Living your life on the open road! While the life of a trucker has a kind of romantic appeal, it’s not a position just anyone can take. Depending on the type of driving you’ll be doing and the distance, you may be able to spend most nights at home, or you might be making long haul trips across the country. Schedules can vary pretty significantly, but there are a few factors that are often similar.
The first thing you need to know about driving a truck is that there are set limits for the hours and time frames you can work. Every year truck drivers in the US average at about 105,000 miles driven. With impressive numbers like these, it’s critical that there are regulations in place to keep drivers safe. The federal government posits that a trucker shouldn’t be driving for longer than 11 total hours per day and that those hours must be within a 14-hour time frame. If you start at 8 am, for example, you must stop driving by 10 pm, and there must have been breaks.
Once it comes to the daily schedule, it can be quite different depending on the person and the haul. To start, you’ll want to check your docket and logs to see what you can expect. You’ll also need to do a full inspection of your truck before you get on the road. If you’re ending or starting a job, you’ll make your way to drop off or pick up. Otherwise, you’ll want to be sure that you’re setting your day up for success by getting in a healthy breakfast, some exercise, and maybe even pack a lunch and healthy snacks.
Having a full lunch break is essential when you’re on the road. After driving for long hours, your body will need a break to stretch and be active, and your mind and eyes will need a rest from the road. If you’re on a long haul, you’ll likely be stopping to make several short breaks to check your truck and rest as well as your more extended break.
Towards the end of your day, you’ll want to keep an eye on your meters to make sure you stay within your limits, but otherwise, you’ll likely have a lot of freedom. If you’re running shorter trips you may drop your truck off, do an inspection and head home. If you’re on a long haul, it’s time to find a safe, legal area to pull over for the night.
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