What To Know as a New Trucker: Your First Long-Haul Job

What To Know as a New Trucker: Your First Long-Haul Job

Joining the trucking industry is a lifestyle change, not just a career one. Here are some important things to know before your first long-haul job.

Trucking is more than just a job—it’s a lifestyle. Here are some important things to know before your first long-haul job as a new trucker.

Get Enough Sleep

Many truckers struggle with this one, but it’s vital to your health and well-being. Sleep deprivation can cause you to make careless mistakes while driving and can lead to health issues and depression. Prioritizing a healthy sleep schedule is one of the best choices you can make as a new trucker.

Don’t make the mistake of not making sleep a priority for your job or your health. Instead, ensure that you create a functionable sleep schedule before entering this career field.

Eat Healthily When You Can

It’s cheap and easy to get fast food for every meal, but this kind of diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle leads to serious health issues. There’s a reason so many truckers end up struggling with diabetes and heart issues.

Eat healthy when you can. Bring a cooler that you can take on the road with you, and restock it at truck stops or grocery stores with healthy snacks. Nuts, fruit, beef jerky, and granola bars are all great options. Most grocery stores also have ready meals, such as sushi or chicken salad, that you can stock up on.

Not only will you feel better while driving, but you’ll also save money in the long run. So, avoid the temptation of fast food meals and come prepared with premade snacks to keep you fueled for the road.

Pack the Proper Tools

There are essentials you should always carry while out on the open road. From a first aid kit to a well-stocked toolbox, these items can make a big difference in the success of your trip. One undervalued tool is proper storage. You’ll be living in your cab for weeks to months. Buy some storage bins and take some time to set up a system for storing clothes, personal items, and dirty clothes.

Nurture Your Relationships

Another thing to know as a new trucker is that trucking is an isolated job, and long periods of time away from home can be hard on relationships. Talk to your loved ones about what things will look like while you’re out on the road, and make time to contact them when you can. Ideally, talk to your family or partner once per day. Having your loved ones’ support will make a world of difference.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Check in on your mental health frequently and watch for symptoms of burnout and depression. Many truckers struggle with mental health issues due to loneliness, stress, lack of sleep, and financial difficulties. Symptoms and warning signs can include a short temper, restlessness, exhaustion, disinterest in old hobbies or passions, and a lack of focus.

It’s important to make time to relax outside of sleep. Read a book or watch a show you enjoy. Many truckers bring pets along with them to help combat loneliness. Above all, talk to a loved one or professional if you need help.

Your first long-haul job will be difficult, but you can have a successful career as a new trucker if you keep these things in mind. Prioritize your health and happiness, and the rest will come with experience.

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  • September 20, 2022