As a new truck driver, it’s important to consider how your day to day life will change with this new step in your career and be aware of all the things you’ll need to do on the road to keep yourself safe. The first year is often the hardest as you’ll be getting accustomed to a variety of new things. But with time and experience, it’ll be easier to manage as you grow accustomed.
Here are some things you should know as a new truck driver:
- Managing Your Schedule
- How to Care for Your Mental Health
- Staying Entertained
Contact Beacon Transport today to learn more about our job opportunities.
Managing Your Schedule
As a truck driver, there are various rules you’ll need to follow including the hours that you’re able to work. As outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, property carrying drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. If you’re a passenger-carrying driver, you’ll be able to drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty. However you won’t need to manage your schedule completely on your own. Truck drivers work with dispatchers who are responsible for communicating things like traffic delays, vehicle breakdowns, and delivery issues. You’ll be able to rely on them to quickly resolve issues and keep things running smoothly. Here are some quick time management tips:
- Set mileage goals
- Use apps like Google Maps or Waze to monitor traffic
- Find a quality parking spot
- Load and unload early
- Rest before you become too exhausted
How to Care for Your Mental Health
As you may be spending far more time by yourself than you’re used to as a new truck driver, it’s essential that you take care of your mental health. Some signs that your mental health may be declining, as listed by The National Alliance of Mental Illness, include: low mood multiple days a week, excessive fear or worry, extreme mood changes, and difficulty sleeping. These issues may be caused or made worse due to loneliness, anxiety, and other emotional issues.
Luckily, there’s a variety of ways you can take care of your mental health on the road. Some of these include:
- Connecting with loved ones: When you have time off, you can coordinate your schedule with friends or family for phone calls, Facetimes, watching movies together, or playing an online game. You can also send postcards from various stops or send emails that recap how you’ve been doing.
- Eating well: While getting fast food or snacks from gas stations may be the most convenient way to eat on the road, you still have plenty of healthy options at your disposal. You can pick up fruits or vegetables and portable snacks like pretzels and hummus or trail mix. There’s also plenty of gadgets on the market that will help you make meals like rice cookers and electric skillets.
- Ask a professional: If you’re having trouble managing your mental health on your own, a mental health professional will be able to help you properly navigate what you’re going through. Plenty of therapists and psychologists offer tele-health sessions that you’ll be able to take while on the road.
The more time you spend on the road, the quicker you may become bored. To be prepared in these instances, it’s important that you bring everything you’d want with you. This can include things like crossword puzzles, books, or gaming consoles. Similarly to being at home, there are many things you can take on the road with you that will help you relax and give you something to do during your time off. Here are some other things you can do:
- Listen to audiobooks or podcasts
- Pick up a new hobby like photography
- Stream sports games
- Visit local spots
- Document your trips in a physical or online journal
Get Started With Beacon Transport
Whether you’ve just started your career or are interested in becoming a truck driver, Beacon Transport is here to help you. We specialize in hauling non-hazardous dry freight throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest and have an in-house maintenance staff that handles all of our servicing needs.
Contact us today to learn more about the trucking industry and our job opportunities.