The trucking industry is the perfect one for many people. The call of the open road, the more than decent paycheck, working by yourself and even sometimes for yourself — there can be a lot to like. Like any other job out there, being a truck driver has its downsides. If a person were coming up with a list of pros and cons to being a truck driver, road loneliness would have to be written at the top of the “con” column.
Whether you are a new trucker or have years of experience, loneliness is something you very well may be dealing with during at least one point in your career. Here are a few ways you can beat those feelings of not only being alone (which many love), but lonely.
Before you jump into your cab, make a plan to stay in touch with the people at home. You may want to invest in a smartphone or tablet if you haven’t already. With mobile access, you can talk to your loved ones via video chat — when you aren’t driving. Even though you aren’t home, being able to see your family and friends can help you beat the blues.
We have heard from several truck drivers who not only stay in contact with family, but they read books to their kids before bed over video chat. They hang out with the family for bath time. They pull up a chair at the dinner table while eating their own in a diner hundreds of miles away. Get creative. If you have video chat capability, there is almost nothing that you can’t be a part of at home.
A Furry Friend
One of the other things that people do to curb that lonely feeling on the road is to bring along a pet. Studies have shown that drivers with pets tend to be happier and more productive, making bringing a pet with you a win-win for everyone.
Keeping a pet in the cab isn’t as easy as it may seem. You will have to make a plan for your pet’s hydration, feeding, sleeping and toileting. You may have to stop more frequently to give your pet a break from being cooped up in the cab. You will also want to look at the weather reports for your destinations and stops along the way. Some pets do not do well with extreme changes in weather, and you will need to be prepared.
Make Home Time Better
Use your time behind the wheel to plan what you will do when you get back home. This is an especially good tip for those who are on the road for weeks or months at a time. When you’re home, the time will fly by. Do you want to spend your time taking things as they come, or participating in activities with your family that everyone enjoys? Your time at home should be special. It doesn’t mean that every trip back home has to be a full-out celebration, but it should be filled with quality time.
Being a trucker has its advantages, but it can definitely be lonely. We have given you a few tips to beat the blues, but there are dozens more. Be sure to talk to others in the industry about how they keep themselves from missing the people they leave behind.
While you are making plans to ward off road loneliness, don’t forget to make plans to protect yourself. Commercial roadside protection is a must for every trucker. Reach out to Encore Protection to find out how we can help you.