Driving a commercial truck is not just a job but a lifestyle. You can get an impromptu load anytime of the day or night and sometimes you have to travel thousands of miles halfway across the country. If you are a social butterfly, you will probably feel dull after staring at the highway yellow/white line everyday for not less than 11 hours. Not to forget your only companion is the load at the back of the trailer and the sound of the engine. But it doesn’t really pen out that way like most people think! To the contrary, you can live an interesting life while you are a commercial trucker. Matter fact, most commercial drivers have very interesting stories about their life on the road and the places they have been. It is not much of a secret but some of the various ways to avoid boredom on long distance commercial trips include:
- Healthy diet- It is true what they say; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, it is hard for a trucker to differentiate between breakfast, lunch and dinner judging by the irregular load schedule. Today you are waking up at 2 am, the next day at 1 pm and the following week at 9 a.m. So how do you keep up with the inconsistent meal time? It is a little bit unorthodox but breakfast to a trucker is the first meal he/she eats after a long sleep break. It doesn’t matter if it is 7pm or 1 a.m. Hence, the meal before the next 11 hour trip should be well balanced with proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. A cup of milk, tea or coffee accompanied with toast, eggs, fruits and veggies should do the trick. Not to overlook lunch and dinner but a sufficient balanced breakfast is sure to keep you sharp on the road until the next break. Additionally, there are people who complain of slight headache and lack of concentration if they have skipped their usual breakfast drink such as coffee or tea. In regards to a healthy lunch or dinner, avoid food with too much sugar, salt and fat since they tend to make people tired. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water too.
- Exercise regularly- Doing a 30 minute routine exercise every day before your long distance trip will increase your heart rate and improve your alertness. Go out for a 10 minute jog or sprint. Do a dozen press ups, sit ups or maybe skip a rope. You will probably get tired the first week after exercising but eventually the body will adjust if the work out session is on daily basis. The higher the blood flow, the less likely the chances of you getting bored while driving. Furthermore, you will keep off a heart attack.
- Listen to music- Don’t over rely too much on radio stations. Even if you do find a good station, the frequency will likely get lost once you cross into another state. Create your own playlist of your favorite music and save it on a flash or disc that can be connected to the infotainment system. It better be long because those miles ahead are sure not getting shorter.
- Listen to audio books- There is always that one novel that can never make you get bored if you read it the whole day. Of course, you cannot read and drive and that is why publishers consider long distance commercial drivers to make audio books. There are tons of books you can listen to from best-selling novels such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, A song of Ice and Fire to motivational content about life. If you want a good laugh while driving, standup comedy audio tapes would do you justice especially when you are stuck in traffic. Just don’t get too occupied on the novel plot or stand up jokes and forget to keep to your concentration on the busy roads.
- Connect with friends and family- It is not the 1980’s anymore when going on a 3 week road trip meant the only time you could talk with your family was on a pay phone at a street corner. Good luck finding one of those nowadays. Unless you are living under a rock then you haven’t heard of social applications such as Whatsapp, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. Of course you are not going to tweet or snapchat while driving but if you manage to take a break near a spectacular landscape locale such as the Grand Canyon, why not take a picture and share it with your friends and family. If you want to talk with your spouse at home while driving, just connect your phone with your infotainment speakers. Applications such as Siri and Google Now make the work easier by calling and writing a message to any person on your contact list at the command of your voice. However, you must abide by the traffic regulations since it is illegal in some states to talk on the infotainment system. The CB radio can also keep you talking but most drivers complain it is selectively abusive.
When people get bored, they tend to feel sleepy but then again if you don’t sleep enough, you will get bored easily. Ironic, isn’t it? If you are on a tight long distance schedule with a strict deadline, it is not advisable to stay up all night on a drinking spree. The sleep break is very important to keep your mind sharp and you should never skip it.