Whether you’re a new driver or have been on the road for years, managing your OTR truck driver lifestyle is a challenge that all drivers face. A career in the transportation industry is vastly rewarding, but the unique lifestyle that accompanies the exciting career makes it difficult for some to handle.
The demanding aspect of truck driving can influence your home life, health, and personal relationships, especially if you’re on the road for weeks at a time. Luckily, with the amount of time you’ll spend on the road, it’ll be effortless to get acquainted to this type of life and figure out what works best for you to establish a durable balance.
While advancements have been made over the years to make the OTR truck driver lifestyle easier to manage, it’s still important for truck drivers to do their part in generating income without compromising their life off the road.
The Step-by-Step Guide to Manage Your OTR Truck Driver Lifestyle
It’s been said that trucking isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. Truck driving careers can affect many other aspects of your life. However, you can easily adjust to your new or existing OTR truck driver lifestyle with our resourceful step-by-step guide made by industry experts.
1. Understand That It Takes Time and Persistence
Like anything that’s worth having, it takes time to achieve your goal. With a career in trucking, you’ll have ample amounts of time to determine what isn’t working, how to fix it, and how to maintain it. If you rush into transitioning into your OTR truck driver lifestyle, the effects will be unsustainable.
Take time to determine what you want out of your career and what motivates you in order to build the persistence that’s required to fulfill a balanced trucking lifestyle. For example, if you see that you’re not getting enough exercise, try different forms of exercise until you find one that suits your interests, goals, and schedule.
2. Have a Goal for Each Day
Start your day by setting a realistic goal for yourself aside from your daily mileage goal for your freight delivery. The goals you set for yourself can be anything from saying “hello” to at least 5 people today to drinking your recommended water intake.
Regardless, setting goals gives you a sense of personal satisfaction and the feeling of accomplishment fuels your desire and will continue to motivate you to achieve more. That motivation and positive feelings will ultimately help you take on any obstacle you may encounter as a truck driver.
3. Stay Entertained
Although you get to travel the open road, being on the road for multiple hours a day can become mundane and monotonous. Long spells of monotony can lead to constant boredom, depression, and even physical issues, but breaking monotony is very simple.
With technology at your disposal, you can entertain and educate yourself by downloading audiobooks and podcasts available in a wide range of topics. Both forms of entertainment can be easily downloaded on your smartphone or mobile device before hitting the road and can be freely listened to through your radio or sound system in your rig.
4. Communicate with Others Daily
Communication is what connects us as human beings. It forms our social relationships and helps us develop clarity, direction, and trust. When you’re on the road, try to communicate with your loved ones and fellow truckers to maintain those cherished connections.
When you are isolated from others and working for long hours every day, communication is vitally important to maintain your mental health. Plan times for texting, talking on the phone, and virtual activities with your family to feel involved and knowledgeable about what’s going on at home.
Sitting for long periods at a time can slow down your metabolism and cause chronic back pain. Truck drivers are idle for most of the day, reducing their ability to burn calories or build muscle. Exercising is essential to help you feel better while on the road.
Equipment isn’t necessary to get a good exercise in. There are numerous exercises and stretches that can be done from your driver’s seat to help reduce stress and avoid injury.
For example, at a red light, rotate your wrist left and right or in a circle or stretch your wrist by placing your fingertips on top of the steering wheel. This exercise alone will help reduce the risk of arthritis or carpal tunnel.
Read our blog on the Best Exercises for Truck Drivers to learn how to effectively implement exercises in your OTR truck driver lifestyle!
6. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Healthy eating habits is just as critical to managing your OTR truck driver lifestyle as exercising is. Obesity is a common health concern in the transportation industry. Eating healthier as a truck driver may be easier said than done, but a poor diet can cause serious health issues.
You want to slowly ease yourself into a new diet, as completely cutting out the foods you love in the beginning isn’t sustainable. Instead, keep your favorite foods in your diet, but cut down on the portion size and explore the healthier truck stop meal options.
Don’t have time to find healthy meal options at a truck stop? Learn how to eat healthier at convenient fast food restaurants by reading our blog What is the Healthiest Fast Food for Truck Drivers!
Find Balance to Your OTR Truck Driver Lifestyle at TDI
There isn’t a secret formula for a balanced OTR truck driver lifestyle, but with the amount of time you have on your hands, you’ll be able to find and develop a successful balance that works for you. Remain patient, keep yourself stimulated mentally and physically, and continue to stay involved with those around you.
If you want to learn more about managing your OTR truck driver lifestyle, contact us today to speak with an industry professional!