We are inclined to known and familiar lifestyle. The reason is security for where we are living and how we are living. We get nervous about an unknown lifestyle. First-year of my job as a trucker I had to experience that unknown lifestyle, the Trucking Lifestyle. Fortunately, my trainer shared her experience with me when I got my CDL. She researched and experienced a lot during her initial days as a trucker. Unfortunately, different clients and companies have different schedules and demands for their needs of the commodity. You may have to rush to unload goods at midnight in December to a southern state. She had to do the same; in Colorado, the night was shivering, she parked her truck at Customer’s place. She needed to stay warm and nice in this freezing night to survive. Here comes the concept of the Trucking Lifestyle.
Trucking Lifestyle is a necessity now. Trucker’s community is larger than we think it is. You have to survive on long roads, in scorching summer afternoon, in wintry night, and in snowy evening. My heart aches knowing the intensity of weather and working hours. But there is a protective lifestyle that gives truckers some sort of security. Yes, I am learning about this lifestyle from experiences of my trainer.
Not only trucker’s life but life, in general, is unpredictable but providing certain securities towards it, can be helpful. Equip your truck with all the necessary kinds of stuff that we need to survive in everyday life. Stay warm and cozy during winter. Feel little ease during summer. Keep some over the counter medicine with you so that you can survive if your stomach pains or you feel feverish. That’s how truckers can sense security and safety.
Fulfill Urgent Needs
My trainer shared her experience with me, one chilly night in Colorado she was starving but no restaurant or take out options was there. It was freezing outside. The temperature was 16 degrees Fahrenheit. The best idea is to keep some dry foods with you all the time to survive in every situation. Neither all customers and clients places have a washroom nor do they always allow their restroom to use. It’s better to be well prepared for that. Don’t get panicked about nature’s call; don’t let that thought reign over you. Be equipped with the necessary kinds of stuff, you will get adjusted. Believe me, disinfecting sprays and wipes with good fragrances work like magic. You can get them easily available at any dollar store or side aisles of Walmart for the cheapest.
One very useful suggestion I got from my trainer is to always keep some over the counter medicine of pain relief, fever acidity, etc. They are lifesavers. But trucking life has freedom of long term growth in volume. You grow individually, financially. My first year as a professional trucker, while I ride bumpy roads of my journey, suggestions from my experienced trainer certainly ease me coping up with this lifestyle. I adapt the practice to stay calm and focused while on learning ropes. I practice what my trainer preached to me. When you don’t have much control over the route you are taking, following certain rules helps this trucking Lifestyle. Hence this lifestyle didn’t hit me hard as a newbie.
Adjustment With Sleep Hours
Initially, you may face certain difficulties with scheduling sleep hours as a newcomer. The trucking industry doesn’t have particular sleeping patterns. It differs all the time. Some trucking companies are flexible when it comes to sleeping and allow more time to sleep in comparison to other companies. Like Swift Transportation, UPS Freight Haulers offer more free time than that of the other companies such as Refrigerated Companies.
There are no certain working hours. Some days, you must roll on roads for the entire night, sometimes all weekends; you start at 4 pm and end by 3 am, again start the next morning by 9 am. You must work hard on sleeping hours especially if you are a newcomer. Getting adjusted to a flexible sleeping pattern is difficult. But must force yourself to do that. You can listen to lullaby music to calm your mind before sleep and cover your eyes with a mask. Listen to lullaby music putting earphones in, this way you can avoid outside noise. That will help you fall asleep faster.
From my own experience, I can suggest all newcomers take nap whenever you get a chance using the above tricks. It will make your trucking life easy.
Showering, The Buzzing Topic
Before I entered the industry, I was curious about showering while on the roads. One of my associates informed me about Fuel credits; sometimes OTR truckers will get a free shower credit with the fuel purchase. Shower credit gathers when fuel purchase increases. The different Gas station has different criteria on their fuel credit like you have to purchase a certain amount of fuel to get approved for shower credits. If you take the opportunity of fuel credit and shower, that will be a smart decision, or else you have to spend extra dollars out of your pocket. if you are a very particular person about the kinds of stuff you are using, it’s better to carry your shower caddy with your shampoo, body wash, etc. Truckers take bath during the stop. I prefer the time of early morning or late at night. These are the times when showers are less crowded and I get them much clean and hygiene. That’s how I save my time.
Not all truckers run the same miles there are some low performing trucks and truckers. They don’t run many miles, they don’t burn much fuel, naturally, they don’t have much fuel credits to earn shower credits. They can stop anywhere and take shower. In this case, they need to spend a few dollars for a shower.
When It Comes To Personal Needs
The best thing I learned from my co-workers is accountability for your personal needs. Be responsible for your chores to get done timely. You need proper planning for that because when you will be rolling on roads, you don’t get those done. When you get that ‘10 Hour Break’, you have to finish your meal, grocery, exercise, bath. Plan your time wisely so that you can get a little more time to sleep.
Difficulty With Traffic And Parking
Expertise comes with experience; you need to have a very good understanding of traffics and how it works to avoid delays. If you know the route where traffic is smooth you are not likely to get stuck on roads for hours and this way you can save a few hours for your own. Parking can be infamously difficult for OTR truck drivers. Generally, truckers park at a truck stop. There is limited space and the later you arrive the fewer chances of finding a parking spot. Finding a Parking spot kills a few minutes of truckers.
Truck drivers also park at the location of clients with their permission. Most of the time customers allow truckers to park for few hours. If a truck is loading or unloading warehouse commodity, truckers park by the side of the warehouse dock. Make sure to park your car in at less congested area, it’s always better to ask the business owner before parking the truck. Safety is a big concern when it comes to parking. Some awesome free apps allow you to view nearby parking locations at ranges from 50 to 250 miles away. Such as- Park MY Truck, Truckers path, Road Breakers.
Spend The Best Time Of Your Life With Trucking
Some people embrace this lifestyle and make the best out of it with deep understanding and insights. Trucking is a lifestyle with a smart choice. If you utilize your time wisely, you can make a few extra hours and flexibility for yourself. It’s all about playing smartly. My trainer told me, ‘it’s up to you how much you are liberating yourself with this lifestyle to reign over it., I cherish the financial freedom of this lifestyle. Financially you will have affluent life if you are into this trucking industry.
It’s all about mastery. Know the art of mastery and master this lifestyle. This will always be your gain.