Managing Truck Driver Home Time – Making The Most Of Time Off
It’s important for a truck driver to plan home time so he/she gets to take a break, but also so they can spend time with their family and get things done around the house. As you already know, home time is going to come at a premium during your truck driving career, so you must learn to make the most of it. In order to make this work, you must do three very important things: predict, plan, and prioritize. Let’s break down what each of these mean.
This can be very difficult to do at first, but once you start gaining experience as a truck driver, you’ll get better at it. You’re probably asking, “Predict what, Rich?” Well, you need to predict quite a few things. You need to predict how busy you’re going to be out there while working, predict whether you’ll get a chance to drop through home before any official home time, predict how much time you’ll get when you do return home, predict what the “Honey Do” list is going to be, and predict what you plan to do in order to just plain relax.
Once you get all that predicting figured out, you need to develop a plan of action to get everything accomplished. You’d be amazed at how much more you can get done with a good plan of attack. If you just go at it with no real game plan, you’ll spend a big part of your time at home simply trying to figure out how to get it all done, instead of actually accomplishing anything.
Now, as everyone probably knows, any well-laid plan will only work as long as nothing unexpected pops up. As a prior Navy Operations Officer, one of my favorite sayings used to be, “He who plans early, plans often.” No matter how good of a plan you’ve laid out, any unforeseen circumstance can derail your intentions. So, what you must do is prioritize your plan. If something unexpected does pop up, what are the “must do’s” on your list, and what can you live without? By prioritizing your list, it’s not as big of a deal if something comes up.
As with anything you do, this approach will only succeed if you openly communicate with your family while out on the road. You can never assume that everyone at home is thinking the same thing that you are. This is also a good way to stay plugged in at home while you’re away. Talk often about your ideas of what you’d like to do, but always listen to what your family at home wants to do, too.
Home time doesn’t always have to be about productivity. Some of my best time at home was simply relaxing and enjoying time with my family watching movies, ordering food, laughing, and talking. Your kids will love to hear about where you’ve traveled and the places you’ve seen as a truck driver.
Finally, I want to leave you with this: while you’re away, your significant other is the one at home that has to keep things going. Trust them, and empower them to do this. Keep the open communication going to ensure there are never any surprises.
Here’s the real key to making this work: when you come home, don’t step in the door and start questioning the way in which your significant other handled things. It’s a very tough job they have while you’re away. Understand that they’re doing their absolute best while you’re gone. Just because they may not have handled something exactly how you would have doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.
Hopefully after reading this, you have a better understanding of how you can take advantage of home time. A truck driver gets a limited amount of it, but if you know how to balance and plan everything, you can take full advantage of your time off from driving.
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