Life as a Trucker – the Road Ahead
Congratulations on choosing your new job! Hard working truck drivers like you ensure that our shelves are stocked with groceries, goods are available for purchase, and building materials get to the job site. But being a truck driver does not come without challenges. Without realistic expectations of any new job, you might be off to a bumpy start.
We put together a few tips and tricks to be sure you have a smooth ride in your new trucking career.
Being Away from Home
It is tough to be away from your home and loved ones. Luckily with today’s use of technology, it’s easier to stay in touch. Using an app like Skype to call or video chat regularly when you are away is one way to keep connected. Bringing some comforts of home with you – such as photographs, homemade snacks, or your favorite blanket – are things you can do to make home feel like it’s not so far away.
Consider home time carefully when choosing a carrier – there will be many options that will dictate how far away you’ll drive and how often you’ll be home. Talking with our Job Placement staff will help make sure you find employment with a company that fits your lifestyle.
Budgets and Trucker Pay
How you are paid will vary by carrier and type of trucking you choose. Most drivers are paid by the mile or an hourly rate. If you spend several weeks out driving in order to spend a week at home, you might have a small or missing paycheck. Prepare a monthly budget so you are ready to enjoy your time at home.
Luckily, there are many apps that are designed to help truck drivers save time and money.
- Cost per Mile is an app that is used to figure costs of operations per mile.
- Mint & PocketGuard can help you create – and stick to – a budget.
- GasBuddy & FuelBook help make sure you never overpay for your diesel fuel.
De-stress from the Stresses of Driving
Traffic, construction, and hurried motorists are likely to up your stress levels. Using apps like Waze, TruckerPath, or CoPilot can help you plan your trip to avoid things like congested areas, construction zones, or rush-hour traffic.
When you’re not moving, get moving! Get your blood pumping and endorphins flowing by doing a 20 minute workout before your pre-trip inspection. Bring resistance bands and tennis shoes for a quick workout before hitting the road
Routines & Regulations
As a truck driver, you will be required to follow rules that govern your drive time and work time. This means you’ll need to keep accurate logs. You will also be eating and sleeping on the road. Keeping as much of a routine as you can will help you stay within the HOS rules, and avoid disruptions to your sleep cycle and healthy eating habits.
- Each time you take a break, review your remaining drive hours and estimate where you’ll need to stop for the day. Don’t be caught out of hours without a truck-stop. Using an ELD complaint app like BigRoad will help keep you within the HOS rules.
- Make sure you have water and healthy snacks on hand. Starting your day well-rested and with a healthy breakfast will keep you on the road safer and longer.
- Don’t forget about lunch and dinner! Pack a large cooler with healthy meals and snacks – consider an outdoor mini-grill
A career in trucking can be an awesome and rewarding experience. If you’re up for the challege and don’t yet have a commercial drivers license, Diesel Driving Academy can help! Call 1-800-551-8900 today and we’ll get you on the road to your new career!