Being away from home and spending long hours driving can be a drastic change for beginner truckers. As you have completed your truck driving school training and certification, you may have already been exposed to some on the road time. However, after you graduate and find a job, things quickly change. To help you adjust to your new lifestyle, review the following tips.
- Avoid using controlled substances and alcohol. After a long day driving, it can be tempting to use alcohol or other controlled substances to help you unwind and relax. However, if you are caught driving impaired or using controlled substances, it could cost you your job.
- Develop a working relationship with your dispatcher. Dispatchers are the key to getting loads. Get to know them, and do not be afraid to compliment and thank them on a regular basis for supplying you with work.
- Establish a routine that includes exercise. Sitting all day driving can quickly turn into putting on additional weight. Make sure to include at least 30 minutes of exercise, three days per week, in your routine to maintain your current weight and health.
- Never turn down a load. Even if you dislike where you have to take the load or the type of load, refusing it can impact how often you get future loads. It is better to accept it, as this demonstrates your work ethic. Plus, you have no idea what the next load will be once you drop this one off.
- Practice proper safety. Always take the time to inspect your truck and trailer before pulling out. Never drive if you are tired or find yourself having difficulties concentrating. Take the time to get out of the truck and do a visual inspection before you start to back up. Drive the speed limit, and drive at reduced speeds during inclement weather.
By following the above suggestions, you will adjust more easily to spending long hours on the road. To help keep you comfortable while driving, consider upgrading your seat with a custom truck seat from Suburban Seating & Safety. Contact us at (844) SAS.SEAT (844-727-7328) now to speak to a representative.
Of all of the things that professional truck drivers have to deal with, sleep may be one of the hardest to manage adequately, and yet it’s one of the most important things to consider when you spend long hours on the road. From custom truck seats to the very place you park your truck when it’s time for you to get some shut-eye, there are a lot of things you can do to try to get the most out of the time you have to sleep.
Healthy Driving Habits
It’s difficult for your body to rest if you are in pain or if you lack any kind of physical activity throughout the day. Consider investing in truck seats that treat your back well so that you don’t have to worry about putting more strain on your back than is necessary while driving. Whenever you get the chance to engage in physical activity, do so. This isn’t even about tiring the body out in preparation for sleep, but helping your body properly circulate the nutrients and chemicals that it needs to keep you healthy.
Lighting for Sleep
Your body regulates its sleep schedule according to the light it is exposed to, but it may not be possible for you to sleep at night and drive only during daylight hours. However, you can still help your body manage light.
- Install blackout curtains. They are thick enough to black out any light from the sun or other vehicles so that your body thinks it’s nighttime.
- Avoid electronic light. Take a break from social media and your cell phone a couple of hours before you climb in the sleeper.
- Use dim lights. If you feel like you need to read before you sleep, use dim lights in the sleeper to prepare your body for rest.
Try to avoid parking in high traffic areas so there isn’t a lot of noise to bother you when you climb out of one of your truck seats and into the sleeper. Remember to be safe: Any time you feel that you are getting tired, pull over and take at least a brief nap.
It’s no secret that veterans are an underemployed workforce. Many employers only seem to see what the veterans were focused on when they served in the military, regardless of all of the other skills they have. Thankfully, the trucking industry offers what may be the perfect fit for those who just want to come home and get back to a normal way of life. Not only do these positions fit returning vets perfectly, but many companies are going out of their way to let servicemen and women know just how valuable their skills are.
The military puts a lot of focus on things like honor, loyalty, dedication, and self-discipline. Those who have served know that it takes a can-do attitude to make it in this world, and many trucking companies know it. That’s because employers know every employee is a representative of the company, and they know that those who have served are able to act like professionals and do the jobs they are hired to do.
In many cases, things like GI Bills don’t get used, because employers don’t know how to help employees put them to use. Some companies today now have departments that are specifically created for vets so that they can get the most use of their benefits and also develop a solid career path.
Military personnel have skills that are difficult to develop if you haven’t served in the armed forces. These individuals often know how to operate heavy equipment, but they also know how to make important decisions on the go. Some of those decisions can have a significant impact on the lives of the people around them. When you only have a few seconds to make a choice like that, experience is the best educator.
For veterans who are looking for jobs, and who may not want to be put in a setting where they are surrounded by endless chit-chat and gossip, trucking may be the best choice. This field allows veterans to put their skills to use, but also gives them time to reflect away from the constant buzz that they might find in another work setting.