How many times have you thought that choosing a good job can improve the quality of your life? Seldom have you considered your job as your lifestyle? Life usually comes after the working hours, right? Well, for some people that’s not the case indeed. In certain industries such as trucking, work-life balance simply does not exist. We all need to accomplish the tasks our jobs require, but depending on the industry we are in, our schedule looks different. Do you consider trucking a job or a lifestyle?
Truck drivers’ life and job are pretty unique and they both seem to happen simultaneously on the road. The question is where they live, on the truck or at home? It really seems that their life is going on on the truck, the time they spend at home is kind of a vacation. But let’s not jump to the conclusion before getting deeper into the duties, responsibilities and free time of truck drivers.
Truck drivers do not have a typical workday schedule, 8-hour shifts and free afternoons to spend with family or friends. Instead, OTR (over-the-road) drivers pull some serious miles in one day. They most often don’t have regular routes and don’t know what their schedule is going to look like week to week.
Although the US State Department of Transportation set the regulations regarding the hours of driving and mandatory breaks, trucking industry statistics show that drivers spend too much time away from their homes. Thus, long-haul truck drivers are often forced to sleep in their trucks and do their daily routine. Cooking in the truck is also not strange for them. It is pretty challenging to turn a 10-foot box into a home, isn’t it?
After hours of driving, truck drivers need to get off the road and rest up. That’s where we encounter a serious problem. Where?
Although there are options available, none of them is comfortable for a person that has been driving for hours and needs to get some rest before they continue with a long ride again. The time between the two rides has to be utilized in a proper manner so that drivers get rid of the fatigue and feel capable of continuing their work. Most of them use sleeping cabs with a bed behind their seat. Others, on the other hand, use rest stops, motels and hotels to get a good refreshing sleep.
However, trucking companies really tend to be as accommodating as possible to their drivers so they provide facilities dotted along their routes and those places are more comfortable than the other two options mentioned above. In our previous blog post, we tried to debunk some of the most common truck drivers’ stereotypes, one of which is sleeping difficulty. Here, again, the question of trucking as a job or a lifestyle arises.
Healthy snacks or Unhealthy Meals?
Bringing with them the food that can stay fresh longer, eating at a truck stop, or preparing their own meals on a truck? Seems like the options are narrowed down to the three most frequent choices and possibilities.
Healthy eating seems close to impossible for long-haul drivers and they are at risk of diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Taking enough proteins is a must for having enough energy and staying un-hungry for a longer period. Having the balance of carbs, fats and proteins is necessary as well but not always possible. However, nowadays it seems that things have changed with new appliances that are available to everyone so the truck drivers can prepare their own food. But, there’s one thing that is quite problematic. After a long ride, does a truck driver have enough energy and will to get to cooking? The answer is obvious and justified. Instead, they will rather grab a gas station or a truck stop snack. The good thing is that now all truck stop stations offer not only burgers and hotdogs. Nowadays they offer healthier options such as meal salads with meat or fish.
The Solitude of Life
Huh, can it be lonelier than being alone all the time? It depends on truckers’ personalities. There are people who enjoy being alone and free, not talking to people that surround them. Such personalities tend to stay social with one another and have a cup of coffee or a meal together at truck stops.
Unlike introverts, there are truck drivers that are seriously prone to solitude. For those, there are a couple of options such as staying in touch with family over the phone as much as possible or joining the trucking community and chatting with colleagues. However, none of these can catch up with live interaction with loved ones.
Nevertheless, the solitude on the road is a relative thing. Depending on personal preferences, trucking can either be a job or a lifestyle.
The above is just a glimpse of what truck drivers have to deal with but still enough to get the overall impression of whether truck driving is a job or a lifestyle. Imagine you need to sleep at your workplace, cook, take a shower, and spend more than 200 days a year. Would you consider trucking a job or a lifestyle? If you’re the type of person that enjoys being on the wheels and away from a boring everyday routine, making your earnings while living the life of a truck driver is a choice you should go for.