How does the lifestyle of a truck driver look like? Truck drivers commonly referred to as a trucker, teamsters, or drivers in the United States.
They provide an essential service to industrialized societies through transporting freight and raw materials over land; playing an important role in the American economy.
They move approximately 70% of the nation’s freight each year, Equivalent to about 671 billion dollars of goods every year.
Being a truck driver is part of the American culture as well, as trucking symbolizes to the American culture.
According to estimates by the American Trucking Association, There are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, which makes this job more relevant to the Americans rather than others.
So how does the lifestyle of a truck driver look like? I will let you know through this article.
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How Does the Truck Driver Spend a Day?
A day in the life of a truck driver can vary depending on the type of the trucking job.
Truck drivers need to make checks to both the vehicle and his cargo before taking a look at the weather and traffic conditions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that drivers must not drive longer than 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours.
They must also refrain from driving beyond the 14th consecutive hour after returning to duty (this includes time spent on pre-trips, fueling, post-trips, and unloads).
After 8 hours driving, truck drivers are required to have a break for 30 minutes before they back to drive.
Truckers are required to take at least 36 hours off after every week of work.
How Often Do Truck Drivers Come Home?
If you are a truck driver, there will be some factors that affect your lifestyle such as:
- The company you work for.
- Trucking job type, if you are a local or over the road (OTR) truck driver.
- Years of experience.
- The place you live in.
Different companies have different routes as well as different schedules. Companies like UPS Freight follow Union regulations, which allow their drivers to have a more regular schedule.
Local companies offer more point-to-point (PTP) routes. Point to point routes has the drivers exchanging freight between two or more locations. These locations are either in the city or near cities.
So it depends. The job’s home time varies from home every night truck driving jobs such as ones provided by local trucking companies to home once a week truck driving jobs such as jobs offered by OTR trucking companies.
However, most truck driving jobs are OTR and the companies let their drivers work on the road for about 2-3 weeks at a time and allow them to have a couple of days at home before they back on the road again.
The destination of your home can also affect home time. If you are from isolated areas you are less likely to be close to home.
Some companies also require drivers to park their trucks at a terminal, rather than at their house.
If a terminal isn’t nearby it can lead to the driver spending more time going back home.
Do Truck Drivers Become a Lone?
Trucker loneliness. Research shows that truck drivers are prone to feeling alone due to the duties of their work.
Being able to work independently and not having to deal with anyone telling you what to do while working sounds great. But driving all day and night can make you feel lonely.
If you want to become a truck driver, you need to take in consideration that in the life as a truck driver you may be lonely, but there are cell phones which by you can call, text, and video chat daily with your family and friends to stay in touch with them while you are on the top of your work.
You can enjoy music services by listening to music while driving to avoid getting bored.
Trucker stop stations along the way are the places where hardcore truck drivers can be social with each other by sharing stories of the road and having a nice time together.
If you are a person who can’t be alone for long times, you can search for team truck driving jobs in which you can have a partner in the truck, maybe your best friend, your wife, or someone you can enjoy the life on the road with.
Where Do Truck Drivers Sleep?
Have you ever wondered where truck drivers sleep? Trucking is a demanding job that requires adequate sleep for optimal activity and performance.
As mentioned before, you might not be home every night if you are an OTR truck driver, but at the same time, you need to sleep to stay alert on the road and deliver your cargo safely and on time.
Truckers sleep in the sleeper cab of their trucks, which is a small room behind the driver’s seat.
If you look at trucks used for long distance haulage, you will notice a small compartment behind the driver’s seat. That is where OTR truck drivers sleep at night.
But not all truckers sleep in their truck. If you are a local truck driver, you go home after work every day to sleep in your own bed.
In some cases, truckers can sleep in company facilities, rest areas, and truck stops along the route, or near the delivery point.
Some customers may let you park and sleep in their parking.
In the case of team truck drivers, Tractors used by team drivers come with double bunks to allow each driver adequate sleep at rest.
There are many challenges to being able to sleep better in a truck, as you may be kept awake or awakened from sleep due to some factors.
Here is a list of the common sleep inhibitors for truckers:
- Uncomfortable atmosphere
- Health issues.
- Food and drink issues.
Truckers avoid sleeping in hotels because they are expensive, but it doesn’t mean that they never attend hotels.
The only case truckers usually stay in hotels is during extreme weather, as it is not advisable to keep the engine running or too dangerous to stay out in the open.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, fatigue is the principal factor in 31 percent of fatal-to-the-driver, which emphasizes the importance of adequate rest in protecting the truck driver’s health.
What Do Truckers Eat?
Unfortunately, many truck drivers find limited options for meals while driving, and then stop by at diners or fast food joints to have their food.
Truck stops are loaded with deals on supersize candy bars and soda. Restaurant specials often revolve around high calorie offerings. Healthy food is available, but it is rarely on sale.
Many people think that truck drivers have unhealthy diets because of the rest stop food and gas station snacks, but actually many truck drivers try their best to lead healthy lifestyles and eat a balanced diet.
The food at truck stops isn’t all burgers, steaks, and hotdogs. Many truck stops and rest stops offer healthy options like salads, fish, and other light meals that truckers enjoy.
A better solution for food issue is to have your own food stored in the truck.
Here are food ideas that are easy to store in your truck, making them a great snack when you are in a pinch and keeping you healthy:
- Low-fat string cheese.
- Unsalted mixed nuts.
- Hummus and veggies (celery, broccoli, cucumber, and carrots)
- Low-fat yogurt.
- Whole-grain crackers.
Don’t forget that a truck driver has a sedentary lifestyle, so you need to eat healthy food and look after your health.