If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What does a truck driver do everyday?” and you’ve only been able to come up with “driving,” any truck driver will tell you there’s a lot more to the day than that. One of the biggest draws to the profession of truck driving is the freedom to travel and experience the country. Truck drivers get the opportunity everyday to enjoy a local view or eat a meal at the counter of a diner and have a conversation with a local resident. They get to enjoy local cuisines and entertainment. They get to experience the country in a way that most people don’t ever get the chance to.
While daily schedules may vary driver to driver, keep reading to learn what a typical day for a truck driver looks like.
What Does a Truck Driver Do In the Morning?
Though the morning might vary day by day or week by week, most truck drivers like to follow a routine to make sure they are in the right mindset and that their equipment is in tip top shape.
Wake Up Between 5am and 6am
Because most truck drivers drive around 500 miles or more on any given day, it’s good to wake up with the sun. There’s a lot of work to do on any typical day, and rushing into it usually sets the tone for how things will unfold. Taking the time to wake up, check the news, or give a call to say good morning to the family helps to ease truck drivers into the day.
Prepare the Mind and Body With a Healthy Breakfast
The adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has stuck around for a reason. Truck drivers know it as well as anyone. With a long day ahead of them, truck drivers fuel up on a hearty breakfast and coffee to keep their mind sharp throughout the morning.
Refresh With a Shower
Getting up with the rising sun isn’t always the easiest task to accomplish. One can feel groggy, and truck drivers know better than anyone how important it is to stay sharp, especially when driving a vehicle as big as a truck. This part of the morning is one of the more important aspects to help drivers feel alert and ready for the long drive.
Pre-trip Inspection of Equipment
Although it typically only takes around 15 minutes for the seasoned truck driver, the pre-trip inspection of equipment is the most important part of the day for a truck driver because it determines how the rest of the day will unfold. The pre-trip inspection includes checking on the coupling system, the vehicle lights, engine compartment, tires and brakes, the chassis, the fuel tanks, and an in-cab inspection. And of course, buying any snacks or drinks for the road.
Hit the Road
Here’s where the real work and fun begins. Once on the road, a truck driver’s day might look different depending on where they are in their delivery. They might be at the start of a few days of driving to the drop off location, or they might be on their way to deliver their trailer to the warehouse. Either way, with a solid morning routine, truck drivers are ready for anything on the open road.
What Does a Truck Driver Do In the Afternoon?
Much like a trucker driver’s preference for a morning routine, the afternoon can vary for truck drivers depending on what the dispatch dictates. Here are a few ways a typical afternoon will look like for a truck driver:
- The long haul. On average, truckers will drive around 500 miles a day. For those drivers making the long haul, they might spend their work day (around eight hours) getting from point A to point B, yet the final destination is point C.
- Drop and Hook. This is a trucking industry term that refers to when a driver delivers (drops) a full container to a warehouse and receives (hooks) an empty container in return. The process can work in both directions and tends to be a very quick process to get truck drivers back on the road.
- Live unload. In this delivery method, the driver waits on site while the warehouse unloads the container. After the container is unloaded, the driver returns the empty container to the port.
In the case that the driver has unloaded a container in the afternoon, they might have time to get a head start on the next delivery or to the location to pick up the next container. If they’re close enough, they might make the drive home for the night.
What Does a Truck Driver Do In the Evening?
Depending on where they plan to spend the night, truck drivers will spend the early evening making their way to a rest area. Truck drivers who have been on the road long enough might know of some of the best rest stops in the U.S., some of which provide amenities like showers and laundry facilities.
Here’s what an evening might look like:
- Find a parking spot. Because mornings for drivers tend to be so early, it’s typical to call it a day around 7pm. Getting to the rest area early means having closer access to amenities and restaurants, as well an easier way out of the lot in the morning.
- Inspection of the truck. Inspecting the tractor and trailer to make sure nothing has come loose or been damaged is important to ensure the equipment is ready to use the next day.
- Paperwork and workflow. Evening is a good time to wrap up any paperwork that needs to be completed. It’s also a good time to take care of any load-related tasks and to have a good idea of what the next day of driving and delivery looks like.
- Cooking or going out for dinner. A meal is much needed after a long day of driving. Some drivers prefer to carry their own food in an electronic cooler to be cooked in an on board microwave. Others might have dinner at a local restaurant. This gives truck drivers the opportunity to have a conversation with the locals, which can mean a lot after driving alone for the day.
- Free time and entertainment. Some truck drivers might find local entertainment in the town that they’re staying in. Others might spend the night reading or talking with their families back home. With the wifi or hotspots available most places, they might spend the evening watching a movie or exploring the internet before getting a full night’s rest.
What Does a Truck Driver Do at Truck Driver Institute?
Well, a truck driver learns to be a truck driver at Truck Driver Institute. If the typical daily schedule of a truck driver sounds right for you, you can earn your Commercial Driver’s License in as little as three weeks. We also provide competitive tuition rates and consistent job placement.
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!