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Day Cab Trucks vs. Sleeper Trucks

April 11, 2023

Explore day cab trucks and sleeper trucks. Compare their uses, benefits, and challenges. Plus, what you need to consider when choosing a used truck to optimize your trucking operations.

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Assessing your Transportation Needs

Trucks are an essential part of the transportation industry, and they come in different types and sizes. Two of the most common types are day cab trucks and sleeper trucks. Each type of truck has unique features and serves specific purposes.

The main difference between a day cab and a sleeper is that a day cab truck is designed to provide short-haul deliveries and not intended to be for sleeping. A sleeper truck is ideal for long-haul deliveries where drivers temporarily live in a sleeper cab. Sleeper cabs are heavy-duty trucks that need to be handled by licensed truck drivers.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • Used day cabs and sleeper trucks
  • Uses, benefits, and challenges
  • Choosing the right truck for the job


Day cab trucks are designed for short-haul transportation, usually within a radius of 200-300 miles. These trucks do not have a sleeping compartment, which means that the driver can only drive for a limited amount of time before having to take a break. Day cab trucks are commonly used in urban areas, where the distance between pick-up and delivery points is relatively short.

2014 International Prostar Plus Day Cab Truck


Day cab trucks are commonly used in the construction, agriculture, and delivery industries, where transportation needs are limited toa specific region. They are also used for hauling equipment, goods, and materials within a local area.


One of the primary benefits of day cab trucks is their maneuverability. They are smaller in size than sleeper trucks, making them ideal for navigating narrow roads and tight spaces. Additionally, day cab trucks are less expensive to purchase and maintain than sleeper trucks, making them a cost-effective option for companies that operate within a local area.


One of the challenges of using day cab trucks is the limited driving time due to the lack of a sleeping compartment. The driver may need to take breaks more frequently to rest and recharge, which can result in longer transportation times. Additionally, day cab trucks may not be suitable for long-distance transportation, which can limit the company's customer base.


Sleeper trucks, also known as long-haul trucks, are designed for long-distance transportation. These trucks have a sleeping compartment that allows the driver to rest and recharge during long hauls. Sleeper trucks are larger in size and have a higher horsepower than day cab trucks.

2002 Peterbilt Sleeper Truck


Sleeper trucks are commonly used in the transportation and logistics industry for long-distance transportation. They are ideal for hauling goods and materials across the country, and their sleeping compartments allow drivers to take rest breaks and cover longer distances in less time.


One of the primary benefits of sleeper trucks is the extended driving time they offer. The sleeping compartment allows drivers to rest and recharge. Additionally, sleeper trucks may be equipped with advanced technology, such as GPS and communication systems, that make long-distance transportation safer and more efficient.


One of the challenges of using sleeper trucks is their size and maneuverability. They are larger than day cab trucks, which means that they may not be suitable for navigating narrow roads and tight spaces. Additionally, sleeper trucks are more expensive to purchase and maintain than day cab trucks, which can be a challenge for companies that operate within a local area.



When choosing the right truck for your needs, there are several factors to consider. The distance of transportation, the type of cargo, and the budget. Additionally, companies need to consider the safety regulations that apply to their industry and ensure that their drivers are adequately trained and licensed to operate the chosen truck.

Some of the popular truck brands include Mack, Peterbilt, and Volvo. Whichever brand, purchasing a used truck requires careful evaluation and due diligence.

Seven things you need to consider before buying a used truck:

  1. Condition and Maintenance History: Assess the overall condition of the truck, including the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, and tires. Request maintenance records to gauge how well the truck has been maintained and if any major repairs or issues have been addressed.
  2. Mileage and Usage: Consider the mileage on the truck and the type of usage it has seen. Higher mileage may indicate more wear and tear, while trucks that have been subjected to heavy-duty hauling may have experienced greater stress on their components.
  3. Inspection and Test Drive: Prioritize a thorough inspection of the truck by a qualified mechanic who specializes in commercial vehicles. A test drive can help identify any potential mechanical or performance issues that may not be apparent during a stationary inspection.
  4. Service and Repair Costs: Research the availability and cost of parts for the specific make and model of the truck you're interested in. Some manufacturers and models may have more affordable or readily available parts, which can impact long-term maintenance expenses.
  5. Vehicle History Report: Obtain a vehicle history report to check for any accidents, title issues, or previous ownership details. This report can provide valuable insights into the truck's background and help you make an informed decision.
  6. Price and Negotiation: Research the market value of similar used trucks to ensure you are getting a fair price. Be prepared to negotiate with the seller based on the truck's condition, mileage, and any identified issues during the inspection.
  7. Financing and Insurance: Explore financing options tailored for commercial vehicles and obtain insurance quotes specific to the day cab truck you plan to purchase. Factor in these costs when assessing the overall affordability of the truck.

By considering these factors and conducting thorough research, you can increase your chances of finding a reliable and cost-effective option that suits your transportation needs.


Black Star can make the buying process easier for you. We have a proven track record of working with customers in the transportation industry to provide solutions that meet their specific needs. Used trucks regularly make their way into our auction listings, and also our inventory for immediate purchase. You can see all pre-owned day cabs and sleepers we currently have available.


If you are unable to locate a particular truck to meet your needs at this time, we may know someone who has one that is just waiting for a buyer, or we would be pleased to conduct a customized search for you.


If you need to know more about how to buy the right truck, contact us today.

This article is our representation of useful information and is not intended to be a complete guide for making the right decision for your company. Ask our experts- or your own - for specific advice based on your unique circumstances.


Day Cab Trucks vs. Sleeper Trucks
Susan Hyde

Susan’s 25+ years’ experience includes technical content on heavy construction equipment and large-scale, mass-production machinery. She has developed and written technical manuals, industry-specific articles, instructional material and more, and writes for Black Star’s technical and non-technical audiences.

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