Being a trucker isn't always easy, between many hours at a time spent behind the wheel - always attentive - and long stretches away from home. However, there's still plenty of opportunity to really enjoy the job and make the most out of the opportunities it presents to you on a regular basis, as long as you know how to maximize your satisfaction.
The following ideas should help you reduce your stress and increase your chances to stay happy as you traverse thousands of miles on the nation's highways and byways.
1) Find that right balance for family time
It's important to do as much as you can to connect with family and friends, and making sure you have as many days at home between runs - and that you can stay in touch when you're on the road - is critical, according to Smart Trucking. One of the biggest complaints many truckers have is loneliness, and you need to do all you can to minimize that problem, especially by leveraging technology to video chat or have long phone calls with loved ones.
2) Seek out the best possible compensation packages
Truckers may not always feel like they're well-compensated, but the good news is that in today's market, many companies are offering extremely generous sign-on packages for experienced drivers making a switch, Smart Trucking advised. All it may take is a little research to find a company that will pay you more, give you a better work-life balance or otherwise make it worth your while to leave your current job.
3) Don't let the traffic get you down
Especially for new drivers, it can be easy to get in the head space of worrying about delivery times when you're stuck in traffic, according to Trucking Truth. It's certainly frustrating, but you need to keep in mind it's outside your control to a certain extent. All you can really do is change your driving habits so that you avoid more populous areas during rush hours, and spend more time driving when roads are relatively clear. That might require shifting your schedule, but the reduced stress can be a game-changer.
4) Make the most of your downtime
Whether you're just using your 10 off-duty hours a day to catch up on your favorite shows or you do a bit of reading during detention, you should always have something to occupy yourself when you're not driving, Trucking Truth added. That way, you're reducing the risk that boredom sets in and affects your job satisfaction.
5) Stay in touch with work
In much the same way as you should strive to talk to friends and family every day, you also need to be proactive about checking in with your dispatchers, according to Keep Truckin. That way, everyone always knows what's going on for the people on the other end of the radio and no one ends up breathing down your neck about hitting your deadlines.
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