Long haul drivers and drivers in general are needing more inspiration to keep going. Things are changing fast in the trucking industry and drivers everywhere are feeling the pressure from it. And of course, the ELD logs are not making it any easier. Drivers are constantly having to deal with change, stress, and finding time for themselves. So, finding inspiration in truck driving is now harder than ever.
“It’s not as if I don’t know how to handle the truck now. A license is just a piece of paper.” ~ Terry Lynn Johnson, Ice Days
Truck driving is an ongoing learning experience, from keeping up with the new logging regulations to finding the new delivery stop. Drivers very rarely have a day they are not learning something new. And if they are not learning something new, odds are they are not doing something right. Don’t get me wrong, every job has its challenges. But you must understand, truck drivers are held to a higher level of driving skills, and the regulations are tough. So, finding inspiration in truck driving might be difficult.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the main handbook a driver must live by and the book is constantly changing. Just recently, the ELD mandate (Electronic Logging Device) also went into effect. So, there are a lot of drivers who are adjusting to this new logging system. When you can get a little extra time just venture around the FMCSA site to find out what other things are changing. Another good source of keeping up with what is happening in the trucking industry is the Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association (ooida).
Not all the changes that take place are bad. I would imagine that the GPS systems have been one of the best improvements most truck drivers have experienced. It was for me. Of course, if you talk to some of the older drivers, I’m sure they might argue that air ride was the best invention.
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All the changes that take place in a driver’s life is only a small part of the stress they deal with. Drivers are dealing with traffic and weather constantly. All I can say to that is God please give them the strength to deal with it. As you all know, traffic and weather can cause the longest delays. Not to mention, heart failure. They also have to go through inspection stations almost daily if not several times a day. Not to mention the Blitz week, where all across the U.S. DOT pulls drivers in for extra inspections.
“The total ugliness and indifference of the worst features of the human race come out in their driving habits.” ~ Charles Bukouski, Absence of the Hero
But this is far from the only stress they have. A lot of times making their appointments whether it is a delivery or pickup is a big concern. Trust me, shippers are not always understanding when you are late, regardless of the reason.
And for long haul truckers they are away from home for weeks. Their normal outlet for dealing with ups and downs from the job is more confined. They will spend days on end speaking to very few people, and to their loved ones only a few times a day or less. So, you can see how this job can take a toll on the body, mind, and soul. A person doing this job can have a hard time finding inspiration in truck driving over and over.
Because drivers are in a state of flux most days they can have a hard time relaxing. Their lives usually consist of driving, eating and sleeping and not much else. This is a tough job and not just anyone can do it.
To all you drivers out there. Thank You and once a day try to get some “you” time.
- Try to walk around for about 10 min at least once a day. If not, try to walk around your truck 2-times a day in addition to your inspections. The perfect scenario would be a 30-minute walk.
- Slow down and say hello to someone. The cashier, the waiter or waitress, or another driver and listen to what they have to say. It will help take your mind off what you have rambling through your brain.
- Call your loved ones or a friend, an extra time, if it is a tough day. This can help take your mind off the aggravation on hand.
- When things are getting hairy, take 10 deep breaths. This will help you reset.
You are not a computer but some days you will feel like the world thinks you are.
As you can see being a driver has its constant changes, unlimited amount of stress, but it is up to you the driver to find some “you” time and unwind. Take a moment and find yourself because finding inspiration in truck driving is hard some days.
Because the world needs you, they just may not know it!