Long-distance trucking is one of the most challenging jobs in the modern world. With tight delivery times, the stress of constantly changing road conditions, and a demanding pace of work that takes you far from home, it can wear down even the hardiest truckers. However, trucking can be a rewarding and lucrative career if you can survive. To ensure you can make it, here are a few tips to help you through and what to do when things get tough.
Maintain Your Health
While it may seem like a no-brainer, ensuring that your health is at the forefront to maintain your momentum without overextending yourself is essential. So, what are the best practices for staying healthy without affecting your bottom line?
- Eat Well: It is tempting when you are on the road to eat exclusively fast food and truck-stop snacks. Drive-thru and cheap calories are available alongside most American highways, giving you a quick and straightforward meal. However, poor gut health can lead to more bathroom breaks and slowly wear down your body, ruining your long-term prospects. Healthy snacks like vegetables make a suitable replacement for chips and candy, while pre-packing food from home or opting for a salad, while not as enjoyable, can mean a more comfortable route ahead.
- Shower: Most large truck stops have showers available for a modest fee. Use these resources to take a break, decompress, and feel refreshed. It can be easy to forget basic hygiene when in the flow of driving, but your body and others around you will thank you for keeping clean.
- Exercise And Stretch: By its nature, trucking is a sedentary profession, and exercising is next to impossible when your job demands sitting all day. Yet, to keep yourself from long-term skeletal or muscle damage, you must take stretch breaks and exercise regularly.
Due to the demanding nature and hefty hours needed to maintain target times, trucking effectively requires a solid plan. Since you already know the route and delivery timeframe, you may need to do some calculations to ensure you reach your destination safely and on time. Some roads may require upwards of 18 hours of driving and demand a plan for when to eat, sleep, and take breaks. If you accept a route from a company, make sure that time is available for all these things; otherwise, it may be better to turn it down or demand changes.
Keep Your Equipment In Proper Working Order
It is an obvious tip to maintain your truck correctly, but you will need a lot of other equipment for long-haul trucking. Equipment you should keep with you and in good order includes:
- First Aid Kits
- Flat Tire Repair Kits And Tire Gauges
- Flashlights With Extra Batteries
- More Fuel Than You May Need
- Snow Chains
- Jumper Cables
Stay Safe While on the Road
Finally, it is imperative that you ensure safe practices while on and off the road. No matter the distance of the route, safety should be one of your constant companions. While it may seem obvious, fundamental safety concerns are essential. Always keep your seatbelt on, as accidents can happen in an instant. If you get tired along the road, caffeine can help, but even that may not be enough. Take breaks when sleepy and rest when necessary. Finally, do not use your cell phone while driving. Despite being against the law, many drivers will still text or scroll apps, leading to a sharp rise in accidents.
Another tip for staying safe on the road is to ensure your load is always correctly loaded, balanced, and secured. At Strapping-Products.com we offer a large selection of strapping products that ensure your cargo is properly secured to keep you safe on the road. To learn more about our products, feel free to contact our team by phone at 888-803-8140.