Living on the Road: Tips for Long Haul Truckers
Living on the road presents unique issues and concerns, as well as a plethora of positives, that only truck drivers experience. Not all truck drivers love the “on the road” life style, while others are relatively unaffected. The challenges of the road trucking is best summed up as the challenge of finding balance. There are only so many hours in the day, and professional drivers need to balance both personal and business time in a way that makes sense for them. There’s a whole bunch more to a person than just driving–family, exercise, leisure, and personal growth. It’s important to not lose sight of your personal goals and dreams while driving.
Invest in Yourself
When a driver loses all concern for self-growth or personal development, there’s typically a lose of balance, causing a significant spiral out of control. Health suffers if diet and exercise are ignored, and lack of sleep can be deadly. Family time (real, face-to-face time) is vital, but that, too, can be waylaid in favor of a bigger paycheck. It’s important to remember that while it’s more time consuming than a “traditional” desk job, trucking is just that–a job, and care must be taken so as not to forgo other sources of happiness and fulfillment.
Keep a Schedule
Don’t let your job run you in to the ground. That includes taking time to read, relax, and take breaks during and after your day. It becomes second nature if you schedule yourself closely to your “at home,” or “normal” schedule. Maintain a regular schedule for eating, sleeping, and work, and fit in other activities around that, being sure to always take care of yourself first.
Trip PlanningIt’s a good idea to do some road trip planning, before each trip.
Before even accepting a load from your dispatch, take a good look at the trip distance, and the expected delivery schedule.
Do some calculations re: driving time, fuel and meal stops, sleep time and add in unexpected delays, to be sure you have sufficient time to make the delivery as expected.
If the schedule looks reasonable, accept the load. If not, address any delivery schedule issues at this time. You must be able to log the trip legally.
When you are satisfied with the delivery schedule, be sure to plan for meal and sleep spots. Check the weather for the route. Trip planning is vitally important, when living on the road. The trip will go more smoothly, and in turn, the driver’s stress level will be lower.
Long Haul TruckingOver the road trucking does has an advantage over short haul driving jobs.
Ideally, the loading hrs are minimal, and income is maximized, as truckers for otr trucking jobs, are normally paid by the mile.
Some truckers truly love living on the road, and love the long trips. They enjoy the driving as they find it relaxing, love the scenery and truly crave the life style of living on the road. Many love the freedom and excitement from the everyday challenges.
But, it’s important for all truckers, especially long haul truckers, to find a ‘balance’ in their routine.