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Semi Truck Insulation

Semi Truck Sleeper Cab & Cabin: Soundproofing and Insulation

Semi Truck Sleeper Cab & Cabin: Soundproofing and Insulation

Comfort matters in a semi truck, both in the cockpit and the sleeper cab. Improving quality of life can help to retain top talent and make for a happier workforce, which in turn leads to better results. A happier workforce is a better workforce and will help ensure a safe delivery. Trucking companies are taking notice, so improved amenities in semi trucks are becoming a reality nowadays.

Tired of driving an outdated semi truck? You’re not alone and the negative side effects are real. Proper soundproofing and thermal insulation in a semi truck is not just about comfort — it’s about safety and general wellbeing. Research indicates that traffic noise can lead to symptoms of depression and even problems in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. For those who spend the majority of their day on the road, the noise adds up.

The good news is that you can DIY improve your truck’s comfort with some help from Second Skin Audio.

Comfort matters in a semi truck, both in the cockpit and the sleeper cab. Improving quality of life can help to retain top talent and make for a happier workforce, which in turn leads to better results. A happier workforce is a better workforce and will help ensure a safe delivery. Trucking companies are taking notice, so improved amenities in semi trucks are becoming a reality nowadays.

Tired of driving an outdated semi truck? You’re not alone and the negative side effects are real. Proper soundproofing and thermal insulation in a semi truck is not just about comfort — it’s about safety and general wellbeing. Research indicates that traffic noise can lead to symptoms of depression and even problems in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. For those who spend the majority of their day on the road, the noise adds up.

The good news is that you can DIY improve your truck’s comfort with some help from Second Skin Audio.

Free USA shipping
Free USA shipping

Popular Semi Truck Soundproofing Materials


Damplifier Pro™ Deadening Mats
Luxury Liner Pro™ Automotive Noise Barrier
Mega Zorbe™ Hydrophobic Melamine Foam

Semi Trucks are Becoming More Comfortable

Gone are the days when semi truck cabs were stripped down to the basics and designed to avoid regulations. Modern semi trucks are designed to be functional for the driver and comfortable for as long as the haul may take. The trends in the industry are changing to focus on 3 new aspects of day-to-day life.

  • Health — If you can’t get a decent night’s rest, your work will suffer. Modern sleeper cabs help you stay rested and stay warm in the winter or cool in the summer.
  • Safety — No longer are driver cockpit layouts decided by where mechanical cables and lines have room to fit. Modern wiring and ECUs allow layouts to be simpler, with gauges and components in clear view and easy access.
  • Quality of life — Driver retention is a big deal to trucking companies. If a fleet can demonstrate that it cares about the quality of a driver’s life, it stands a better chance at retaining drivers and saving on recruitment and training.  

If you want a better idea of the health and safety improvements available in today’s semis, look no further than the Detroit Assurance® 5.0 suite of safety systems from Freightliner. It includes fused radar and camera technology that adjusts your cruising speed and tracks the truck’s positioning within lane markings — good luck finding that in your grandpa’s semi. This is just one of many examples where drive safety and ease of use have been prioritized.

How far exactly has technology, design, and comfort come in truck sleeper cabs? Let’s take a look.

1970s/1980s Semi Trucks Modern Semi Trucks

Ease of Driving

  • Gauges placed according to proximity to engine
  • Designed to avoid regulations
  • Did not always have power steering
  • Gauges placed for easy access
  • Designed for safety/comfort
  • Brake assist and power steering are standard

Temperature Control

  • Air conditioning uncommon
  • Usually had to idle the engine overnight for heat
  • Cab over engines often overheated drivers
  • Air conditioning standard
  • Separate heating unit standard (idling not required)
  • Engines no longer positioned under cab

Noise Control

  • Little to no sound deadening materials
  • Sound deadening materials commonly installed

Amenities

  • Ice chests for food preservation
  • Little to no storage
  • No running water
  • Thermoelectric coolers/portable or built-in refrigerators
  • Fold out storage
  • Sink with full running water (even a toilet/shower)
  • TV available in rear of cab
  • Plentiful outlets for your various electronics

Seat and Bed Comfort

  • Single bunk located directly behind driver’s seat
  • Stiff, non-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Fold out bunk and sofa commonly available
  • Ergonomic, adjustable driver’s seat

What a Modern Semi Truck Sleeper Cab Looks Like

Semi truck sleeper cabs have come a long way from the 1970s, but the pace of improvement has leaped forward in just the last few years. Truckers have been DIY customizing their rigs for decades (good luck pulling yourself out of that YouTube black hole). Just like many innovations, companies eventually learn from what everyday Americans are doing and bring it to the broader market. Here’s a peek into what a Second Skin Audio customer did to improve the comfort of his sleeper cab.

Second Skin Truck Sleeper Cab Project

Beastly and burnt orange. Our favorite color after Second Skin blue.

Let's start with shutting down that road noise. He covered the floor and as high up as he could get on the firewall with Damplifier Pro. It makes a big difference when you're sitting on top of the engine.

After exposing the roof above the driver, clean it off and then stick some more Damplifier Pro up there to damp more of that structural noise. You can add some sound absorption and heat insulation with Mega Zorbe if you have room above the headliner.

In the truck sleeper cab, you primarily want to focus on insulation unless it's too loud for you at night. If it's too loud, build yourself a noise barrier with Luxury Liner Pro and add sound absorbing materials like Mega Zorbe.

Since noise was a big problem, they opted for a Luxury Liner Pro noise barrier. To be effective, you need to cover as close to 100% of the wall that's letting noise through as possible.

Well done my friends. Well done indeed.

We love that DIY mentality, and are here to help you with your build if you’re looking to do the same type of project. If you’re looking to experience the top-of-the-line comfort of a modern semi truck, check out some pictures of a 2020 Freightliner Cascadia sleeper. Please note: it’s impractical for most truck drivers to have this extravagant sleeper cab. Every pound of weight in the cab is a pound that can’t be used to transport goods. Still… it’s pretty cool.

The Modern Supersized Truck Sleeper Cab

Inside look at the driver’s seat. Notice the number of seat adjustments and pull-up bar.

Inside view of the cockpit with its angular dashboard, putting all controls within reach.

Inside look at the sleeper cab, complete with an electric cooktop, sink, and ample storage space. The bunk in the back folds up to reveal a bench and dining table. The floor is open for push ups or a dance party. Up to you my friend.

View of the cockpit from the back of the cab. That curtain is awesome thermal insulation and helps keep the sleeper cab comfortable at night. Make yourself comfortable and watch some TV while you wait for the DOT to say it’s ok to drive again.

Door adjacent to the kitchen opens to a shower, plus a full mirror! No more carrying that shaving kit into the rest station. Everything’s right here.

Take a pit stop whenever nature calls thanks to your own portable toilet. Seems like it could be a pain in the butt to maintain, but hard to argue that when you need it… you need it.

How to Soundproof and Insulate Your Semi Truck

Insulating your semi truck isn’t just about comfort — it’s about safety and quality of life. Along with improving temperature regulation, a pristine insulation job will help knock out road noise. Sound and noise control is imperative to someone who spends so much time driving. After 7 days and 60 hours on-duty, the road noise takes a toll – whether you’re aware of it or not. The good news is that even if you don’t drive a brand new truck, you can take steps to improve the sound deadening in your 18 wheeler. The approach is two-fold, depending on your needs: soundproofing the cockpit and insulating the sleeper cab.

Generally speaking, are your issues during the day as you drive? If so, focus on the cockpit. Are your issues at night, preventing you from getting good rest? Focus on the sleeper cab.

Driver's Cockpit Soundproofing and Insulation

Insulating and soundproofing your semi truck’s cockpit is a lot like doing the same in a car: it’s a matter of deadening structural noise and blocking/absorbing airborne noise. The difference is, with a semi truck, your engine is a lot bigger and the vibrations are more intense.

To combat the structural noise, deaden metal components with a vibration damper. The best performing option out there is our Damplifier Pro deadening mats, which can be installed within door panels, over floor panels, and under the roof. Damplifier Pro’s proprietary formulation is engineered to put an end to the structural noise created by truck engine vibrations. Stop the vibrations, stop the noise.

Once you’ve sufficiently deadened the sheet metal, create a barrier between you and engine, exhaust, and road noise. Do this with a sound blocker like Luxury Liner Pro, our best automotive noise barrier. A dense sound blocker is the only way to keep out that diesel noise and any other airborne sound waves making their way into the cockpit. Luxury Liner Pro works best when installed on top of a sound deadener, which makes it the perfect complement to Damplifier Pro.

The two materials installed together will greatly improve the noise blocking and sound quality within your cockpit.

Sleeper CaB Insulation and Soundproofing

When it comes to the sleeper cab, it’s all about heat insulation. This is where you spend your time at night, and if you’re not lucky enough to have an effective heating unit within the sleeper, you’re going to end up relying heavily on insulation (and blankets!).

Although it’s not as common for truckers to idle their engines at night as it used to be, some still do it. If this is the case for you and that engine noise is keeping you up, you need 100% coverage of Luxury Liner Pro on the wall that faces the front of the truck. This sound barrier is critical to keeping out the diesel noise keeping you up at night.

If you’re hearing noise from outside the cab at night, you're going to need to add a little mass to your walls. A perfect material for this is mass loaded vinyl. Luxury Liner Pro can be used on all four vertical walls within the sleeper cab to create a barrier between you and the outside world.

If temperature regulation is your main concern, your first priority is to ensure you don’t have large air gaps. For example, if your sleeper cab is open to the driver’s cockpit – all of that cold air coming through the front windows has nothing to stop it. If you’ve plugged the holes and still want extra insulation, then it's time to start considering materials like Heat Wave Pro or Mega Zorbe for the walls and ceiling. Both are magnificent insulators, but Mega Zorbe is also a hydrophobic melamine foam, meaning that it is even better at absorbing noise. Those sound absorbing properties give you the added benefit of helping to quiet down your sleeper cab by absorbing unwanted sound.

Getting Started on Your Truck Insulation Project

If you’re driving a semi truck today, the good news is that trucks are only becoming more comfortable. With new amenities and other day-to-day comforts, chances are your work environment is a vast improvement from what was available in the past.

If you feel like your truck should be more comfortable, we've got the materials and know-how to get you where you want to go. Whether you decide to go with Second Skin or not, we're here to help you get the most out of your semi truck project. With the insulation materials available to us today, there’s no reason why you should settle for the 1970s experience in your semi truck.

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