3 Truck Driver Tips for Adjusting to Life on the Road
For a recently graduated truck driver, adjusting to a new life on the road can often be a difficult and stressful experience. But with these tips, hopefully your transition becomes a little bit easier. Just remember that in time, you will get used to your new lifestyle.
Coping with time away from home
The number one deterrent for people considering a truck driving career is the extended amount of time away from home. Most major motor carriers are beginning to arrange their freight routes to allow for truck drivers to be home on a more regular schedule. This is usually every two to three weeks, with about a day home for every week that you’re gone. Select companies even allow their truck drivers to be home on weekends. Some trucking companies will also schedule you home for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and special school functions if you give them ample advance notice and most companies offer paid vacations after a year of employment. The major companies are always seeking ways to accommodate the home and family situations of their truck drivers in an effort to eliminate driver turnover. You must know that it takes time, patience, and a desire to succeed to be able to cope with the separation from family and home; however, the bright side of the picture is that after you become an experienced and safe truck driver, you will have opportunities for freight routes that will allow you to be with your loved ones more frequently.
There is no secret formula for coping with the separation from family except your desire to succeed and to provide a better way of life for you and your family. Believe me, it’s worth it. How do I know? Because it worked for me! The only way you can really grasp the reality of the separation, anxiety, loneliness and other wild, imaginary things that occur, is to experience them firsthand. It takes a special desire to prosper along with endless support from you and your family to overcome the separation, but those who do will be rewarded beyond all of their expectations. I think it is a great help for someone entering into a truck driving career to realize that this is just a part of the task of becoming a professional truck driver. It takes a combination of skills, attitude, and the understanding of what it takes to become successful in the truck driving field. There are no shortcuts.
Budgeting your finances as a truck driver
Another aspect of being away from home is learning how to budget your finances. You can spend $75 per week on food at the grocery, or you can spend $150 a week dining
out. You must make a decision to protect your health with economic reasoning. There is some great food on the road and lots of bright, exciting things to buy for your friends and family. You must discipline yourself on a meal and expense budget and stick to it. You should also expect your family back home to do the same. You must make a commitment to your health and well-being to eat healthy, nutritious, and satisfying food items and to develop an exercise routine. This is something that you can do if you truly want to be a professional truck driver.
Keep in touch
Communication with family back home is a must, but with moderation and control. Communicate with family when you are stopped for fuel, dining, showers, and washing clothes at truck stops, or during a rest period when you’re safely parked. Cell phones, toll-free phones, texting, and video chatting are all efficient means of communicating with your loved ones back home.
I know it may be hard for some people to realize and grasp the system and make it work for them, but it will work. I have many past students come by the truck driving school in Fort Worth, Texas to give me their testimonies of success. After over ten years of training, we have many pictures lining our company walls of students who followed the plan and were rewarded richly. It is sad to say that some will fall by the wayside because they did not follow the guidelines for success. But remember, there are no shortcuts and only the determined will be rewarded with an extraordinary career and life.
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