Most people don’t realize how demanding the life of a truck driver truly is. Before entering this field, learn more about the job and what it entails here.
Considering a career as a truck driver?
If so, you’re not alone. Many people desire a truck driving career as a way to earn a solid paycheck while exploring the open road.
But before you begin your truck driving career, make sure you understand how demanding the life of a truck driver is. Know the challenges truckers face and start your career with your eyes wide open.
Read on as we reveal the biggest obstacles truckers must deal with and offer tips to help deal with the challenges.
Being Gone Overnight or for Long Periods of Time
The biggest challenge for truckers by far is being on the road overnight or for long periods of time.
This is less of an issue if you are single, but if you have a significant other or family that depends on you, it’s something you must deal with. Being gone will place stress on you and your family.
There will be times you won’t be there to help with homework. Fixing the toilet and mowing the lawn will have to wait until you are home again. You’ll miss your children’s games and recitals and other big moments.
Pro Tip: Truck driving is a great career, but no line of work is worth losing those you love. Before beginning your truck driving career, sit down with your family and have an open and honest discussion. Address the needs of the job and how that will affect everyone when you are on the road. Let everyone air their concerns and make sure everyone is on the same page and on board before you start driving as a career.
Adhering to Your Schedule
Many people find truck driving attractive because of the sense of freedom. While it’s true you’re free from the typical nine-to-five job, truckers still must meet the Department of Transportation (DOT) schedule regulations.
The DOT dictates that drivers can only work 14 hours a day, and only drive for 11 of those hours. They must take a half hour break in the first eight hours of their work day. After 11 hours of driving or 14 hours of work, a driver must call it a day and go into the sleeper.
These rules have safety in mind to reduce accidents. Many truckers don’t like the rules because drivers earn their pay by the mile, which means they would rather be driving as much as possible.
Pro Tip: Realize the restrictions are for your own safety and make plans to insert fun into your work-day. Part of the joy of being a driver is being able to see the world. You’ll feel less restricted if you are able to stop and take in local attractions. Many drivers take an Uber to memorials, places of historical significance or other places unique to a local area.
Keeping Your Health
Truck drivers have a rate of diabetes which is 50% higher than the national average. And poor health can lead to hypertension, sleep apnea and other health issues.
As you might figure, the health issues arise from a lack of exercise and being sedentary for several hours a day. Add to that, life on the road often includes eating at fast food restaurants and greasy diners.
Pro Tip: Stop whenever possible, even if it is for a few minutes to stretch, walk around, and move your body.
Give yourself more eating options by taking advantage of technology. Modern trucks come with electrical outlets so you can plug in a Crock Pot, George Foreman Grill and other comfort devices. Cook up more healthy eats on the road and eat at your leisure. Plug in a mini-fridge to store healthy food options and pull them out whenever you’re hungry.
Life of a Truck Driver: The Bottom Line
The life of a truck driver is much better than in year’s past. To improve driver retention, many commercial companies are raising wages and providing better benefits.
Truck cabins are often set up like mini-apartments, equipped with hotspots for internet access and satellite dishes so you don’t miss a game or your favorite shows.
Take precautions to keep your relationships at home strong and improve your schedule and your health while you’re on the road.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out our other trucking articles on our blog.