How to Beat Being a Lonely Truck Driver on the Road
How to Beat Being Lonely on the Road
There’s a lot to like about the trucking industry—the money, not being stuck behind a desk, working on your own, and the opportunity to become an owner-operator, to name a few benefits. But like all jobs, with the benefits of truck driving, you also have to deal with the downsides of this industry.
Loneliness is a major problem for lots of truck drivers—just take a look at posts on trucking forums.
If you’re new to the trucking industry or just starting to deal with loneliness on the road in your career, here are some tips to learn how to enjoy your time alone and stop feeling isolated.
Make a Plan to Stay in Touch
Before you head out on a haul, make a concrete plan to stay in touch with loved ones at home. This may mean investing in a smartphone that gives you access to social media and video chat. Even if you can’t physically be with your family every night, chatting to your kids before bed or texting with friends before falling asleep can make you feel much more social.
Another benefit of daily contact: you’ll make friends and family members happy. While you’re dealing with loneliness, remember that people at home miss you too. When you date a truck driver, time alone at home is part of the deal—but that doesn’t make it any easier on your girlfriend. Stronger connections on the road help you enjoy your time at home more.
Bring a Pet on the Road
You were probably drawn into trucking because of the opportunity to work alone without being surrounded by people, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need companionship.
A growing number of trucking companies, after listening to lonely truckers, have established drive-along programs for truck drivers with pets. LTI Trucking notes that drivers who bring companion animals on their trips are happier, healthier, and more productive.
There’s a lot to keep in mind if you decide to take a pet on the road with you, so you definitely need to have a plan in place before you hit the road with your pet. You have to keep your pet hydrated, fed, and entertained while on the road. This may mean more frequent stops for bathroom breaks, nightly walks and exercise, and parking your truck at truck stops with pet food and amenities. Exposure is another factor to watch out for. If temperatures get extremely high or low in your area, you need to protect your pet from the elements.
If you’re willing to meet the needs of your pet on the road and your company allows pets, give it a try.
Look Forward to Home Time
If you go on long hauls, you likely get one or two weeks of home time per month. Planning for your time at home can make the hours spent on the road go much more quickly. Whether it’s taking your kids to special events, spending quality time with your spouse, or going out with friends, you should have something to look forward to on every trip.
Use your driving time to think about what you want to accomplish at home and how you want to spend your time. If you use your home time well instead of taking it as it comes, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle life on the road.
Bring Your Spouse
A sad reality of trucking is that lonely truck drivers have lonely spouses. Even if you’re earning great money as a truck driver, lots of time apart can try any marriage. With the truck driver shortage growing, more and more companies are letting spouses drive together.
With two drivers, you and your spouse can log more miles, take shorter breaks, and ultimately bring in more money while enjoying each other’s company. Having someone else to watch the road can make your trip safer and help you avoid hazards.
Stay Active in the Trucking Community
Talking to other trucks on forums, Facebook groups, and chat rooms helps you become part of the national trucking community. You’ll likely cross paths with some of these people while on a long haul, giving you the chance to enjoy a meal and conversation.
The life of a long haul driver can be lonely, no doubt about it. With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy your time on the road and get plenty of interaction with the people you love.