A Trucker’s Life – What It’s Like To Drive A Truck

Starting a job as a truck driver might be exciting, but hard at the same time.

There’s no doubt, you will have to make a lot of adjustments.

It will be take a while until you get used to your truck, utilize new driving skills and get accustomed to your new lifestyle.

Life As A Truck Driver

One of the biggest challenges you will have to face as a truck driver, will be adjusting to being away from home.

Nowadays, professional drivers often tend to be on the road for several weeks or more at a time. It might be especially hard if you are married or in a relationship.

life as a truck driverOne way to connect with your family while home is share stories of your travels and pictures you take along the way.

New technology makes it easier to keep in contact with family members, so having that much needed connection with them on a regular basis is entirely possible.

Keeping a cellular phone is essential to the job for emergencies with the truck or delivery, contact with the dispatch room, and for contacting the shipper or consignee.  CB Radios are also great for contacting friends on the road.

So, every driver should have a cellular phone within days of becoming a full time driver.

Calling family while at a rest is a small, but important method to being there for family while in a different state.

Many truck stops have several amenities like showers, dining areas, and wireless internet and using it for social media or video messaging is the next best thing to actually being able to go home at night.

Messaging and phone calls will allow first year drivers to ease into their heavy driving schedule and fight feelings of homesickness.

What To Expect

Being alone for long periods of time can be tough emotionally on some people. Loneliness, depression and anxiety are not uncommon issues truck drivers face.

truck driverThe job can also be boring, but it is possible to make it more fun for yourself by listening to music or purchasing audiobooks and listening to your favorite authors.

You can also listen to some language tapes and learn some of the useful phrases in different languages.

Some operators pair up with a partner to help combat the loneliness of long-haul driving. In addition to having someone to talk to, they can cover more ground by having one person sleep while the other drives.

Staying Focused

Drivers must also be mentally prepared in order to perform well on the road.

The ability to focus and concentrate on driving safely and efficiently with a variety of tractor-trailer combinations is only one part of the driving experience.

A driver must be able to calmly and collectively deal with any distractions or frustration that may occur on the road.

Driving may also be monotonous and may take a mental toll on a driver – it’s important for a potential trucker to know how long they can confidently perform one task for an extended period of time.

A trucking career can take it’s toll on the both the mental and psychical health of a trucker.

New technology, like alertness apps and dash cams for truckers can help you to stay sharp, but, as we’ll see in the next few sections, staying fit and getting enough sleep are also key.

Staying In Shape

It is important to try to stay fit as a long distance driver.

All you need are a pair of running shoes, which are easy to store. You can use them to go walking or jogging in the rest area or around the outer edges of the parking lot to avoid traffic.

runningYou can also take weights with you. Make sure you have a good place to secure them. You do not want them to roll under your acceleration pedal, brake or clutch which could be deadly.

Getting Enough Sleep

In order to stay healthy you have to keep track of your sleeping schedule as sleep is essential to good health.

You need to get as much sleep as possible in your 10 hours off and, to do that, your sleeping conditions must be as comfortable and as quiet as possible.

For a driver, truck cabs are like mini-apartments. In addition to sleeping quarters, many have outlets or power sources that can accommodate small appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and cooking gear—all valuable resources when drivers want to avoid the greasy, calorie-heavy food at restaurants and rest stops.

Taking It All In!

The one highlight of receiving driving assignments is taking the road less traveled.

Driving is the one way to view the countryside, big cities, and hundreds of American suburbs all at once.

Stopping in a variety of cities throughout the country will help gain a glimpse into life in different regions around the U.S. and is an experience that is like no other.

truck mountainsNo other career, other than anthropology, allows you to travel the world and experience other groups and their lives in a regular manner like this.

Truck drivers receive one of the best crash-course educations on daily life around the U.S. through his or her freight routes.

Getting Your Licence

If trucking for a living truly appeals to you, seeking out a CDL and trying out long haul loads for a year is the only fool proof method towards figuring out if trucking is a career for you long term.

Again, a trucking career has its challenges; however, the positive gains towards becoming successful, getting paid to see the country, and providing a good life for your family greatly overshadow the negatives of being an OTR driver.

Wrapping It Up

Truck driving is not a career for everyone due to the long hours spent driving, the monotony of the highway and the possible health risks of eating regularly at rest stops and sitting for long periods of time.

For others, the thrill of the drive, the hours spent alone and the satisfactory pay can make a life of pick ups and deliveries well worth it.

Truck drivers are highly respected by their employers for the time spent away from home and family and for their integral role in helping companies operate successfully.

Despite the challenges, many people find trucking to be a satisfying and rewarding occupation.

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