Stand Up and Condo trucks

We have eight trucks to move from Nashville, Tennessee to Wilmer, Texas.  Wilmer is just south of Dallas a few miles on I-45.  This is the first “Full Hook Up” we have done since November and Joe’s appendectomy.  Our most recent trip from Dallas, Texas to Dixon, Illinois was only taking two trucks.  This time we are taking four.

Usually…and I do mean USUALLY, it takes us just a few minutes over two hours to fully hook up and be ready to  hit the road.  Last week at the pick up site in Nashville it took us most of the day.  Headlights were out, turn signals didn’t work, a wiper blade flew off mid swipe.  These trucks were supposed to be fully ready with no extra work to be done to them.  So we got to cool our heels while the work was being done.  We arrived at 9:00 a.m. and left at 3:00 p.m.  Long day just waiting around.

Hooking up at the pick up location

2001 was the first time one of Joe’s trailers was ready to hit the road.  Every time I see our pickup suspended in mid-air on the trailer I am amazed by Joe’s skill and talent.  I’m not the only one that is in awe.  People that walk up to watch the process gasp and take many steps backward as the pickup is raised in the air.  Then the questions fly out of their mouths faster than we can keep up with.  Did I ever tell you how proud I am of Joe?

This always amazes me

As you can see, from the photo below, there is a difference in the truck heights between the two of these.  The one of the left is a “Stand Up” sleeper truck and the one on the right is a “Condo” sleeper truck.  All four of these trucks are manufactured by Freightliner.  They are the Columbia class.

Stand Up and Condo trucks

What this means is that the “Stand Up” sleeper has enough height a person can stand up inside the cab to get to the sleeper section behind the driver’s seat.  There is only one bed (or bunk as it is called).  There are “closets” (loosely used term) to hold the driver’s clothing and other things that will be stowed during travel.  There are shelves in the sleeper area to hold a television and a microwave.  Some trucks have a designated area for a small refrigerator.  These trucks are, literally, moving homes.

Stand Up sleeper trucks are designed for solo (single driver) or teams (two drivers).  In “team” driving one is sleeping in the bunk while the other is driving.  After eight or ten hours they switch to keep the truck in motion.  Fuel stops, bathroom breaks, and quick grabs at food are the only times that team drivers stop.  Rough life that is.

For the team drivers they have to share the small storage spaces.  Generally husband and wife are team drivers so the antics and fight over shared space is normal operating procedure.  For teams that are not related, by marriage or family, there is always the possibility of having one slob and one neat nick within the cramped confines.  Can you imagine the banter that ensues?!

My boom set up

“Condo” sleepers are taller, have a window at the top of the sleeper cab, and have two beds (bunks).  Bunk beds to be exact.  The closet spaces are taller, although  narrow.  The shelf space is about the same as in other trucks.  Just enough space for a small television and a small microwave.

Condo sleepers were created to give the team drivers more space and comfort.  Not much comfort, especially on the top bunk, but the space is roomier.  For solo drivers they have tons of space to cram their junk.  Have more junk than closet space….chuck it up on the top bunk.

Years ago, back in 2001 and 2002 we used to have to go to places to pick up trucks that had been repossessed and stored at dealerships or storage lots.  Some of the trucks we picked up were beyond mind boggling with the junk left behind.  Condo sleeper trucks were crammed with so much stuff from the roof down to the floor.  The bottom bunk had a very small area for the driver to sleep.  I wondered if that person ever feared being smothered by the junk as they rolled around in bed.  Creepy!  I won’t even tell you about the smell 😦

One day, I will figure out how to take a good photo of the inside of one of these trucks to show you the closet space and the shelves.  I’ve tried on numerous occasions and have failed at each attempt.

When I began riding with Joe in 1998 the standard sleeper truck had no head room.  The bed, or bunk, was just behind the driver’s seat.  Closet space was a shaped piece of metal tubing to hold hangers and storage was under the bunk.  For the driver to get undressed for the night he/she had to sit on the bed to disrobe.  Often banging their knuckles on the ceiling as they took off shirts.  Stooping to keep from banging their heads on the ceiling to take off their pants or jeans.  When the higher roof heights were manufactured in the early 2000’s the truck driver’s that got the first Stand Up sleeper trucks were the envy of the road.

One day I may tell you about a trip from Vermont to Florida with a big honkin’ hairy spider that appeared and disappeared, all the while I drove, from different areas of the dashboard.

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About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

6 responses to “Stand Up and Condo trucks

  • Jann Gray

    Leslie – I am always happy when I get on email and see that you have a new blog post! I never know what the topic is going to be…but I ALWAYS know that I am going to be educated, entertained and/or intrigued. Today was no exception!

    Love you girl…and am hoping that while you are getting these trucks back and forth from Nashville that we will be able to connect!

    Jann

    • Message In A Fold

      You two try to stay warm out there in Colorado. Temps in the Denver area have a habit of changing from minus to up in the 40’s within a couple days during the winter.

      Thanks for the love 😀 most times I never know what to write about. I was told by an English teacher, many years ago, to write what you know. So with that advice you get stuff you never wanted to know 😉

      Love you – Leslie

  • Maureen Mathis

    I don’t remember when, but you HAVE done a post with pics of the interior of the sleeping cab area. We got to see the bed, the storage and I think even the fridge (or maybe it was the space for the fridge). I was amazed at how tiny the space was, but it seemed like there was even a tiny shelf for a tv to sit on, but maybe I just dreamed it. I feel like I’ve learned so much about trucks since reading your blog; I definitely am a better driver around trucks and have a new respect for their difficult lifestyle! Thank you so much for all of your efforts in educating us!

    • Message In A Fold

      I kind of remember that. A couple years ago I think. You would imagine that I would remember what I’ve posted but that was, seriously, longer than 5 minutes ago and my memory sometimes fails me 😛

      I’m happy to know that you are learning something from my foolishness and feel safer on the roads with the big trucks.

      Love you my friend – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Yep you definitely did photo the inside of one of those trucks – remember it well with the various hidey holes for storage too 🙂 Also remember the photos of one of the trucks complete with all the junk still inside – yuk!
    Oh Leslie you didn’t drive with a ginormous hairy arachnid did you??? OMG I would have been out of that darn truck quicker than a rat up a drain pipe 🙂 No way would I have travelled with a monster that had 8 legs!!
    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Trying to get photos standing inside the trucks, camera lenses zoom out but don’t zoom in.

      That spider was a terror. About 2″ and fuzzy. It would run along the dash and up the windshield. One time it came down the front of the dash and I tried to stomp it with my foot. It ran off and I nearly wrecked. Too much excitement for me.

      Love you my friend

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