Nearly every job looks nice on the outside, including truck driving, but what does a typical day really look like? Though every trucking job is different, here’s what a typical day in the life of a truck driver might look like.
Some drivers may prefer to wake up early, before 6 am, to get a few hours of driving in before the lunch rush hour traffic starts up. Experienced truck drivers know to pack healthy meals and snacks to avoid purchasing expensive and low-nutrition foods at truck stops or splurging on restaurants. Early mornings are also a great time to take a quick shower.
Before hitting the road, truck drivers are required to conduct a pre-trip inspection to make sure the truck is in good condition and ready to go. Drivers may have to drive for a day or two before reaching their delivery destination.
How afternoons go will depend on what instructions are sent by dispatch. An afternoon may involve a drop-and-hook or a live unload. During a drop-and-hook, the driver will drop off a trailer and pick up an empty one to drive to another shipper. During a live unload, the driver will wait while warehouse workers unload at a receiving dock.
Once the truck driver knows where he or she will be going next, they’ll plan where to spend the night. Experienced truck drivers know where the good rest areas and truck stops are. Some states offer well-maintained modern truck stops with amenities like showers and laundry facilities.
Once the driver finds parking, they’ll conduct a post-trip inspection to make sure the truck and trailer are in good condition. After the inspection, the driver will complete the required paperwork and input information into the in-cab computer.
For dinner, some drivers might have a crock pot dinner. Others may choose to cook their dinner using a microwave or a portable stove. Drivers should be careful to track how much they spend on food and avoid dining out too often as this can really dig into their salaries.
In their free time, truck drivers may browse the Internet, watch a movie, or call home. After a good night’s rest, truck drivers are ready to get back on the road the next day.