You’ve done your research and you’re ready to head out and hit the road as a truck driver, but are you ready for the lifestyle? While truck driving makes for a great career, you have to be prepared for the unique benefits and challenges you’ll receive as a driver. If you’re ready to learn more, take a walk through a day in the life and see if the life of a truck driver is meant for you.
A day in the life of a truck driver
The day we’ve used as an example is only one small slice of what a day could be like for a truck driver. Though this may capture a normal day, know that each day as a truck driver brings so many new, exciting moments that it would be impossible to capture them all.
A truck driver’s morning usually starts early, around 4 to 6 AM. You can have up to a maximum of 11 hours to drive within a 14 hour span, so it’s important to make the most of the time you get. As you wake up, your first steps would be to check your route and contact dispatch to discuss your estimated time of arrival. You would also need to check the weather along your route, monitoring for anything that could hold you back from making it to your destination. Keep in mind that sometimes your load may call for nighttime driving, or if you are running as team, you might be the person with the night shift driving. It is important to plan for the trip no matter the time of day.
Before you head out, you will have to fill up your fuel tank and perform a pre-trip inspection to ensure that your load is secure and that your truck is operating as it should. Depending on your day, you may be picking up a load, traveling to your drop-off destination or heading back home.
The majority of your day will be spent driving to your destination with intermittent breaks to move your legs, take bathroom breaks and check on your load to check that it’s secure. When lunchtime arrives, you can either stop and get something from a truck stop or restaurant (if truck parking exists at that location) or eat something you’ve made on the truck. We suggest bringing healthy snacks and stocking food on your truck so you can make your own meals to avoid loading up on food with little to no nutritional value that is typically found in truck stops. It’s easy to pick up unhealthy habits along the road, but being proactive about your diet can prevent you from making poor health decisions. There are lots of truck-friendly recipes online as well as in the Prime Ways magazines. Many truck stops are starting to carry healthier options so if you can’t make your own food definitely look around to find a meal that won’t drag you down on your shift.
As you drive, you might choose to listen to music, an audiobook or a podcast to help you hold your attention on the road. You’ll get to see the stunning sights of the country from outside your window as you travel, knowing you’re helping to keep America rolling.
As you reach your maximum of 11 hours of driving for the day, you will have to find a safe place to pull in for the night. If you’re early enough, you may be able to find a good spot at a truck stop to rest. Once you’re stopped, the rest of the night is yours to do with as you please. You can prepare dinner, rest, read a book, watch television or call your family and friends. Before you head to sleep, you may take some time to think about how much further you need to go to make your delivery in time and plan when you need to be up tomorrow morning.
What will my life be like on the road?
Going into a new career is always filled with uncertainty, especially for truck drivers. Fortunately, we can give you some reassurance:
- You can still see your family. Yes, you may be on the road for extended periods of time, but you will still get to see your family. For every 7 days on the road as a company driver with Prime, you will get 24 hours of home time to allow you time to recoup and relax. Company drivers are typically out 3-4 weeks at a time and then home for 3-4 days. With technology like FaceTime and Skype, it’s never been easier to keep in touch with your loved ones even while on the road. If a family member would like to go along on a haul with you, you can request a passenger permit from your fleet manager so that they can tag along for the trip. No family you want alongside you on the road? You can also bring pets onboard your truck as well!
- You will be safe. Safety is one of our primary values, and we enforce it at every possible opportunity. Our trucks come with top-of-the-line technology to help ensure your safety while out on the road. We also hold weekly safety meetings so that all drivers are reminded of our standards and know to be aware of any potential hazards that may come up. We believe our drivers are the “captain of the ship” and the only person that can truly determine if it is safe to continue for you to drive. We leave the decision to drive up to the driver. If a driver doesn’t feel safe, they can pull over to a safe spot and contact their fleet manager to let them know.
- You can stay healthy. Prime drivers have plenty of support when it comes to staying healthy with our innovative health and fitness program. Drivers are encouraged to make fitness plans and prepare healthy meals and are given support from our in-house Driver Health and Fitness Coordinator, Gary Danielson. We also offer a fitness centers in our three main facilities in MO, PA, and UT for those who want a workout while they’re stopped at a terminal.
Are you ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime and become a truck driver?
Get started by applying for Prime’s Student Driver Training Program. Our program allows you to get paid while you train with your CDL and receive 1-on-1 instruction while learning how to drive a semi-truck. Still have questions? Reach out to us and a recruiter will contact you.