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home timeTruck drivers have a tough job. Driving thousands of miles each week can mean many nights away from home. It can add up to hundreds of nights away from their own bed each year. Though the paychecks might be great, all those nights away can take a toll on mental health and overall stress levels.

Of the mental health concerns that truck drivers experience, loneliness tops the list. Nearly a third of drivers say being alone all day and away from their family is a “significant issue affecting their mental health. – Business Insider

For truckers looking to spend more time with their family and friends, here’s 4 ways to increase your home time.

1. Run the Same Short Routes

If you look for routes that are about 200 miles each way, you can run those daily and be home every night. The more you focus on finding those jobs, and being consistent in your work, it can lead to a highly predictable and efficient schedule. You’ll most likely find cost and time savings as well. If predictability and repeating routines are your cup of tea as a trucker, this is the best type of work to maximize your home time.

2. Be Flexible

If you keep an open mind on working weekends, it could lead to more time at home over the course of a year. Consider working holidays as well. If you can convince yourself that weekends and holiday are just like any other workday, you could find yourself being rewarded for working when others won’t. There could even be some bonus money in it for you depending on your carrier.

3. Put in Your Time

Driver schedules usually get better with time. The longer you stay with a carrier, the higher priority you get when choosing routes. Newbie drivers tend to have to grind out the least desirable routes while gaining seniority. This can translate to the most miles away from home. But if you can grind it out and put in the time, you could eventually find yourself first in line for the prime routes. And the most time at home as well. Stick with it!

4. Be Okay with Less Pay

Some carriers offer great options for drivers to increase their home time. You can find opportunities where you might work 7 days on, and then have the following 7 days at home. Find jobs that are setup with these unique types of schedules. Find ways to be okay with the trade-off in pay. You’ll find that you can certainly have plenty of time at home.

Truckers are always seeking ways to improve their work-life balance. Finding ways to spend more quality home time is usually at the top of the list. We’ve given you 4 tips to help you strike that balance, and increase your time spent with family and friends. Do you have a great tip for your fellow drivers? Drop them in the comment box at the bottom of this page.

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Truckers must always be aware of their surroundings and changing road and weather conditions. However, summer trucking days can take those changing conditions to the extreme. More people on the road, extremes in the weather, and large construction projects can add time to your routes and impact deliveries. Here are 4 summer trucking tips to make your travel easier.

1. Extra Traffic

Once the kids are out of school, many families pack up the cars, campers, trailers, and RVs to head out on annual family vacations. Driving cross-country with overly-packed vehicles, and hauling extra gear in tow adds to the congestion on the road.

Being prepared to deal with these extra drivers, and to potentially reroute yourself away from tourist hotspots is a good way to keep your summer trucking travel on track. Keep alert for under-experienced drivers that are hauling over-sized boat trailers or campers. They might be out for the first time this season, so give them a little extra room.

2. Extreme Weather

Summer is a season of extreme weather conditions. Extreme heat, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes are just some of the types of weather that can impede your travel plans while summer trucking. Being prepared for these and the potential delays that might result, is an important part of summer trucking.

Make sure you’ve got a good weather app, and that notifications are setup when weather conditions are changing. If you do have to pull off for a while somewhere unexpectedly, be prepared. Have extra water and supplies in your truck just in case.

3. Construction

In some areas, summertime is also known as “major road construction” time. This is a great time to remember that double-checking routes for construction delays and planning alternates can save you both time and money. Prepare for road closures and traffic jams due to construction.

Be ready and aware of workers on the road. Keep an eye out for posted “Construction Zone” signs, and  watch your speed to avoid any unexpected fines. Do this and it will help keep you moving along and your deliveries on track.

4. Sun Protection

Though it’s a good practice to wear sunscreen daily, it’s a good reminder for summer trucking as well. The sun’s UV rays are coming through your windows all day, every day, even when it’s cloudy. Those UV rays are most potent during the summer months. Make it a habit to put on a good layer of SPF before you get in the driver’s seat for the day. Wear long sleeves, sunglasses, and a hat. Your skin will thank you later!

How to Protect Yourself from the Sun Over the Road

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truck driver hobbies podcasts

As a truck driver, you spend many hours each day alone in your truck. Looking for something new to do to help pass the time? Podcasts can be a great way to keep you company across those miles. Launching into a trucking podcast from is an easy way to change things up if your radio stations are feeling a little stale. Or just something new to listen to and mix things up a little bit.

If you’re new to podcasts, here’s some basic info to help get started.  Most podcasts are available for free and have very few advertisements. Podcast topics range from everything from current events, sports, self-help, true crime & mystery, comedy, and so many more. Some are fairly short and run only a few minutes. Some go more in-depth on a topic or a story for over an hour. Find some topics you like, pick a few episodes and build a playlist that can run while you’re driving.

Though there’s limitless options for podcasts out there, there are a lot of great options specifically geared towards you. Here are 3 trucking podcast recommendations for you to consider.

Trucker Dump

Todd McCann has been a truck driver since 1997. His podcasts are all from his perspective as a solo and as a team driver with his wife. He covers current hot topics in the trucking industry, as well as his humorous stories of life on the road. He does question and answer segments, driver spotlights, as well as sometimes guest starring in other trucking podcasts. From the Trucker Dump homepage: “Trucker Dump is a podcast/blog that hopes to raise awareness of the trucking industry and the issues that it faces. It focuses on making the industry a better place to work and how we truckers can be perceived in a more positive light by the public.”

Red Eye Radio

Hosted by Gary McNamara and Eric Harley, they have created a show for the trucking industry and created a great experience for their listeners. From the Red Eye Radio website: “For almost 50 years, Red Eye Radio Network has been a part of the fabric of the trucking industry by consistently providing professional drivers up-to-the-minute news, information, and entertainment. The show is motivated by one purpose — to deliver a positive, in-cab experience by helping trucker drivers/owner operators and fleet owners stay informed, engaged, and entertained on the road or wherever they are in their daily lives.”

The Lead Pedal

Bruce is a 30 year trucking industry veteran. He’s been a driver, owner-operator, and a fleet supervisor, and the podcasts all draw from those experiences. From the Lead Pedal’s website: “The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers talks all things trucking for people in the transportation industry helping them improve their business and careers. Interviews with industry professionals and truck drivers, trucking information, and other features on the industry are meant to be helpful for truck drivers and those in transportation. The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers has main episodes released every Tuesday and Thursday with bonus material on other days.”

Audiobooks are a great way to pass time on the road too. You can listen to an entire book over the course of a few days or weeks! We put together a great list of audiobooks for truck drivers here.

Hopefully, you’ll find something you like in these recommendations. If not, there’s a list of dozens of trucking podcasts to choose from here. Let us know what you think by dropping a link to your favorite trucking podcasts to our Facebook page.

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Edward “Eddie” Dalzell talked his way into his first truck driving job at age 19 in Massachusetts.

3 million accident-free miles and almost 50 years later, Eddie’s now retired from truck driving but still logging miles on foot as a hiker and lead CSR for Penske in San Antonio.

truck driver

As he tells the story, he got his first truck driving job through good old-fashioned persistence. And telling a little bit of a lie.

“The company I was working for went out of business. There were no other jobs around. The car I had ran out of gas, I had no money. So, I walked 3 miles down the road to a place that was supposedly hiring truck drivers. I had no clue how to drive a truck. I kept going back day after day until they finally hired me!”

From there, he had a friend teach him how to drive a truck.

Once he got his start with that first job in Massachusetts, Eddie moved south after a few years. There he got his first job as a tanker truck driver. He spent the next few decades with various jobs between Texas and Louisiana, driving tankers between refineries and operating other heavy equipment. He mentions that some of those were dangerous jobs, and that thankfully he got lucky a few times.

Living and working near the Gulf of Mexico, he saw his share of hurricanes and severe weather.

The memory of those storms still stand out to Eddie. “Dodging hurricanes, wasn’t fun. Everyone else was leaving, but we’d be heading into the storms with the plywood to help. Last hurricane I drove 27 hours straight because of all the road closures to get around it. Had to get right back up in 5 hours to go back into it.”

When asked about his time as a truck driver at Dupre Logistics, he said that they were big on safety, and provided great training.

dupre-logistics

He also fondly recalls having a great boss who became a life-long friend to this day.

“At Dupre, Leadership was very good. We had good drivers. We could laugh and have fun.  They are VERY fair. They also gave a nice safety bonus every 3 months which was nice”.

That bonus came with a safety meeting at a great local steakhouse. Eddie mentioned he never missed a bonus, or the steak dinners. Working for Dupre, he said that integrity was important.

“There’s lots of competition out there but the jobs kept coming back to us because they liked what we were doing.”

Over the years, he also spent time as a driving instructor and unofficial career and life coach.

“Taught people how to drive standard trucks. I enjoyed that. I also told students to follow your dreams. Listen to Mr. Eddie: Don’t do something you hate, you’ll be miserable your whole life.”

Now retired from driving, Eddie spends his days working as a hiker and lead Customer Service Representative for Penske.

truck driver

He says he logs over 52 miles a week on foot, 20,000 steps, walking around the facility. Quite a change from all of the hours and miles behind the wheel!

Eddie, 68, has a wife, 6 children and 10 grandkids. In his free time, he enjoys living close to 3 of those grandkids.

“I get to see them all the time. Grandma loves to keep them on the weekends – gives their moms a break”. He also enjoys fishing and keeping fit and active.

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For Tiffany Adams, being a truck driver runs in the family. “My dad was a truck driver, so it’s in the family blood”. Though she tried a few things prior to getting into the trucking business officially, since age 21, “trucking was the only way to go” for her.

Tiffany’s favorite route to drive is “I-24 going through Kentucky.

It’s the most beautiful run anyone could ever do.” The summertime bluegrass lined roads all around Paducah are her favorite.  She recommends a stop at Patti’s Settlement 1880’s restaurant if you’re in the neighborhood. A stop at Patti’s “definitely should be on your to-do list if you’re in the area”.

After a normal day of 10-11 hours, she mentions a struggle that she’s advocating for: MORE PARKING.


“The daily struggles today we have is parking. Parking is so limited to the truck stops that we have across the nation, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find parking after 5 pm. And it’s just getting worse. It’s getting to the point you can’t find parking, and you need to drive 20+ miles out of your route just to find a place park”.

She hopes that in the future there’s expanded parking available at truck stops and rest stops around the country.

Tiffany drives with her husband Weston.

You can find them passing the time “listening to a lot of country music while we’re riding down the highway”.

When they’re not out on the road or getting ready for their next long-haul, they enjoy spending time playing with their horses, their family and hanging out with friends. “We love what we do we provide for our states, building supplies, rail road supplies, your every day needs”.

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Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from Crown Health Care Laundry Services out of Bishopville, South Carolina.  Related image

Founded in 1955, Crown Health Care Laundry Services is an independent full-service health care laundry processor and linen rental company. They are locally owned and based in Pensacola, Florida. Their excellent quality and customer service has allowed them to be the top linen and service provider throughout the Southeast for more than 60 years.

Crown Health Care is currently seeking a local CDL A driver to haul linen along a dedicated route. This position is mostly drop and hook, but occasionally includes some heavy lifting. They pay hourly based on experience, starting at $17-19/hour, and offer great benefits including full medical, dental, and vision coverage, paid vacation and sick time off, special bonuses, and 401k. This position is for the night shift, and dispatch is between 7-9pm, five days per week.

Crown Health Care hires only quality people who share their concern for safety and excellence. They ask that applicants be at least 18 years old, and already hold their CDL A license. Drivers must have two years of driving experience, a clean MVR, and a stable work history.

Interested in applying?

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Today’s Job of the Day comes to us from the Roeder Cartage Company out of Oregon, Ohio.

Roeder Cartage CompanyAs a privately-held Ohio corporation, Roeder Cartage Company, Inc. (RCC) has terminals in Lima, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio and Paris, Kentucky. Overall, RCC maintains and continues to build a strong niche in the transportation of bulk liquid commodities, destined for use in many chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Also, RCC owns a fleet of 90 late-model Freightliner tractors, 155 tank trailers and 32 van trailers, and operates in all 48 states and Canada.

Are you looking for a company that offers competitive pay, reliable equipment, desirable routes, medical coverage and financial benefits? In addition, combine that with excellent company culture, and that is why you should work for Roeder Cartage.

Currently, Roeder seeks Class A Tanker driver out of Lima, Ohio. This position includes mileage pay ($0.49), a rotating schedule, paid training, excellent home time, and more.

Above all, Roeder Cartage Company hires only quality people who share their concern for safety and excellent. In addition, Roeder asks that applicants be at least 23 years old, and already hold their CDL A license along with Tanker and Hazmat endorsements.

Interested in applying?

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Trucker Rescues AnimalsTrucker Rescues Animals: Tennessee trucker Tony Alsup has earned positive karma for life. By playing a modern-day Noah’s Arc, he has successfully snagged 64 animals from the arms of Hurricane Florence.

Image via USA Today

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey this past year, Alsup received word that many shelters were looking for help to relocate their animals to safer grounds. Alsup immediately volunteered, but found that there was some miscommunication between himself and the shelter.

While Alsup was planning on loading just a few animals into his cab, the shelter was counting on him to load his entire flatbed up with the abandoned pets.

Knowing that if he didn’t do something these animals might be in grave danger, he knew he had to come up with a better plan.

“But I’m a man of my word. If I give you my word, it’s gonna get done,” Alsup told USA Today. “So I said, you know what, why don’t I just go buy a bus?”

Image via USA Today

A few days and $3,200 later, Alsup headed down to Texas in a repurposed school bus. He rescued animals throughout hurricane season ever since.

So far, Alsup rescued 53 dogs and 11 cats from South Carolina this year, and safely dropped them off in Alabama.

“I love it,” Alsup said. “People don’t believe me, they say it’s got to be barking crazy. But, no. They know I’m the Alpha dog and I’m not here to hurt them.”

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Image via Pixabay

A team of truckers saved motorists from a potential crash by forcing a intoxicated driver off the road.

On Aug. 13, Illinois State Police received a call regarding a minivan swerving all over Interstate 70. Minutes later, another call reported the same driver had crashed into the median. The driver had pulled himself out to inspect the car, got back in and slowly continued down the highway.

Seeing all that go down, two truckers took matters into their hands. They moved their vehicles slowly on either side of the van to box it in and eased it off the road before taking the driver’s keys and waiting for police to arrive.

In addition, according to the Belevue News-Democrat, the driver was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. thanked the two truck drivers, saying the prevented this driver from an injury or injuring others.

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Welcome to Tech Thursday, where we review the best technology has to offer for our favorite truckers. Here at Drive My Way, we’re just as concerned about our mental health as the next guy. So, when we ran across an app that claimed to improve moods, decrease stress and increase overall mental stability, we had to try it.

Image via Headspace

What is Headspace?

Headspace is an app in the mindfulness sector of health applications. Mindfulness and meditation have been at the forefront of health concerns for a while. Headspace offers meditation training through your phone or other mobile device. No matter where you are, if you take 10 minutes or so, Headspace can help you refocus on the tasks at hand.

Mindfulness

What’s “mindfulness”, anyways? Why is it so important? Mindfulness is the idea of bringing your attention to experiences occurring simultaneously in one moment. Whoa. OK, let’s unpack that. Being more mindful about your surroundings allows you to be more fully aware of your state and stay in the moment. It allows you to acknowledge and accept your feelings and thoughts, and can often be used as a therapeutic technique to calm anxiety.

Image via Headspace

The beauty of Headspace is that it brings any mindfulness session to wherever you happen to be when you need it. Stressful day on the road? Head to your Headspace app for a quick, three-minute “Burned Out” session that is sure to calm your nerves. Need help falling asleep in your cab? Headspace is chock full of sleepy sessions for you to ease your mind and fall deep asleep. The sessions, ranging in from motivation to eating and happiness, give you plenty of options to cover your anxiety-ridden bases. The best part? Nearly all of them are free.

Headspace is available for free both online and on your phone, through either Google Play or the Apple iTunes Store.

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

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