We’ve often discussed the challenges of trucking as a profession on this blog. These challenges represent some reasons the industry is suffering a shortage of workers. Many workers looking for jobs today see work-life balance as one of their top priorities. However, trucking is a job with unique demands and strenuous hours. When it comes to work-life balance as a trucker, it comes down to determining what kind of trucker you want to be. Let’s discuss three options in detail.
Three Driver Career Paths
Over the Road
An over-the-road (OTR) trucker has one of the most demanding jobs. They will have to spend weeks or longer away from home, operating coast to coast. An OTR driver’s schedule usually manifests in one day off the road for every week spent on the road. It has the highest earnings potential but offers the least work-life balance.
A regional truck driver won’t operate coast to coast like an OTR truck driver. Instead, they’ll work within regions like the Midwest, West Coast, or Northeast. Therefore, a regional truck driver will usually only be away from home for a week at a time, then return home for thirty-four-hour resets.
These drivers often receive pay similar to OTR drivers, but you will be home more often. There is more of a balance between income and time at home.
Local drivers operate just as the name implies. These drivers operate within a set radius around their homes and return at the end of their shift. This option is ideal if you wish to be home more often, but the pay varies greatly. You’ll typically earn much less than OTR or regional drivers. However, for many, the time spent at home is worth it.
How to Improve Balance for Regional and OTR Drivers
There’s been a shift in the industry in managers’ desperation to hire more drivers. Some fleets have adopted domicile networks that operate similarly to relay races. This arrangement means that routes that OTR truckers would generally take are handled by multiple local drivers, being passed along in a relay race style. Other fleets prioritize shift flexibility to give drivers more freedom with their schedules.
If these options are not possible for your fleet, there are some ways that long-haul drivers can improve their work-life balance while spending lots of time on the road.
- Get Creative with Entertainment: So much entertainment is available at your fingertips. Options like audiobooks, music streaming, and podcasts are particularly popular among drivers. These entertainment options cater to your specific interests and allow you to engage in whatever you love on the road.
- Learn a Portable Hobby: Hobbies are fun, but they are also critical to your happiness. There are lots of hobbies you can still enjoy as a driver. Consider photography, learning a new language, or blogging/journaling your time on the road. Be sure to keep your brain stimulated.
- Plan Your Routes Strategically: When possible, incorporate stops into your route to make your trip more enjoyable. That may mean restaurants you want to eat at or landmarks you want to see. Fleet owners, it is beneficial to everyone to work with drivers on these requests.
- Exercise: Fleet drivers often fall behind on exercise. Don’t let this happen to you by ensuring you get regular physical activity while on the road. Look for fitness apps specifically designed for truckers.
Azuga Helps Make Managers’ and Drivers’ Jobs Easier
At Azuga, we know everything there is to know about fleet operations. Our comprehensive fleet management software supports fleet managers through every step of the process– from dispatch to billing. Drivers have their own app that makes it easier to communicate with their managers and log what they’re doing throughout the day. To learn more about how Azuga simplifies your daily processes, try a demo with one of our experts.
Truck Driver Shortage Update for 2023 - May 17th, 2023
Discover the pressing driver shortage crisis in the transportation industry and the companies’ need to resolve it proactively. Gain insights into practical tips, such as boosting driver wages, enhancing working conditions, and implementing recruitment and retention strategies, to attract and retain qualified drivers.
How Does Trucking Affect Driver Health? – TBD
Learn the potential dangers of the trucking profession on your drivers’ health. How can fleet managers and drivers work together to ensure that drivers stay healthy while working long hours on the road?
Women in Trucking Statistics 2023 – Jun. 23rd, 2023
Obtain updated statistics on women in the trucking industry in 2023, and learn about their increasing presence and contributions. Discover insights into the growing number of women drivers, their job satisfaction, and their professional challenges, emphasizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the trucking workforce.