The Daily Life of a Commercial Truck Driver
From waking up at the break of dawn to prepare, to arriving at the shipping area and assist in loading the cargo, to taking it on the wide roads to its destination. The life of a truck driver is never easy. These line of workers do their due diligence just to make sure that no problems arise while transporting cargo.
In this article we will read about the daily activities and the hardships a commercial truck driver experiences on a day to day basis.
The Trucker Life
Commercial truck driving is a profession like any other that should be respected, it is a career choice. The work of a truck driver doesn’t just start when he’s on the wheel and on the main road driving to his destination. It start’s as soon as the driver wakes up to get ready for the long hour drives they are about to partake in.
A typical day consists of waking up roughly between 5 am and 6 am, going to the truck stop, getting some coffee, do some inspecting around the truck and the trailer and check instructions or messages. Doing the logs and also checking the weather conditions. Truck drivers usually wake up early in the morning, they tend to move with the light while there are also others that prefer to move cargo at night. It can also depend on the work hours laid out by the company, some being paid hourly but in most cases is calculated by the miles that they have covered.
Driving the vehicle is the main responsibility of a commercial truck driver, but is not limited to that, some also need to load and unload the cargo. Long-haul truck drivers also keep a logbook with them to keep a record of their driving activities for work purposes and for compliance with federal regulations.
Ask any truck driver out there and they will say that experience is always necessary to make money in the truck driving business. There are those that have been in the business for ten or twenty years already and claim that they still find something new that they can learn about.
Truck Driver Essentials
You can never start driving to your destination for hours and hours in solitude without these essential items to help you and give you some relief while driving:
- Map or GPS (Global Positioning System) – take the time to get a map when you’re going. It is crucial especially in cases where the truck driver is not familiar with the road that they are taking. Smartphones usually have a built-in GPS and are almost always accessible as long as there is internet coverage in that area. But for old fashioned truck drivers the map can always do the job for them.
- Sleeping bag or a blanket and pillow – rather than carrying your own bed sheets and bedding, it is much more convenient for truck drivers to rest using sleeping bags.
- Toilet paper – of course when you’re out on the road you can never be sure that you won’t need to go to the bathroom to do your business any time soon. It doesn’t hurt to carry an extra toilet paper just in case you need to go and do a number two.
- Gloves – not only used for protecting your hands from injury but can also provide warmth when out on cold days. Dual purpose!
- Flashlight – you never know when your truck can break down at any time during the night so be sure to keep a flashlight with you to guide you while doing repairs. Again smartphones also have a flashlight function these days so it can also come in handy.
- Water and food – truck drivers usually go to diners on the sides of the road. But when they are in a hurry, they also pack bottled water and some non-perishable snacks with them to keep their energy up.
Whether you are just starting out in your career or someone who is considered an expert in truck driving, you can never help but to encounter problems while on the road. Unavoidable situations that the truck encounter must face while driving. Here are some of those daily struggles and also some suggestions that drivers do when tasked with these problems.
- If you are unfamiliar with the area you are going to drive in, it is better to contact for help with the company or someone you know who is familiar with that path. Some areas are frankly not just safe so call and find out first beforehand if the area is secure.
- While on the road make sure you cover all your bases. Make sure that there is nothing you’re forgetting and checking your blind spots. Be aware of other vehicles that are also on the road.
- When meeting with the customer in person when arriving at the area you are supposed to deliver the cargo, it is best to phone the customer and get directions as to where you will meet up, truck drivers say that it is best not to ask receptionists, but instead talk to the shipper or the receiver for more directions and instructions.
- If you are backing in, be aware that the spotter is only watching one part of the truck. So you can’t just rely entirely on the one assisting you when backing up, but also take the time to check it yourself by exiting the vehicle and making sure that there are no areas that you might crash in from behind.
- And of course this is obvious, but try and avoid accidents as much as you can! Accidents may affect your resume and may even cause you your job. Handling the vehicle and the cargo with care will always be the number one priority.
The life of a truck driver is never easy. There will always be problems to encounter while on the road so the truck driver is expected to be prepared as much as they can. It has its fair share of bad days but it also has its good days. A good day for a truck driver is always spent on the road (or on the road home). Commercial truck drivers take pride in their work and are one of the cornerstones of the delivery business.
How about you? Interested in the commercial truck driving business? Why not try and apply yourself? As they say, practice makes perfect and it makes you better and better. Keep calm and keep on truckin!