Being a truck driver is not easy. People that choose trucking as a career will face many challenges that the general population will never encounter. In fact, if you’ve never been on the road as a trucker, odds are you haven’t even thought about some of the challenges they face.
Two of the leading stresses that truck drivers face each day are tight deadlines and traffic. The only way to ease the stress of these two challenges is to keep the wheels turning and stay on the road. If deadlines are tight, simple things that people who have never been a truck driver often become a challenge because staying on the road is so important. One of these hurdles is bathroom breaks.
So how do truckers go to the bathroom? There are actually several options available to truckers that will likely surprise you. In the article below, we’ll cover the most common methods drivers go to the bathroom.
Many factors such as diet and medications, can impact how often a person needs to go to the bathroom. On average, most people need to go pee about 7 – 10 times per day. According to a study by the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, they found that 98% of all people go poop anywhere from 3 times per day to 3 times per week. Given these numbers, it goes without saying that bathroom breaks take up a significant amount of time which can add up if your job requires you to be moving such as a truck driver.
I once road with a newer driver that could never figure out why he was always missing his delivery deadlines. He placed blame on dispatch handing out unreasonable deliveries. After riding with him for just half a day, it became obvious why he could never meet a deadline. He was always stopping! Part of the issue is that he was always stopping to go to the bathroom. But while he was in the truck stop, he’d buy another drink. He’d guzzle it down, and an hour later….you guessed it. He needed to stop again. This was a continuous cycle. Unfortunately, he wasn’t open to feedback on making changes to his habits and he didn’t last long due to him consistently missing deadlines.
Below are some of the options available for truck drivers to use the bathroom while out on the road. Some options are more appealing than others. However, each of these are real world examples that I have seen that truckers use to save time going to the bathroom.
In Truck Bathroom – It is possible to get a truck with a bathroom. This is by far the easiest, cleanest and most comfortable way for a truck driver to use the bathroom while on the road. However, this convenience comes at a very steep price. These trucks are not very popular due to the price. I’ve only spoken to one other driver that has a bathroom in their truck. That driver actually didn’t like having the bathroom in his truck because he had issues finding places where he could empty the tank while out on the road. (The waste tanks are emptied just like a camper or RV).
Truck stops / Rest Stops – From my experience, it is near impossible to stop at a truck stop and be back on the road within 10 minutes. Many times, I hear drivers say, I can stop and be back on the road in 5 minutes, but I don’t think that is possible. Each stop that a trucker makes wastes a significant amount of time. Sure, you may only spend 5 minutes in the store or truck stop. But what about the time you spend sitting at the red light when you got off the interstate. The time spent looking for a parking spot. And then the time to get back on the interstate and up to full speed. It simply is not possible to go to a truck stop in under 10 minutes. From my experience, total time lost per stop is just over 15 minutes.
Truck stops are probably the most comfortable option available for drivers to stop and relieve themselves, but I also think they are likely the biggest drain on time lost.
In Truck Porta Potty – This option is what I recommend if you are looking to skip having to stop at truck stops. I think it’s also handy to have this option in your truck for those time where you can’t find a truck stop for whatever reason. These in truck porta potties look just like a regular toilet. They sit in your truck and take up a very small space. The one I recommend, which you can find on Amazon at this link, even has the ability to be secured to your truck to avoid any issues of falling over or sliding around. At the relatively low cost of these units it’s hard to find a reason not to pick one up.
The first thought that you will probably have with this option is “How much does it smell?” The great thing about this toilet is that it comes with small chemical balls (for lack of better words) that you put into the toilet before using it. These chemicals break down your waste and then eliminate the smell. I was extremely skeptical of how well they would work. However, I was blown away at how well it worked. I highly recommend this option.
Stadium Pal – I have to admit, I have not tried this. However, I know a few drivers who do use this option while on the road. Only guys will be able to use this option, but there is something available for women below! The Stadium Pal was made for medical purposes for men who were not able to get out of bed to pee. The item works by the guy point his “stuff” into a container that then funnels the urine to a bag which can be emptied later. I know some guys that use this while driving so they never have to stop. That may or may not be an option for you, but something for you to consider. You can pick this up on Amazon by clicking here) and it is very inexpensive.
Women’s Personal Toilet Funnel – This is the option available for women. Unfortunately though, I’m not aware of a way for women to go to the bathroom without stopping. This item works by creating a “shielded like funnel” for women to pee into. The urine will then drain into a leak proof container which can be emptied at a later time. Even if this option isn’t something you want to use every day, it might be something that’s handy to keep in your truck in those times where it’s impossible to find a bathroom. This too is available on Amazon for a low price, which you can find by clicking here.
Below are a few times that I have found that have helped me limit the number of stops I make to use the bathroom.
- Watch what you drink – It’s important to drink water and stay hydrated. However, drinking too many energy drinks and sugary items can cause you to go to the bathroom more often. These drinks are also very unhealthy for you and cause you to pile up a ton of calories on liquids and not actual food.
- Time your bathroom breaks – It’s important to stop and take necessary bathroom breaks. Not taking necessary bathroom breaks can lead to health problems, most commonly urinary tract infections (UTI’s). However, you can reduce how often you need to stop by timing your liquid intake. It may take practice, but trying to hold off drinking until you are about 1 -1.5 hours from your next stop. By the time you arrive at your stop, odds are you will likely need to use the bathroom.