Last year, the number of semi-truck drivers on the road jumped 1.5% to reach the figure of 3.54 million drivers. For those of you who are truckers, you play an important role in keeping our economy moving, while you face the demands of a job that can sometimes take a toll on your personal life. Striking a balance between work and family life is a definite challenge. Let’s take a look at four practical ways to balance work and family as a truck driver.
Embrace Technology to Stay Connected
One of the significant challenges truck drivers face is the physical distance that separates them from their families. It’s common to struggle and feel isolated from loved ones while on the road. Fortunately, there are some advantages that come with technology. Video calls, instant messaging, and social media platforms provide an avenue for real-time connection with family members. A research group in Australia recently pushed the value of Facebook for positive trucker health. Hopping on social media to feel connected, investing in a reliable smartphone or tablet, and getting access to a stable internet connection can make a world of difference. These technological lifelines not only keep families connected but also offer emotional support during long stretches away from home.
Prioritize Health and Well-being
The demanding nature of the trucking profession can lead to neglecting personal health. Irregular schedules, sedentary hours behind the wheel, and limited healthy food options on the road contribute to health challenges for truck drivers. Truckers face a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular issues compared to the general population. To address these concerns, it’s important to prioritize health as much as possible. Incorporating regular exercise, choosing nutritious meals, and staying hydrated can have a significant impact. Taking breaks to stretch and move around during long hauls can improve circulation and reduce the risk of health issues.
Create a Routine that Balances Work and Family Time
Establishing a routine is essential for maintaining a sense of normalcy in the unpredictable world of trucking. While the nature of the job involves irregular hours and extended periods away from home, having a predictable schedule when off-duty can help truck drivers allocate dedicated time for family activities. Whether it’s designating certain days as family days or setting aside specific hours for quality time at home, having a routine fosters stability. Communicating this schedule with family members allows everyone to anticipate and participate.
Cultivate a Support System
Navigating the challenges of the trucking lifestyle becomes significantly more manageable with a robust support system. Building connections with fellow truckers who understand the unique challenges can provide a valuable network for sharing experiences and seeking advice. A strong support system can act as a safety net, providing emotional support during challenging times and celebrating successes both on and off the road.
Balancing work and family life as a truck driver is undeniably challenging, but not impossible. By embracing technology, prioritizing health, planning strategically for home time, and cultivating a support system, truckers can navigate the road of life with more confidence and resilience.