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Fuel for Thought

Prepare For Take Off

By Greg Huggins
Posted Dec 13th 2018 6:41AM

Truckers spend a lot of time away from family and friends throughout the year. We might miss out on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc., but many of us plan to be home for the Christmas holiday and take some much needed, extended time off.

Being prepared to take time off for owner operators is crucial. Failure to prepare for extended time off can lead to unnecessary hardships when planning to return to work.

Financially, we must plan for time off. As business owners, there are no paid vacations. Prepare to take off work financially. Live below your income throughout the year and time off (scheduled or unscheduled) will be less stressful. No one wants to return from extended hometime only to find they are now behind because they did not prepare for it.

Don’t forget about your equipment. Parking your truck for extended periods can lead to unwanted repairs. Make sure your batteries are in good working order. Turning of the master switch will reduce the drain on your batteries while parked for days or weeks. Another option, if your truck is equipped with it, is shore power. If available, connect your truck’s shore power outlet to a 120V outlet to keep those batteries charged.

Don’t forget about the cold weather this time of year. While parked in colder climates for long periods, you may want to consider also plugging in your block heater. And on that subject, make sure your coolant is at the proper level and with adequate coolant, not just water. A frozen truck is not what you need after the holidays, or any time for that matter.

When returning to work, make sure you do a thorough pre-trip inspection. Many drivers think a parked truck will be the same as when they left it, most times that is true, but things can happen when a truck is parked for extended periods. Pay close attention to tire pressures, air lines, fluid levels, battery charge, belts, hoses and lights.

Preparing for time off may also include plans for getting your equipment serviced while you are not using it. Pre-planning truck service, if available, can save you some headaches as you plan your hometime activities.

Prepare to take off and finish the year on a good note, rather than trying to start the new year playing “catch up”.

Enjoy your time off.


See you down the road,



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