The commercial trucking industry is daunting. There is a lot to think about like the money, working for yourself, and the opportunity to become an owner-operator, to name just a few benefits. Like any job, you also have to deal with the downside of this industry.
Loneliness is a major problem for truck drivers of any kind. If you are new to the job, or you are just starting to deal with loneliness on the road, here are some tips to enjoy your time and stop feeling isolated.
1.) Make a Plan to Stay in Touch
Before your truck pulls out on the road, make a solid plan to stay in touch with loved ones at home. This may mean investing in a smartphone that gives you access to social media or some form of video chat. You may not physically be with your family every night, talking with your kids before bed or texting with friends before falling asleep can make feel more social.
Another benefit of daily contact, you will make friends and family members happy. When you are feeling lonely, remember that family and friends at home miss you too. Stronger connections on the road help you enjoy your time at home more.
2.) Bring a Pet On the Road
Some truckers were drawn into the trucking business because of the opportunity to work alone without being surrounded by people, but that does not mean that you do not need companionship. A growing number of trucking companies are bringing a companion animal with them.
You do have to keep your pet hydrated, fed, and entertained while on the road. This may require more stops for bathroom breaks and walks. Exposure is another factor to watch out for. If temperatures get extremely high or low in your area, you need to protect your pet from the elements.
If you are willing to meet the needs of your pet on the road and your company allows pets, give it a try.
3.) Look Forward to Home Time
Depending on the type of trucking you do determines the amount of home time you have. Planning for your time at home can make the hours spent on the road go much more quickly. Whether it is taking your kids to a special event, going out on a date with your spouse, or spending some time with friends, you should have something to look forward to on every trip.
Use your driving time to think about what you want to accomplish at home and how you want to spend your time. If you use your home time well, instead of taking it as it comes, you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle life on the road.
4.) Bring a Spouse
A sad reality of the trucking industry is those lonely truckers have lonely spouses. Even if you are earning great money as a truck driver, lots of time apart can try any marriage. With the truck driver shortage growing, more and more companies are letting spouses drive together.
With two drivers, you and your spouse can log more miles, take shorter breaks, and ultimately bring in more money while enjoying each other’s company. Having someone else to watch the road can make your trip safer and help you avoid hazards.
5.) Stay Active in the Trucking Community
Talking to other trucks on forums, Facebook groups, and chat rooms help you become part of the national trucking community. You’ll likely cross paths with some of these people while on a long haul, giving you the chance to enjoy a meal and conversation.
The life of a long haul driver can be lonely, no doubt about it. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy your time on the road and get plenty of interaction with the people you love.
Do you have any advice to combat loneliness on the road? Let us know in the comments below.