Being a truck driver has its perks, one of which is the freedom that often goes along with this lifestyle. Plus, there’s more demand than ever for qualified drivers due to the increased need to get things from one location to another. Still, there are some unique challenges truckers have to deal with on a regular basis. For this reason, we’re presenting the following trucker guide to survive life on the road.

Showering

A common concern among newer truck drivers, in particular, is showering. Some truck stops have fuel rewards programs that allow drivers to accumulate “shower credits” so they can use shower facilities. Other options with showering for drivers include paying the fee if fuel credits aren’t available or showering mid-shift.

Sleep and Other Personal Needs

It’s important to be well-rested to remain alert on the road. Owner-operators can usually be more flexible with allowing time for sufficient rest. However, if you don’t have this option, inform your dispatcher you need some sleep before your next load is assigned if you seriously need to catch up on your Zs.

As for other personal needs, this is where good planning comes in handy. Many experienced truckers are able to do things efficiently at truck stops, like shower, get laundry done, and grab a bite to eat. Phones with Internet access can help you stay connected to family members and friends.

Traffic Challenges

Sudden shifts with speed limits, unexpected interstate congestion, weather, and heavy freight can contribute to traffic woes for drivers, especially when there’s a need to stick to pick-up and delivery schedules. Traffic issues may become more manageable, however, with steps that include:

  • Frequently checking weather apps
  • Careful trip and route planning
  • Keeping the truck in top-notch shape to avoid mechanical delays
  • Securing the flatbed load, especially if a route will be fairly rough or place a truck smack dab in the middle of inclement weather
  • Doing some quick research to plan for personal needs and stops

Some Mistakes Are Self-Correcting

Yes, some issues drivers face are beyond their control, like having to deal with unreasonable customers or ones that don’t make things any easier for busy drivers. But some mistakes are entirely within the control of drivers and self-correctable.

Life as a trucker will get easier. This is what seasoned truckers often tell newer drivers. Yes, it’s an occupation that presents some unique challenges. However, many drivers do eventually find a rhythm and routine that makes everything manageable.