Truck drivers and shippers spend nearly half their day the road, sometimes for weeks at a time. This process is stressful and mentally taxing, even for the most experienced of drivers. In the guide below, we offer some healthy driving tips for truckers to make sure they stay safe the road.
Establish a Sleep Routine
Sleeping the road is tough. You may have to change your sleep schedule around multiple times within the same week, depending the loads you get. Even if you cannot set a strict sleep schedule though, you should aim to have the same routine each time you go to bed. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages at least six hours before you go to sleep, and avoid all electronics for at least an hour before bed. If you have to sleep during the day, wear a mask over your eyes to block out the light. Do not eat anything for two hours before bedtime, and if you have to eat something, make sure it is light and easy your stomach. With all of this in place, you should be able to get a healthy night of sleep before driving again.
Bring a Pet with You
Pets can be incredibly therapeutic while you are the road. Having a pet around will help you feel less lonely, and it will also give you an excuse to pull over every once and a while to take a break, stretch, and let your pet use the restroom. Dogs are ideal for long road trips because they enjoy being in a vehicle and can sit right up front with you. However, many truckers find comfort in having a cat with them the road, as long as the cat’s personality is suited for a trucking lifestyle.
If you do not own your own truck, make sure that you are permitted to have a pet with you the road. Also keep in mind that some of your shipping clients may have allergen restrictions which would prevent you from bringing your pet with you certain shipments.
Eat Healthy Food as Much as Possible
You may not have access to a gourmet kitchen in the back of your truck, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for fast food at every meal. Keep a box full of fresh fruit and nuts to snack throughout the day, and try to prepare your own meals as often as possible. If you’re going to eat out, opt for healthy meal options with lean proteins, like grilled chicken or fresh fish. When you eat better, you feel better, and that will keep you the road longer. This will also help you avoid caffeine, which can do damage to your body over time.
Enjoy the Scenery
Some people spend their entire lives dreaming of a coast to coast road trip. If you put yourself in that frame of mind, you may find your loads a little easier to get through. Take advantage of the great views and wide open spaces that lie ahead of you. Sure, there will be days of stand-still traffic, but there will also be plenty of days with nothing but beautiful skies and luscious greenery at your side. Calm your mind and soothe your soul with the beauty of Mother Nature, and the days will feel like they’re just whipping by.
Talk to Your Loved Ones – OFTEN
Being the road for long periods of time can make you feel lonely and disconnected from friends and family members. Try to talk to them as often as possible, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. Use your meal breaks and wind-down times as opportunities to speak with your family the phone or through video messaging. This will give you both something to look forward to in the day, and it will make you feel more included when you return back home.