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§393 76 Sleeper berths

(a) Dimensions — (1) Size. A sleeper berth must be at least the following size:


§393.76 Sleeper berths.


1In the case of a sleeper berth which utilizes an adjustable mechanical suspension system, the required clearance can be measured when the suspension system is adjusted to the height to which it would settle when occupied by a driver.


(a)(2) Shape. A sleeper berth installed on a motor vehicle on or after January 1, 1953 must be of generally rectangular shape, except that the horizontal corners and the roof corners may be rounded to radii not exceeding 10 12 inches.


(a)(3) Access. A sleeper berth must be constructed so that an occupant’s ready entrance to, and exit from, the sleeper berth is not unduly hindered.


(b) Location. (1) A sleeper berth must not be installed in or on a semitrailer or a full trailer other than a house trailer.


(b)(2) A sleeper berth located within the cargo space of a motor vehicle must be securely compartmentalized from the remainder of the cargo space. A sleeper berth installed on or after January 1, 1953 must be located in the cab or immediately adjacent to the cab and must be securely fixed with relation to the cab.


(c) Exit from the berth. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, there must be a direct and ready means of exit from a sleeper berth into the driver’s seat or compartment. If the sleeper berth was installed on or after January 1, 1963, the exit must be a doorway or opening at least 18 inches high and 36 inches wide. If the sleeper berth was installed before January 1, 1963, the exit must have sufficient area to contain an ellipse having a major axis of 24 inches and a minor axis of 16 inches.


(c)(2) A sleeper berth installed before January 1, 1953 must either:


(c)(2)(i) Conform to the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section; or


(c)(2)(ii) Have at least two exits, each of which is at least 18 inches high and 21 inches wide, located at opposite ends of the vehicle and useable by the occupant without the assistance of any other person.


(d) Communication with the driver. A sleeper berth which is not located within the driver’s compartment and has no direct entrance into the driver’s compartment must be equipped with a means of communication between the occupant and the driver. The means of communication may consist of a telephone, speaker tube, buzzer, pull cord, or other mechanical or electrical device.


(e) Equipment. A sleeper berth must be properly equipped for sleeping. Its equipment must include:


(e)(1) Adequate bedclothing and blankets; and


(e)(2) Either:


(e)(2)(i) Springs and a mattress; or


(e)(2)(ii) An innerspring mattress; or


(e)(2)(iii) A cellular rubber or flexible foam mattress at least four inches thick; or


(e)(2)(iv) A mattress filled with a fluid and of sufficient thickness when filled to prevent “bottoming out” when occupied while the vehicle is in motion.


(f) Ventilation. A sleeper berth must have louvers or other means of providing adequate ventilation. A sleeper berth must be reasonably tight against dust and rain.


(g) Protection against exhaust and fuel leaks and exhaust heat. A sleeper berth must be located so that leaks in the vehicle’s exhaust system or fuel system do not permit fuel, fuel system gases, or exhaust gases to enter the sleeper berth. A sleeper berth must be located so that it will not be overheated or damaged by reason of its proximity to the vehicle’s exhaust system.


(h) Occupant restraint. A motor vehicle manufactured on or after July 1, 1971, and equipped with a sleeper berth must be equipped with a means of preventing ejection of the occupant of the sleeper berth during deceleration of the vehicle. The restraint system must be designed, installed, and maintained to withstand a minimum total force of 6,000 pounds applied toward the front of the vehicle and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.


[39 FR 14711, Apr. 26, 1974; 39 FR 17233, May 14, 1974, as amended at 53 FR 49401, Dec. 7, 1988].

Enclosed Auto Transport/Exotic Car Carriers

These two terms often go hand-in-hand because most exotic autos are shipped in enclosed auto transports to avoid any possibility of damage during transit. Enclosed transport may also be used for non-exotics of course, in cases where the owner is just as anxious as the exotic owner to prevent damage to a prized vehicle.

As you might expect, there’s a good reason why auto owners elect to go the route of using an enclosed auto transport. Because they provide extra levels of security and protection, enclosed transports represent peace of mind to the owner of an exotic auto being shipped.

Enclosed Carrier

Enclosed Carrier

Enclosed auto transport companies are specially equipped to provide the safest, most reliable shipment of special vehicles between almost any two points in the country, whether shipment is terminal-to-terminal or door-to-door. This means that a vehicle is protected against any kind of flying material, any weather encountered during transit, and even any dust that might settle on a vehicle if it were left out in the open air.

Exotic car carriers that have been in business awhile and have maintained high standards of excellence can only remain in business by continuing to operate at high levels of performance. Special care and handling are necessary pretty much from start to finish where exotic cars are involved, and carriers that manage to thrive do so because they have provided reliability, experience, and a reputation earned from years of satisfying customers.

Insurance is another area that will probably be different between exotic car carriers and shippers of standard vehicles. Most exotic transport companies carry high levels of insurance to guard against the unthinkable disaster that might happen, and while no one wants to consider disasters for long, it’s nice to know that coverage is there should it be needed.

Of course there are lots of exotic auto carriers out there to choose from, and almost all of them will offer enclosed auto transport service, so it might seem tricky to have to choose one from among all those claims of great service and quality. But there are a couple things that might help to differentiate the really good ones and make that decision a little easier.

Most likely, cost is not going to be the decisive factor in anyone’s choice of exotic auto carrier – if you own one of these vehicles in the first place, you can probably afford to ship it and provide for the safest possible transport.

So maybe the number one factor in selecting the right shipper for your exotic auto transport should be the company’s reputation for experience and reliability. When a company has demonstrated over a long period of time that they understand the customer’s needs as well as the demands of safe transit, that just may be the single best recommendation to any customer.

Look for an exotic auto carrier that’s been doing it right for a long time – you’ll feel a lot better about entrusting your prized automobile to a transport company like that.



Exotic Auto Transport Prices

When you start thinking about shipping your exotic, classic, or rare automobile, you’ll probably come to the realization fairly quickly that there really are a ton of details involved with a project like that. If you’re fortunate and hook up with a very good transport company, they will handle practically all those details for you, so you don’t become a nervous wreck about the whole thing.

The only thing left for you to consider will be the exotic auto transport price itself, and if you want to get at least a vague notion of the components that make up the overall price, you can start contacting carriers with your queries. Before you even get into that though, you may want to have some idea ahead of time about what’s involved in calculating the cost of shipping your exotic automobile.

Many of those cost factors are shown below, and while others could possibly be included, not all will apply either. Every shipment of an exotic automobile is pretty much a custom shipment, because every exotic car is special in its own way and requires some kind of special handling. That being said, here is a checklist of things that could conceivably be applicable to your own vehicle transport.

  • Distance

If your car is being shipped across the country, that will require more time, more fuel, and more shipping expense than if it were a shipment between two nearby cities.

  • Shipment method

You are probably going to want to have your exotic auto shipped in an enclosed carrier, so as to eliminate the possibility of any external objects touching it during shipping. While an open carrier is completely safe 99.9% of the time too, the enclosed carrier removes the .01% chance of accidents.

  • Pickup method

If you drive your car to a convenient pickup point where your shipper can load it, that’s less expensive than if the pickup method is door-to-door, where the transport vehicle has to come directly to your home, or as near as street limitations allow

  • Insurance

This is strongly recommended, because you already have a considerable investment in your exotic auto, and you just don’t want to risk losing it without compensation if some kind of disaster were to occur

  • Season

This could be a factor for you, depending on what time of year you need to transport your vehicle. Sometimes during winter months, fewer shipments are scheduled, so each one becomes a bit more expensive.

  • Size of your vehicle

Size matters because of the space your vehicle occupies on the transport – for instance, larger vehicles might require two shipping spaces during transport.

  • Time constraints

If you need to ship your vehicle on short notice, this is more difficult to arrange, because it means allocating a driver and transport carrier that was not already scheduled to be in your area. Such short-notice shipments can still usually be accommodated, but there will generally be an added cost.


As mentioned earlier, not all of these factors will apply to any given shipment, but then again you may have some special considerations that would necessitate additional costs too. If you need to attach a dollar figure to some kind of estimate, you can use the following rule of thumb to come up with a ballpark figure, and then consult with carriers to get more exact.

On a generic website for calculating auto transport costs, there will be a cost estimator for auto shipments. If you enter in all the relevant information about distance, car size, etc and get an approximate figure, you can then multiply that number by 1.5 or 2 to calculate the cost of the same shipment for an exotic vehicle.

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