How to Keep Your Family Life in Order with a Truck Driving Job
Probably the greatest resistance to starting a truck driving job is the extended time away from home, but there are several things you can do to help alleviate your absence from friends and family at home.
Make sure that your partner at home is in agreement to what you’re doing, and stay in communication with them and your children via cell phones, video chat, emails, occasional cards/letters, and by scheduling periodic time off.
You should never stay out on the road away from home for more than 2-3 weeks at a time. You must communicate with your dispatcher to route you home when you’ve scheduled home time, and especially for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, recitals, special school events, and other family happenings. Most major trucking companies will encourage you to plan your home time around those special events, but you must convey those requests to your dispatcher or training coordinator.
If you’re really in need of money, it will be very tempting to stay out longer, particularly if the freight is strong. I encourage you to be firm and not extend your stay unless it’s an emergency. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed with all the duties at home when you have just a few days, but attention to the needs of your family should be your number one priority.
When you come home, get a little rest and then list the things that need to get done in need from 1-10. Start with number one and go as far as you can, then start over the next time you’re home. Sometimes, your dispatcher will dispatch you close by your home with a little extra time after you’ve proven your dependability and trustworthiness. Families with military backgrounds are very familiar with this situation, but their time is usually many months or years and yours is only 2-3 weeks.
If you’re considering CDL training and a truck driving job, consult with someone that is concerned with your success and has made the system work for them. It worked for me and it’ll work for you too if you just determine in your heart that you’re tired of those dead-end jobs and ready for a career where you can provide for your family.