I'm going to have seriously rethink my loyalty to VOLVO!

Kenworth for years has been my favorite OTR truck brand and the classic W900 conventional tractor with long-tall hood is still the most beautiful rig in production today.

I've just looked at late model Freightshakers, including Cascadia, and Mack too. They both too appear to have the usual all-American sleeper door! Better shake than burn still!

I'm going to have to be sure any company work for only assigns me a tractor with a SLEEPER DOOR.

It appears that just Volvo and International have those mickey-mouse kick-out sleeper windows.

I was praising Volvo too soon before knowing more about them. I was praising Vovo about their exclusive rollover airbags. Screw this! I would rather get crushed to death quickly by a rollover than get barbecued alive trapped in a burning sleeper.

I'm going to contact both Volvo and International and tell them how stupid this is. It is not only inconvenient but dangerous not to have egress doors on the berth area.
What?! :confused-96:
 

Sam McCloud

Well-Known Member
View attachment 47799

🤷🏻‍♂️

I dunno what’s wrong with expressing your opinion in that you are the captain of the rig and are responsible for handeling your emergency.
Yes, this now-wiser future OTR captain has decided his land ship must have a berth door!

I want to totally eat crow for praising VOLVO too soon!

But even I as the captain don't get DESIGN my own ship that the company has in its fleet.
 
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r3gulator3

Friendly Neighborhood Former Technician
Supporter
Yes, this now-wiser future OTR captain has decided his land ship must have a berth door!

I want to totally eat crow for praising VOLVO too soon!

But even I as the captain don't get DESIGN my own ship that the company has in its fleet.
Unless freightliner revamped its cascadia they do not have an emergency door in the berth. Only paccar products as far as I know. Mack may but I’m not sure.
 

Nomad1

Well-Known Member
Unless freightliner revamped its cascadia they do not have an emergency door in the berth. Only paccar products as far as I know. Mack may but I’m not sure.
Is he thinking about the door on the outside that has access to under the bunk?
 

r3gulator3

Friendly Neighborhood Former Technician
Supporter
Is he thinking about the door on the outside that has access to under the bunk?
🤷🏻‍♂️

Maybe? But I wouldn’t want to try to egress out that bastard. Have to be a smaller dude than me. And a contortionist.
 

Nomad1

Well-Known Member
🤷🏻‍♂️

Maybe? But I wouldn’t want to try to egress out that bastard. Have to be a smaller dude than me. And a contortionist.
Yeah. I can't fit out it. Maybe they put the door back. Maybe Mike will tell us?
 
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