Life on the Road at the Holidays
Consider what it may feel like to be, in some cases, thousands of miles away from the ones you love, especially during the holiday season. As Thanksgiving recently kicked off the traditional holiday calendar, there’s still at least another month when a lot of our favorite commercial drivers will be spending a considerable amount of time away from home. So, for those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to stay close and near to family at holiday-time, let’s think about what those who are over-the-road are going through and grant them our appreciation.
Not Your Normal Schedule
One of the toughest challenges that a truck driver can face is not knowing what their schedule looks like from one week to the next. Their jobs can often vary, both in distance away and time spent on the road. This is especially challenging because the driver doesn’t always know when exactly they’ll be home. The time on the road can also affect their sleep schedule, and their health can also become a problem when having to schedule important appointments or personal events back home.
Not Much Time at Home
Another challenge that’s also very relatable to the previous one on this list, a lack of regular home time can definitely be a struggle for many truck drivers. This can be extremely difficult when they have a family that they’d prefer to spend their time with. But even if they happen to be single and simply have other obligations back home, drivers are still dealing with a host of variables that make it difficult to get back home on a regular basis.
Most trucking companies will pay their drivers by the mile, sometimes a percentage, and with irregular routes it’s not always easy to know exactly what their take-home pay will be for each pay period. It also means that when they’re stuck waiting on things like a traffic slowdown, or anticipating being loaded and unloaded, they aren’t always getting paid. This, of course, largely depends on the carrier they drive for, but it also bears reminding that patience and understanding is appreciated on all sides.
The long hours spent sitting in one place or position, like the front seat of a cab, the irregular and offbeat working hours, and the necessity to eat wherever and whenever they possibly can, are just several issues that can contribute to health problems for many truckers. Keep in mind that their goal is to make money for a living but neglecting one’s health is also a detriment to all on the road.
A Multitude of Regulations
There can be a lot of red tape associated with being a truck driver, and some drivers can become increasingly frustrated with certain regulations that are being placed upon them. Things such as how many hours they can legally drive at a time, and increasingly lofty health restrictions. Although these regulations are necessary, it can be tough if they’re trying to maximize their time on the road in order to earn more money or even just trying to get home sooner.
As you can see, life as a truck driver is not without its challenges but most of them can be tackled with the right type of understanding and support system. And during the holiday season, it helps to be fully supportive of our trucking brethren because without them we may not be able to provide the type of holiday our friends and families deserve.