Truck drivers' home time varies. For example, truckers who drive locally are home every night, while regional drivers can be home as much as three nights a week. Meanwhile, long-haul drivers tend to come home every four to six weeks, sometimes working for extended periods.
The answer to how often do truck drivers come home also depends on drivers' experience and seniority. Drivers with more experience or who have been with a trucking company longer may have more choice about their assignments. In any case, many truckers focus on quality time at home rather than quantity. Here are several ways you can make that happen.
Carve Out Rest Time
Home time is your chance to sleep in. Permit yourself to lounge in bed longer than you normally would, whether it is for 15 minutes extra or a few hours. Life on the road takes its toll. Sleeping late may feel unnecessary or frivolous, especially if you have many things to do. It isn't. It's a necessity so that you have enough energy for everything that needs doing while you are home.
Make "You" Time
Many truck drivers are married, in relationships and/or have children. Understandably, these people, along with others such as your parents and friends, want to see you while you are home. Make time for them, but not at your own expense. You work hard as a truck driver, and you have earned the time to pursue hobbies or activities you enjoy. Hiking, camping, fishing, golfing and tinkering with your motorcycle are great ways to spend time off the clock.
Get Quality Time with Family and Friends
Trucking can be lonely, and home time is the perfect opportunity to socialize and to spend quality time with loved ones. Small moments matter just as much as large moments (perhaps more), so don't stress if you cannot do something big or grand as often as you would like.
For example, your children will appreciate you reading them stories before bed every night just as much as they'd love a trip to an amusement park. Taking your sweetheart on low-key date nights and meeting friends for a game of pool are two other examples of the small moments that can help you stay connected to those closest to you.
Help Out Around the House
Speaking of small moments, they include daily and recurring tasks such as doing the dishes and laundry, mowing the lawn, changing the baby's diapers and bathing the kids. Even if these tasks are not up your alley, pitch in to take some of the load off your partner's shoulders. While you are on the road, your partner is home running the household, and helping out can give them a much-needed breather.
Keep Your Truck in Good Shape
Many truckers take their vehicle home with them. If you're one of these truckers, give your rig a look-over a few days before you hit the road again. Search for potential issues with brakes, connections and leaks. Also be sure to stock your cab with necessary items like snacks and hygiene products. A truck that stays in good shape gives both yourself and your loved ones peace of mind. It also gets you home on time the next time.
Stay in Touch from the Road
Text messaging, phone calls and video chat are three ways to stay in touch with folks back home. Don't lose a step while you're on the road. For example, suppose you are gone for five weeks and have minimal contact with your partner and children. The first day or two when you get back home may be awkward while everyone re-adjusts. Nurture these critical connections while you are away, and it will be like you never left.
Also, communicate with your partner about both of your plans for home time so you are on the same page. Say that you'd like to take your partner to dinner on Saturday night to give him or her something to look forward to (and so your partner doesn't make other plans for you two). Ditto with the kids. Let them know ahead of time about any plans you have brewing for you all. Also, let your partner know if you plan to spend time with friends and on your own activities.
Go Easy on Yourself
Truckers do have to experiment to get the most out of their home time. It can be a delicate balance, especially for first-year truckers with limited time at home. Go easy on yourself if you're not able to please everyone. Hopefully, it won't be long before you have more say in your assignments and how much time you spend at home.
If you’re looking for a trucking job with more home time, regional or local trucking jobs offer much more flexibility. CDLjobs.com has thousands of trucking jobs available at some of the top trucking companies in the US, so apply today!