The life of a truck driver is about answering the call of the open road while moving goods across the country. No wonder some truckers say that never in a million years would they trade their truck driver career for a 9-to-5 job in a cubicle. But the life of a truck driver isn’t for everybody. And the first year is the toughest. But as long as you go into it with realistic expectations and the full-fledged support of those who matter the most to you, truck driving could be a reliable career that delivers what you need.
A day in the life of a truck driver can vary, but more often than not, it’s all about operating safely and delivering goods to customers on time. To maximize pay, you want to log the most miles possible. Some drivers prefer driving through the night. For long-haul truckers, a day might look like this:
- 4:00 a.m. – Grab a cup of coffee, check messages and the weather forecast, inspect the truck and trailer, start your e-log and get underway. Your 13-hour window starts now and only 11 of those can be driving hours.
- 10:00-10:30 a.m. – BREAK for 30 minutes and stretch your legs.
- 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Log a few more miles.
- 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – BREAK for an hour. If you’ve been making good time, depending on where you are, make the most of your lunch break by taking in the local scenery or checking-in with your family back home. Instead of fast food, reach into your on-board fridge and take out the healthy lunch you packed.
- 12:30-2:00 p.m. – Log a few more miles.
- 2:00-2:30 p.m. – BREAK for another 30 minutes to stretch your legs. Use this time to walk around the truck and ensure that your load is secure.
- 2:30-5:00 p.m. – Back on the road. You must have 10 consecutive hours off duty, so it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll spend the night. If you’re close to home, head that way and take the rare opportunity to sleep in your own bed. Otherwise, keep to your route and log a few more miles.
- 5 p.m. – Good job. You’ve logged 11 hours of driving time and kept well within your 14-hour window. Time to call it a day. Work out. Take a shower. Have dinner. Phone home. Most truck stops have WiFi, so you can watch your favorite show or stream a movie. Lights out.
One of the most rewarding things about being a trucker is that you can largely plan your own schedule based on routes that most efficiently meet your employer deadlines, instead of being held to a monotonous 9-to-5 routine.