Cruise Through Summer Long Hauls
Driving is as much of a summer tradition as barbecues or days spent at the pool, but for professional truck drivers it’s not so much the exciting road trip to the beach. It’s an endless, thankless job that requires a great amount of mental stamina and patience. We know just how long the dog days of summer can really be behind the wheel so we’ve put together a few tips on how you can beat the heat and breeze through long summer hauls.
Plan Your Itinerary
One way to eliminate the stress of long summer trips is by making a plan. The roads are especially crowded during summer months with more people taking time off work and families going on vacations, mapping off the specifics of your trip on how exactly you will get from point A to B relieves the stress of relying on the most popular routes given by Google Maps or GPS that others will likely be taking. Not only will you hopefully avoid the traffic, but you will also avoid your directions getting cut off due to choppy phone signal.
Another advantage of planning an itinerary beforehand, is that you can look for specific recreation areas, restrooms, and restaurants along your route in advance that you know are reliable from previous visits without blindly hoping you will run into one. This gives you a sense of reassurance that you know what’s to come, and marks out any destinations you know you want to hit.
Even though planning ahead is great and reassuring, you don’t necessarily have to feel locked into that plan. Things happen on the road and plans change. That is just a part of life on the road, but by setting up an itinerary you can have some semblance of control over your day to day duties.
Another way to pass time while on those long summer hauls is staying in touch with your loved ones. The road can be a lonely place when you are by yourself for hours, even days, on end. A simple phone call when you’re on the road can make all the difference, and it keeps you alert and focused.
There are so many ways for you to stay in touch with loved ones when on the road. We’re in an age of great technology which makes it easier to stay in contact with loved ones at home than ever before. You can FaceTime or video call loved ones, share pictures on Snapchat or Instagram, and catch life updates on Facebook. For some it may be slightly harder to get in touch with friends and family who are on a different schedule or live hectic lives of their own, but just because it may be harder, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are also tools like Google Calendar that allows you to share a calendar with friends and family to set scheduled times to get in touch so that you can work around each of your schedules to make time for one another.
No matter how you prefer to stay in touch, it’s still important to keep that contact. Hearing from loved ones on long hauls is not only a nice reminder that there are people out there that care for and miss you, but also a way of maintaining your mental health and sanity while being alone on the road.
Keep Your Mind Active
When you’re spending hours on end on the road, it starts to become hypnotic. The lines start to blur and the mind enters a trance that can dull the brain and cause you to lose focus. This can be dangerous to your own safety and that of every driver on the road with you. It’s important to keep yourself engaged and stimulated while on the road. There are several ways truckers can do this such as:
- Sing along to your favorite songs and albums
- Listen to an audiobook
- Catching up on podcasts
- Learning a new language on tape/cd
- Crack a window to let some fresh air in
- Focus on your posture
Studies show that driving while exhausted is just as bad as under the influence. It’s also important to stay hydrated and get enough sleep each night so that you can hit the road well-rested and energized to keep yourself and others on the road safe.
Take Care of Your Body
When you work long, demanding hours and food options have to be within earshot of the offramp of the highway, you don’t always have the option to take care of yourself properly. However, it is extremely important to still prioritize your well-being while you’re on the road, and staying healthy physically helps you stay healthy mentally.
One way to stay healthy on summer long hauls is to make sure you are getting enough rest each night. Studies show that adults ages 18 to 65 feel best when they receive seven to nine hours of sleep. This may not be possible every night, but your sleep schedule should be prioritized in order to maintain your physical and mental well-being. Another way to stay healthy on the road is by meal prepping. It helps to incorporate proteins, healthy fats, and greens into your diet to give you the boost of energy you need to get through long days; many truckers pack things like salads, nuts, fruit, and pre-cooked proteins in a cooler to have easy access to when on the road. This allows you to skip the drive-thru cuisine, and pack meals you know you enjoy that are also good for you. More drivers are also bringing bikes or small weights in their rigs to workout during heavy rush hours or before they start their day to stay in shape.
Physical health may seem like an afterthought at the end of a hard day, but it’s a vital part of your well-being and even your job. These small health problems can increase stress, affect your work capabilities, and lead to more serious problems along the line like heart disease or kidney failure. So, it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself, especially during lengthy trips in the hot summer heat.
Have You Been Injured on the Job? Get the Benefits You Deserve.
It’s important to not let the lengthy summer days on the road get you down. It can be extremely tiresome and draining if you are not taking care of yourself mentally and physically, and have lifelong effects further down.
If you are a trucker who’s been injured on the job or facing health issues as a result of your job, it is important to assert your rights and claim the workers’ compensation or personal injury benefits you are rightfully owed. If you encounter any difficulty in doing so – or if your benefits are cut off before you have recovered – it is advisable to consult with an experienced trucker attorney who can take action on your behalf. The lawyers of Hurt Trucker will fight to make your claim heard and work diligently to get you the benefits you deserve. Call toll free at 855-4-HURT-TRUCKER (855-448-7887) today for a free consultation.