I don’t know about you but one of the things that used to drive me crazy was driving a truck that was not set up to my liking. When I started my career in long haul transportation I heard many complaints of people not being able to sleep well on the road. This was partially due to people viewing trucking as a job and not a change in lifestyle. When you are starting out in the industry you may not be getting the newest piece of equipment and depending on the drivers handling it before you it may not be in the best of shape. I came across this many times in my career and was told early on by a wise Terminal Manager I used to work for that the best way to get comfortable on the road was to duplicate what you did at home. I took this advice to heart and have operated the same way over my whole career. He had driven for years before me and I respected his opinion of logic on the road. As other drivers were packing sleeping bags into their bunk I was packing sheets and towels, and fluffy pillows. He said you don’t sleep in a sleeping bag at home so don’t sleep in a sleeping bag in the truck.
It’s true I have always run with a comforter, sheets, pillows and the like. Even if you only get fours hours sleep, four hours in a comfortable bed is much better than four hours in a sleeping bag. The same goes for diet and exercise, right now there is a big kick in the industry to get drivers in shape. If you like to exercise at home then find ways to replicate that on the road. If you eat cereal for breakfast at home, then eat cereal for breakfast on the road. Add mementos from home and other items that will make you feel comfortable on the road allowing you to make that truck your home. I have gone so far as to have special boxes made to hold paperwork, and other gear so the truck didn’t look a mess. Think of what you need and how you operate and you will find ways to make you truck your home. With technology these days you can be sitting in a truck stop in Alabama watching your kids play soccer in Toronto with Skype and other programs, you won’t even miss the game. The drivers that have mastered this will tell you they even sleep better in the bunk than at home and they should. You are in that truck for five to six days each week, it is your home, you may as well make it comfortable. The only thing missing on the road for me was the sweet smell of Grandma’s apple pie.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant with over 30 years of experience and author of the books Running By The Mile, and Driven to Drive. Find more articles at www.outridgeenterprises.ca