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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    A mental exercise in safety.

    Some of the jobs that I do for a living include driving a semi-truck. Years before I ever heard of hammock camping I thought that a hammock in the truck would provide a much better sleep then the 'bunk' in the truck.

    Here is my idea: Using 2" webbing, weave the strapping over and under each strap (think of basket-weaving, or lawn chairs). This should be strong to (a) support 10x body weight in the event of a crash, and (b) be comfy enough to sleep in while the truck is bouncing down the road.

    This is the strapping I imagine i would use: http://www.strapworks.com/High_Tenac...ene_p/htp2.htm

    Ships have used hammocks for crew sleeping for CENTURIES, the sway of the hammock could counter the motion of the ocean, and gently rock the sleeper to dreamland. I think that the same principal would work in a truck. Annoying bumps and jiggles on the road would be dampened allowing for better sleep.

    In the event of an accident the hammock would be the safest location in the truck because as the truck stops suddenly, all of the body-weight would be directed towards the back of the sleeper (like in a childs safety car-seat), and the hammock would swing towards the front of the truck keeping the sleeper from falling out.

    Safety issues:

    1) This whole concept is dependant on adequate supports and bracing the 'Sleeper' area of the truck. For this exercise lets assume it exists.

    2) A 100km/h -> 0km/h deceleration at 0.2seconds = 14G's of force. I used this measurement to determine that +10x body-weight support would suffice.

    Thoughts, ideas, discussion.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I've had that job; didn't like it too much.

    Where are you going to find enough of a span to hang the hammock? I certainly don't remember there being enough room in the sleeper for a hammock to fit when hung correctly. Maybe my truck was a POS, don't know as it was the only one they ever gave me to drive OTR.

    However, it would beat the daylights out of sleeping on the 'mattress'. Cool idea if you can make it work!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Most bunks are 10' wide, while this is very short of ideal it isn't impossible.

    6' of sleeping space for me =)
    2' of gather/bundle at head & foot. (i'm thinking a spreader bar might be necessary)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rug View Post
    Most bunks are 10' wide, while this is very short of ideal it isn't impossible.

    6' of sleeping space for me =)
    2' of gather/bundle at head & foot. (i'm thinking a spreader bar might be necessary)
    Yeah, with those dimensions I think a bridge style is going to be your best bet because you won't be able to set any real sag in anything else.

    Please, please, please post pics when you do this. I'd really like to see it.
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  5. #5
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    A lot of us have bridges exactly 10 feet long. You might even be able to go longer if you hung it diagonally over the mattress. You have a great idea.
    .. truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. - Herman Melville

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Is it permissable to have someone in that kind of set up while the truck is in motion? I don't know squat about OTR laws but I know in a passenger car any passengers must be in restraints while the car is in motion now days. I am at the age where I can remember when seatbelts were a rather expensive luxury. We drove to Florida a couple of times with us kids sleeping on/under cots in the back of the station wagon. Can't do that any more....
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Is it permissable to have someone in that kind of set up while the truck is in motion? I don't know squat about OTR laws but I know in a passenger car any passengers must be in restraints while the car is in motion now days. I am at the age where I can remember when seatbelts were a rather expensive luxury. We drove to Florida a couple of times with us kids sleeping on/under cots in the back of the station wagon. Can't do that any more....
    In most states, I believe that only applies to front seat passengers. Besides, those cabs are designed so one driver can sleep while the other drives. I think the hammock idea is safer than just laying on a pad in the back.

    Out here, a 'pet hammock' (not really a hammock, but it sounds cool) is advised for pets riding in the back seat.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Is it permissable to have someone in that kind of set up while the truck is in motion?
    Most OTR trucks have 2 beds. The lower bunk is a sheet of plywood with a foam pad on top. (like a bunk on a crank-up camper) This bed has ZERO protection for the sleeping person. I have often been thrown out of the bunk when the brakes have been pushed hard. It's advantage: it is deep (Queen sized bed in dimensions), is easy to get in & out of, and you can add additional padding/mattress. The top bunk is more like a twin-sized bed but it has TWO seat-belt attachments that form a cargo net covering 30% of the space to prevent the sleeper from falling out.
    The padding on this bunk is very minimal, and is best used by circus performers and 10 year old children. =)

    It is LEGAL in North America to have both occupied while the truck is in motion. It is also a requirement. If you are "Out of Hours" you are not allowed to sit in the passenger seat (passenger seat implies "On Duty/Not Driving"). You MUST stay in the sleeper berth.

    If I owned my own truck, I would remove both bunks. Replace the lower bunk with a table and chair (like what campers use). And setup the hammock where the top bunk is mounted.

    Anybody wanna loan me $100k so I can buy a truck and build this hammock? I could even drive to your location and let you test-hang it! =D

  9. #9
    Senior Member pedro's Avatar
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    This is a very cool idea, I hope that you try it. One thing occurred to me that you may want to take into account. Hammocks were used mainly on sailing ships, which ride entirely different from powered vessels. There is much less sudden jarring when under sail than under power. Berths on modern powered vessels are ideally barely bigger than your body, with retaining bars or webbing so that you can sleep through bad weather with no danger of getting launched out of your rack. As a mental exercise, you might want to think about how badly you'd get slammed into a bulkhead in the event of sudden braking/ hard turns/ rough gear shifting. Good luck and stay safe.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    If you have 10' width, then a Bridge Hammock is doable.

    The Bridge Hammocks that I make for us are 80" long with a 10" or 9' 11" ridge line.

    So you could hang with the ends of the ridge line tied to some attachment points and you would be set.
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