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Being a truck driver is one of the most rewarding careers around, but it’s certainly not without its challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the hardest things about being a trucker:
The first year is the most difficult
When you’re new to anything, it takes some time to get the hang of things. This is why your first year as a truck driver will likely be the most challenging of your career. You’ll need to learn the ins and outs of living on the road, honing your driving skills and managing the expectations of your new job. Use your training time wisely by asking questions and learning as much as you can. It’s also important to be willing to ask for help and advice whenever you need it. Experienced drivers are often very willing to share what they’ve learned with newer drivers. After all, we all need to work together to ensure safer roads everywhere.
Being away from home
Many drivers enjoy the solitude of trucking, but this also means that you’re away from friends and family for long periods at a time. You may miss out on special events and you’ll have to be intentional about the time you do have at home to spend with them. Find ways to stay connected with your loved ones while you’re away. Make phone calls and video chat often. Loneliness on the road can also contribute to depression and other mental health issues. Reach out to a mental health professional if you need someone to talk to.
Other home time concerns
Your home time schedule will vary depending on what company you work for. Some companies offer more than others and many drivers will tell you that they don’t get home as often as they’d like. At NTB, we give our drivers guaranteed weekly home time to ensure you know exactly what days you’ll be there.
Other drivers on the road
We all know that distracted driving is a major issue on today’s roads. As a truck driver, you’ll encounter a lot of motorists who are poor drivers, too aggressive, or distracted by their phones. Part of our jobs as truckers is to be aware and alert at all times. If you can anticipate other drivers’ movements and drive defensively, you’ll be making the road a much safer place.
Making health a priority
Driving a truck for hours and days at a time makes it hard to prioritize healthy eating and good fitness habits. Food that is fast and convenient isn’t the healthiest and it’s hard to have a gym membership when you’re away from home. Try prepping your food at home and then all you have to do is reheat or cook your ingredients in the truck. Go for daily walks or watch YouTube videos on in-cab workouts with minimal equipment.
When the weather’s bad, truck drivers don’t always have the luxury of waiting it out. You’ll need to know how to drive in all types of weather conditions and check the weather forecast along your route regularly.
Breakdowns and truck maintenance
In most trucking jobs, you only make money if your truck is moving. Experiencing breakdowns or other issues with your truck that require maintenance means that you’re stuck waiting for your truck to be fixed. Some carriers, including NTB, offer breakdown pay so you can continue to earn money even while you wait.
Truck driving is certainly a job that demands a lot physically and mentally, which is why at NTB, we’ve created a place where you feel valued and respected for the work you do, Learn more about the family feel NTB drivers love, our newest competitive pay package and our bonus pay opportunities.