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Button Transportation

Today’s job of the day comes from Button Transportation

Button Transportation is a family-owned and operated business in California and has been thriving for over 40 years. Their fertilizer and harvest transportation work is the backbone of their business. At Button Transportation, “we help farmers reap what we help them sow.”

Button is currently hiring CDL A Seasonal Local Gondola Doubles in Dixon, CA and Seasonal Local Flatbed Doubles in Merced, CA. As a seasonal driver for the agri-business support team, you will deliver liquid and dry fertilizer products to farms during planting season. These positions run Mid-March to June 2020.

  • When the season ends, other employment opportunities, may be available.
  • We promote from within and encourage long term employees.
  • In the event, no opportunities are available, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits with Cobra.
  • Paid orientation and Cargo Tank training! Full day in the classroom and 3 days in the field.

Highlights:

  • No touch freight
  • Paid orientation/training – Full day in classroom
  • Shift/Schedule – Typical work is sun-up to sun-down. Rare night work.
  • Seasonal drivers average $800 – $1,600 per week. Motivated drivers can make more.
  • Paid weekly via direct deposit – 25% of each load; percentage increases each year of service
  • Number of loads 1-12. Average is 4-5 pending on customer
  • Reliable home time every night
  • Medical, dental and vision benefits effectively starts after 30 days
  • 401K program with 50% company match up to 10% of paycheck
  • $100 Driver Referral Bonus Program

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Class A CDL
  • New drivers welcome
  • Endorsement: Doubles required
  • Good MVR and safe driving record, including no BACs, DUIs, DWIs, or licensing suspensions for moving violations in the past 5 years
  • Ability to meet work attendance and availability requirements and pass all CFI certification class testing and requirements
  • Have legal right to work and live in the United State

Button will hire out of school! Given their highly diversified service offerings, entry-level drivers can expand their skills throughout the year. There are opportunities to carry a variety of products with different equipment to accelerate your career. Button requires drivers to have their Tanker, Hazmat, and Doubles endorsements.

Button offers great benefits, competitive pay, and a wonderful company culture.

Why drivers love working for Button:

Johnny Green

“I started working for Button the day after I obtained my CDL. It’s very difficult to find a good job when you’re new to the industry but at Button I found a GREAT job and was welcomed with open arms and treated with respect.”

Eduardo Felix

“From day one it been great, wonderful people and staff to work with. Bob Button is a class act, active, interested owner that is only a phone call away. Dispatchers Dan, Gene and Jeff are the best. Highly recommend company to work for.”

 

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

Dixon, CA  |  Merced, CA

How to Easily Reduce Truck Driver Stress on the Job

Stress. Everyone has stress in their lives. But for a truck driver, when stress impacts their life, it can truly be dangerous. If a driver is stressed and it impacts their thinking or decision-making, it is something that needs to be addressed. Immediately. Because truckers are bombarded with distractions all day long while trying to concentrate and drive safely, it can be hard to find ways to reduce added stress from their lives. But we’ve found a few fundamental things that can help. Here are a few ways to easily reduce truck driver stress on the job.

Get Some Sleep

The best way to reduce your stress levels is to be proactive in getting enough sleep. Without the proper amount of sleep, your body struggles to function well. One of the first things affected is your thinking. Decision making is tougher, and your attention span may shorten. All these things will lead to additional stress over the course of the day.

Great advice for any trucker: be sure to get your required hours of shut-eye to maintain a healthy mind, and reduce stress during the day.

Get the best sleep by keeping up with your bedtime routine. Reduce lights and distractions once it’s bed time. Put away your electronics before you get into bed for the night. So that once your head hits the pillow, all you need to do is close your eyes and fall asleep.

Eat to Reduce Truck Driver Stress

Stress eating is a real thing. But what about eating to reduce stress? There are plenty of foods that are known to reduce stress. Foods chock full of vitamins and minerals are known to help fuel your body and help improve your mood. Counter to this, foods without any real nutritional value can have the opposite effect.

Eating sugar or high levels of caffeine might give you a short burst of energy, but leave you dragging later. That’s certain to cause additional stress, and make your day drag even worse.

Avoid foods with short-term effects, and stick with foods that will help you stay healthy for the long haul. Keeping a good balance of foods that taste good and are good for you is a great way to keep stress at bay on the road.

Clear Your Mind with a Story

Concentrating on the road and traffic all day can take a toll on your nerves. Many drivers like to listen to podcasts or stories during the day to help pass the time. Some drivers prefer to listen once the workday is done.

After a long day on the road, many truckers find listening to audiobooks a terrific way to unwind and relax.

Once you are parked for the night, get comfortable, close your eyes, and press play. Transport yourself into a story about history, science fiction, crime dramas, or something light and happy. You can find any number of apps for your phone or tablet to play the audiobooks.

Advice from a Trucker

We asked our Drive My Way Facebook followers to let us know what helps them reduce stress.

Tim Petruccio mentioned a few different things that help him:

  • Tim Petruccio

    Tim Petruccio

    Increase following distances

    3 to 4 mph less than traffic during volume times

  • Turn off the outside noise (radio, phone calls, etc…)
  • Remember you are in control. You have the final say when it comes to YOUR safety
  • Get rest! Don’t spend 3 of your 10 hours on break, watching TV or gaming. Have a good meal, shower and then hit the rack
  • Think about the things you love (family, places, pets, etc.). Then picture yourself returning safely to them

Keeping family and friends close in your mind really can help too. It’s always good to know that no matter how tough your day is, there’s always a way to make the next day better.

Let us know what you think. Sound off on our Facebook post and let us know what you do to help reduce your truck driver stress. We’d love to share your best ideas with our readers!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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Team driving is a great option to explore for some professional truck drivers. Having a partner to navigate thousands of miles of highways can be a real benefit to a single driver. Two sets of eyes, ears, and hands can make most jobs easier and runs completed faster. Sounds pretty great, right? But there’s also some aspects of team driving that might not be as great. So if you’re looking into becoming a team driver, you need to find out if team driving is right for you.

What is a Team Driver?

What is a team driver? Well, it’s pretty much exactly how it sounds: two professional drivers who work together, sharing miles in the same truck. Team drivers share the responsibilities equally, and while one sleeps, the other drives. This type of driving can be very beneficial for both new and seasoned drivers. Many companies prefer hiring teams as they can guarantee their customers faster delivery times, as teams have less downtime than a single driver.

Pros and Cons

The best thing to do when making a decision like this, is usually to weigh out the pros and cons. Create a list of all of the things that make team driving an attractive proposition. Someone to help with the work. The load keeps moving even when you’re sleeping. More runs completed faster, usually equals more money.

But the flip-side of that, is that there’s someone always with you—all day, every day. When you’re trying to sleep, you have to contend with all the normal road noise. And no matter what you get paid, it’s always going to be split right down the middle. There’s a lot more to consider, but these a few things to think about early in your decision making process.

Finding the Right Partner

Having the right partner is the most important part of team driving. You need to be compatible, share similar priorities, understand each others needs, and most importantly, you need to feel safe knowing they’re driving while you’re asleep. Many times, carriers can help successfully pair drivers for a team. But in many cases, team drivers come to the company already as a team. One of the most common types of driver teams is a married couple.

PJ and Mike Team Driving Couple

PJ and Mike

PJ and Mike, a USA Team Trucking Couple, have been team driving for years. They shared the following for anyone considering team truck driving:

“The insight we can give is that team driving is not for everyone. It’s a hard career. Most driving schools and companies don’t teach team drivers on how to work and drive together. So for most team drivers, there is a big learning curve. Team drivers need to learn each others’ driving strengths and weaknesses,” shared PJ and Mike.

Have you considered driving as part of team? Do you currently drive as part of a team? We’d love to hear your stories. Drop us a note on our Facebook page here.

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Today’s job of the day comes from Ergon Trucking

Ergon Trucking is a company that works. We’re family owned and operated, brought together more than six decades ago in the petroleum industry’s service sectors. Driven by the values of hard work, customer service, reliable supply and quality products, we’ve grown steadily and strategically over the years to become a well-diversified organization.

We specialize in the transport of products with rigorous handling requirements, sensitive temperature requirements, critical delivery timing and crucial safety precautions. The company transports a diversity of products, including crude oil; lube oils; asphalt and emulsions; as well as specialty oils, caustics and chemicals. Must have valid CDL with Tank and Hazmat endorsements to qualify.

We are a liquid tank carrier looking for OTR Hazmat/Tanker company drivers and independent contractors in multiple locations across the United States.

Company drivers are being hired in Houston, TX | Newell, WV | Baton Rouge, LA | Shreveport, LA | Marietta, OH | Sulphur, LA | Vicksburg, MS

Perks and Highlights:

  • 401(k) and profit sharing
  • Paid holiday & vacation time (two weeks after first year)
  • Health and dental care
  • Uniforms provided

We offer excellent pay and benefits that include:

  • 24% of load pay (75K – 90K annually)
  • Direct Deposit
  • $1,000 sign-on bonus
  • Safety bonus up to $2,000 per year
  • Home time – Out and back freight so we try to get you home weekly if possible but no guarantee depending on freight movement and time of year.
  • Late model Peterbilt and Kenworth with manual transmissions

Independent Contractors are being hired in Newell, WV | Vicksburg, MS | Shreveport, LA

Perks and Highlights:

  • 100% of fuel surcharge
  • Fuel discounts with various vendors
  • Free truck washes
  • Frequent home time, don’t require multiple weeks on the road
  • Electronic logging at no cost
  • Paid tolls and EZ Pass
  • Roadside assistance
  • Most loads are out and back with flexible schedules

We offer excellent pay and benefits that include:

  • $2,500 sign-on bonus
  • up to $6,600 in Safety/Operations bonuses
  • Average 200-300k gross yearly
  • 65% of load pay
  • 85% of demurrage pay (paid weekly with loads)
  • Permits paid
  • Offer insurance options if needed

Interested in applying?

Learn more about the job requirements, benefits, pay and more.

Learn More & Apply

3 Free Truck Driver Apps That Will Make Your Day Better

Technology can make life easier. And usually, if there is a problem in your life, odds are that an app has been created to help solve it. Trucker life is tough and stressful enough. So, finding any way to make your day easier is always welcomed. Here are 3 free truck driver apps that will make your day better. Or at least hopefully make your day run a little smoother!

1. Trucker Path

Trucker Path is a great app that virtually every trucker can use to get through their workday. It is often cited as the most frequently downloaded free truck driver apps out available. The app contains virtually everything you would need help with from general maps, parking info, truck stops locations, weigh station stops, and much more. Great for drivers of all experience levels, but most helpful when driving in unfamiliar areas where you don’t have a good lay of the land.

2. Weigh My Truck

An app that helps you get in and out of weigh stations faster is something every trucker needs. Weigh My Truck app does just that. Once you have an account setup, it automatically knows where you are, and your weigh history. So when you get to a weigh station, just drive onto the scale, pay and get an electronic weigh ticket sent right to your phone. You can still run into the register and pick up your paper copy but using the app will save you plenty of time at these stops.

3. iExit

Looking for a place to stop and take a break or a spot to stay overnight? The iExit app is really helpful for when you’re done driving and need a place to stop. This app lets you know what is coming up and then where the best place to stop once you pull off the interstate. It’s interconnected with a number of other apps like Yelp, which show user feedback on the points of interest on the map. So you can search for a specific type of restaurant or a place to sleep for the night if needed. It can even help you find the best gas prices in the area when you need to refuel.

Bonus Apps for COVID-19

During this time of change for many people lives, using technology to stay connected has made life easier. Finding new ways to keep in touch using technology helps. These apps can help you stay more grounded and feel connected to family and friends while driving over the road.

1. Zoom

Video calling is something that many people are using more frequently now than ever. Zoom is a great app for video conferencing when you want to talk to a few people at home, or up to 500 people across the country. Zoom has a free option, or a paid premium version available for download. Since March of 2020 when people really started to be quarantined in their homes, Zoom has seen over 300 million daily meeting participants, and is still growing. It’s the perfect app to use to host a virtual happy hour to stay connected to your friends and family.

free truck driver apps2. Sanvello or Headspace

Mental Health Apps like Sanvello or Headspace are perfect for people struggling with additional stress and anxiety lately. These free apps give helpful inspiration and techniques to help you manage stress, or even sleep better. The apps also give you access to support tools and resources that help you focus, reduce stress, and overall take better care of your mental health and be more mindful. They can also provide access to community resources where you can find and share conversations with others.

3. House Party

House Party is a great app to feel like you are at the “party” when you’re unable to actually be there in in person. Letting you “face-to-face” chat with up to 8 people at a time, House Party is a fantastic way to socialize from a distance. Move easily from room to room once you are logged-in, giving you an opportunity to check out different parties without much effort. Having the ability to play games with the kids, or the adults, is a fun way to pass the time while you’re away from home.

If you’ve already got a smartphone, and a good data plan, you’re ready to try out some of these apps. Or other apps we’ve featured in prior posts. We want to hear from you about apps you recommend. Tell us what other free truck driver apps you use to make your life easier. Post your suggestion on our Facebook page and share with your fellow drivers. You might even find a new app that will help you too!

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CDL School
Thinking about becoming a professional truck driver? It’s a popular topic these days. The driver shortages are fueling rising pay and benefits for drivers. So it certainly makes driving a truck an incredibly attractive proposition for someone looking for a new career. And there’s plenty of opportunity for you to get started. But no matter the path you choose to get a CDL license, you need to learn to drive a truck first. Drivers can do this in a few different ways and enrolling in a CDL school is one of them. If you are thinking about taking that route, here are some pros and cons of earning your license through a CDL school.

The Pros

1. Turnkey Programs

By enrolling in a CDL school, you are opting to pay to get everything you need to pass the required exams. And basically learn everything you need to know about driving a truck. All in one place.

From providing the classroom instruction, parking lot practice, and on-the-road experience, schools really are the best turnkey program.

They are structured in a proven way to give you a great start to getting your CDL license. In just a few weeks, you could graduate and ready for your tests.

cdl schools2. Many Locations for CDL Schools

There are CDL school programs located in all 50 states. Depending on the type of school you’re looking to attend, you might find a more specialized program best suited to your needs a little further away than a more general program nearby.

If you’re looking to give yourself the best advantage getting into a new career, you need to be sure you’re selecting the best school for you.

And that might mean looking around to find the best fit for you. There’s plentiful training options available for you.

3. Accepted Everywhere

If you graduate from a program, that means you’ve got the required amount of training. And it’s likely that you’ll be ready to get your license and drive just about anywhere. You can get a license without going to school. However, it’s likely that you won’t find a driving job without graduating from a program. Many carriers aren’t interested in hiring those who don’t have the appropriate hours of qualified training and have insurance requirements that necessitate it. So graduating from a CDL school makes you a more attractive candidate to many carriers.

The Cons

1. Not a Requirement

Nowhere in the requirements for getting a CDL license does it say you must enroll and graduate from a CDL school. There are other options out there for inexperienced drivers. You can take private lessons or study and prepare for the exams on your own. There may be better options for a prospective driver’s schedule, and a full training program might not be the right things for everyone.

per diem for truck drivers2. Cost Prohibitive

Moving into a new career usually means stepping away from your old one. Or it might mean moving into a full-time job for the first time. If you need to pay to go to a specialized school for this new career, you will be paying for that. And also missing out on a paycheck in the meantime.

Tuition can cost many thousands of dollars up-front. So, for many people looking to learn to be a professional truck driver, enrolling in a CDL school might be cost prohibitive.

3. Time Consuming

Some CDL school programs might take months to complete. Not every prospective driver has the time to afford dedicating that much time away from working to going to school. On the other hand, some schools might have programs that are just 2 weeks to complete. Those programs probably aren’t the best choice to give you proper instruction preparing you for life on the road.

Time commitments can be a con for a new driver, being either too long or too short.

If you’ve made the decision to become a professional truck driver, going to CDL school is a great option to get you the training you need to get started. Once you’ve learned to drive and have your license, Drive My Way can help you find the best fit job for you.

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3 Things to Consider: Lease Purchase Trucking Programs

For a driver looking to bridge the gap between being an employee and an owner operator, it’s worth a look into a lease purchase program with a trucking company. These types of a programs can fast track the route from driver to owner. Here are 3 things to consider when thinking about working through a lease purchase trucking program.

What is a Lease Purchase Truck Driver Program?

But first, let’s take a look at how these programs work. A professional truck driver can make the move to be an owner operator by buying their own truck from a company via a series of lease payments. These drivers then drive for the company providing the lease, and make the lease payments for the truck back to the company. In addition the driver usually assumes all responsibility for maintenance and up-keep of the truck as needed. At the end of the lease, the driver completes the terms and will then own the truck.

1. Terms

When looking into a lease purchase trucking program, be sure the deal points are clear. For starters, there’s a monthly payment for the lease of the truck, but is it a fixed amount? Will it change over time? How many payments are there? And is the residual value of the truck at the end of the lease plan clearly detailed in the agreement if the final payment is different than the rest? Be sure you understand the monthly fixed costs and then how the final payments will work. And when exactly you will own the truck.

Be sure you understand all of the costs and details spelled out in the terms of the agreement when exploring this path to ownership.

2. Hidden Costs

These costs can be the deal breaker for some truckers looking to buy their own tractors. If you’re involved in a lease purchase program, are you responsible for ALL maintenance and repairs? Do you need to purchase an extended warranty? Are you eligible for any kind of discounts that your company may be eligible for? Go through the agreement with a fine-toothed comb before you sign anything.

If you’re pursuing this type of program, the hidden costs are usually the cause of the lease purchase plan to fail. As a new owner, being able to cover even one major repair could cause a significant financial impact.

3. The Carrier

Most companies that offer a lease purchase program, tie you to the company for the duration of the lease. In this case, you need to be sure that you’ve done your research and are comfortable with company culture, co-workers and the overall health of the company for the long-term. No matter what, if you enter into this type of program, you’re obligated to the payment and the terms. You want to be sure that the carrier will have work for you to do, and that you’ll be able to cover the payments. No matter what.

Lease purchase plans essentially make you an owner-operator of a small business. But you’re still an employee of your carrier. Drivers need to understand how this “business within a business” model actually works.

If you’re considering taking this route to owning your own truck, be sure you understand all the pros and cons of these programs. There’s obviously a tremendous upside to this. And the allure of “being your own boss” can be enormously powerful. But with this comes a lot of responsibility and assuming a lot of the risk of ownership. No matter what path you choose, we’re here to help you find a great-fit job at Drive My Way.

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defensive driving

The best offense is a good defense⁠—and when it comes to being a safe truck driver, this old sports saying certainly holds true. Keeping you, your truck, other motorists, and your cargo safe is how truckers win on the road. There are many ways to improve your skills and reduce your risks while on the road. Here are 5 defensive driving tips for truckers everywhere.

1. Minimize distractions

Every driver needs to be connected, but not to the point where connections are distractions. Phones beeping with notifications too often, or non-critical calls coming in too frequently should be minimized. If you have something going on at home that’s distracting you, do your best to put it out of your mind until you’re done working. Many of these things are easier said than done for a truck driver with hours of time alone each day.

You don’t want to fall into bad habits while driving. So it’s smart to work on minimizing your distractions and being a safe driver.

2. Keep yourself healthy

Wearing your seat belt every day helps keep you secure in the cab of your truck. Getting enough sleep helps you pay better attention while driving. Eating right and exercising keeps you in better shape to have stamina for long days over the road. Keeping yourself safe also means you should take a break if and when you start to feel tired. Doing what you need to keep yourself in your best mental and physical condition is as important as honing and developing your driving skills and experience.

3. Expect the unexpected

Be aware of motorists around you and know your space cushion in relationship to those motorists. Anticipate what other drivers around you are going to do as they’re going to do something that could impact your driving.

Being prepared and making the correct defensive driving adjustments are key to your ability to remain safe while working.

4. Anticipate changing conditions

Truck drivers who are prepared for changing weather and road conditions will usually be better drivers. A little bit of extra care and planning when trucking through construction zones will ensure that you and the road workers make it home safely. The same goes for planning for specific times of day, especially rush hours. Anticipating construction zones, potential snow, and morning or afternoon rush hour traffic helps you be prepared for it, or better yet, helps you avoid it altogether.

5. Know your space cushion

Knowing your stopping distance is extremely important for a truck driver. A normal car can stop much quicker than a truck and it can stop within a lot less traveled distance.

According to the FMCSA, “A fully loaded truck traveling in good road conditions at highway speeds needs a distance of nearly two football fields to stop.”

That means a truck driver always needs to be aware of keeping enough space around their truck to stop quickly if demanded.

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Truck drivers must be able to drive safely. For their sake, and the sake of all the other drivers on the road. So truck driver health and wellness is an important topic in the industry.

In the US, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, requires all commercial vehicle drivers to obtain a DOT medical card, showing they’re fit for the road. For drivers in good health, a 24-month card will usually be issued after the screening is complete. But for some drivers with new or pre existing medical conditions, temporary cards may be issued. These temporary cards give the driver time to properly correct or address the medical issue discovered.

For many drivers, this isn’t always that easy. The stress many drivers already have can compound with the added stress of a newly found medical problem. Factor in the sedentary nature of the job, and these medical issues might not be that easy to correct. Or correct in time to meet the deadline on the medical card. If you’re looking to improve your truck driver health and wellness, here are 10 tips from an expert to get you started.

Bob Perry, the Trucker Trainer, has worked to bring wellness expertise to the driver community for decades.

Bob brings a unique perspective to the transportation industry. He is the son and brother of career drivers⁠—both owner-operators for the last 75 years. He’s passionate about working with truckers on their health and wellness. Specifically as it relates to drivers losing their jobs as a result of health issues.

“We lose thousands of drivers every year from failing their Recertification Medical Exams. Many of these failures are due to elevated blood pressure, high glucose & BMI’s levels. Weight plays a significant factor in these cases. We need to support our drivers with the tools necessary to live and work healthy on the road”

Speaking with Bob, he’s provided these great tips to help drivers get and stay fit for the long haul.

Tip 1: Goal planning

Sit down and write out what exactly it is you want to achieve. The goal could range from weight loss, to building strength and endurance, or even to relieve depression.

Tip 2: Be honest with yourself and make your goals realistic

Everyone is made up differently. Never compare yourself to someone else; it’s genetically impossible!

Tip 3: Now that you have your goal, write down the steps you are going to take to get there

It’s impossible to reach that higher level without taking one step at a time. No time like the present to set a new goal! February is a good time as any other to make your new year’s resolutions stick. Goals can be as big or small as you need them to be. But be certain that they’re attainable. For each goal you set, break it down into bite-sized pieces. If you’ve got a goal to lose some weight, a good plan might start with simply cutting out one soda each day. Then work to do that every day. Eventually, it becomes a healthy habit.

Tip 4: Water, you need to flush out your system

Drinking enough water and eating healthy foods are so important! If you are dehydrated, it impacts almost every aspect of your body. You don’t think as clearly, your skin shows signs of stress, and it might even make you feel extra tired.

Tip 5: Protein, first thing in the AM

The same goes for eating a healthy diet. Starting the day with protein can help you feel full longer and keep the urge for unhealthy snacking at bay. These tips are good for any trucker looking to start some healthy habits over the road.

Tip 6: Be prepared

Have your protein ready for the next morning and snacks for the day.

Tip 7: Begin your workout routine slowly; two to three times a week is great

Your workout should consist of strength training and cardiovascular exercise.

Tip 8: Think ahead, plan your next workout

Getting into an exercise routine is great advice for any truck driver health and wellness plans. Like Bob mentioned earlier, be realistic and have a plan when starting. Short walks a few times a day, or even some quick exercises here and there, might work better than jumping into a plan to spend 2 hours in the gym every day. Bite-sized progress here is the best plan for long-term success.

Tip 9: Staying motivated

The key to long-term success in being healthy, know how to motivate yourself over and over again. If you do the same thing, you will stay the same.

Tip 10: Last but not least, never beat yourself up if you fall off the program

Avoid going down the unhealthy road two days in a row, it then becomes a habit. Nobody is perfect. Sometimes life gets in the way of any well thought out plan. When you try something new, there’s always a chance that you’re going to have good days and bad days. The key takeaway from Bob related to this is to know that each day is a new opportunity to be happy and successful. If your motivation wanes, have a plan to get yourself back on track. And at each stumble, know that you can dust yourself off and get back on the road to a healthier you!

If you’re looking for some additional information from Bob, and some help for getting healthier to pass your re-certification test, you can find out more here.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.
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dealing with homesickness over the road

A professional truck driver might spend a significant amount of time away from home. They miss out on family events, children’s milestones, and spending time with their friends. After driving for a while, it can become a part of a driver’s normal day-to-day reality. But for a new driver, or a driver new to being gone for days or weeks at a time, homesickness over the road can be a tough thing. If that’s something you’re dealing with, here are 4 helpful tips for dealing with homesickness over the road.

1. Recognize the symptoms of homesickness when they start

Feelings of anxiety or sadness can strike without warning. Or feeling sad when you’ve packed up and headed out for another week away from your family. One of the best ways to deal with homesickness is to recognize and acknowledge it as soon as it starts. Missing your home and family is normal. For many drivers it’s a reality of the profession. So it’s important to know that everyone feels this way sometimes, and it doesn’t help to try and push the feelings aside and not deal with them.

2. Stay busy with a new hobby

Find ways to keep yourself busy when you’re not driving. Picking up a new hobby is a great way to keep your mind busy. Learning how to do something new can help boost your mental state and drive away feeling of anxiety. Photography, staring an interesting collection or even picking up an instrument are great hobbies for truckers. Keeping your mind busy when you’re away from home can be a great help to your overall mental health.

3. Take your family with you

Make your home away from home, feel like home. Bring the family along with you over the road! Keep a few favorite pictures in the cab of your truck. Skype your family into scenic stops along the way. Or have them call you from special family gatherings or school milestones you’re going to miss. Make plans to call and check in each night when possible. Sometimes virtually being there with your family can be enough to help squash some of those feelings of homesickness while you’re away. In addition, some trucking companies also let you travel with your spouse. If this is important to you, be sure to ask this question when going through the interview process.

4. Travel with a pet

Bring your dog with you! If your carrier allows you to drive with your dog, bring him along. Travelling with a pet can help your well-being in many ways. It give you someone to talk to during the day, a reason to get some exercise each day, and a way to be social in an otherwise isolated environment. Having a constant reminder of home with you as you drive can help reduce those feelings of homesickness.

Also, by bringing your dog along with you, you have a perfect opportunity to interact with other drivers.

Having your dog with you when you’re at a truck, makes for an easy conversation starter with other truckers. Everyone loves to talk about their dogs and ask about other people’s dogs. This ensures a few times each day you’ve got a built-in reason to strike up a conversation with someone, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

As mentioned above, everyone gets sad and feels lonely sometimes. With any changes to your overall mood, it’s smart to be honest and open about your feelings. If you notice your feelings of homesickness are turning into something more extensive, be sure to reach out and tell someone. A little bit of homesickness vs. about with depression, could be better addressed with an honest conversation with your doctor.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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