Truck driver jobs are fast-becoming a go-to sector for people looking to make top wages in the United States. Upwards of 70 percent of all goods and materials such as steel are transported, and flatbed trucking companies are trying to keep up with the workforce demand.
The country has been experiencing a shortage that has helped boost wages for flatbed trucking jobs and other industry areas. Experts expect an ongoing worker shortage and truck driver jobs should see even pay increases. But those interested in a life on the road would be wise to consider ways to make long hauls less stressful in ways that may extend their careers. Consider these five stress-reducing suggestions.
Reduce Stress Through Healthy Eating
Although most non-truckers may not realize it, driving for a living involves a lot of just sitting. The open road definitely has a free spirit effect on people who enjoy truck driver jobs. But it’s also important to properly fuel the body.
Whether you are engaged in 9 to 5 driving shifts, overnights or long hauls, the importance of eating healthy foods cannot be understated. That quick roadside diner, pre-made truck stop meal, or fast food can have a negative effect on your health.
Take the time to organize your in-cab food reserves. Shop at a grocery store and stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins. You may also find that many supermarkets make things like whole rotisserie chickens that are much healthier than a fast-food chicken sandwich.
If you find that storing and preparing healthy meals is not your thing, supermarkets sell pre-mixed salads that include ingredients such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, nuts and other options. Healthy eating can help you reduce weight gain, bad cholesterol and make you feel a whole lot better.
Reduce Stress Through Fitness
The daily limit for flatbed truck driver jobs allows professionals an operating time of 11 hours within 14, after taking 10 hours off. That means you have enough downtime to get in some type of workout. One of the best motivators for following through on a daily exercise routine is to bring gear.
Folding Bicycles: It may come as a surprise, but bicycles are excellent traveling resources. Several companies make folding bikes that can be easily stored in your cab. They fit neatly into sleeper berths and can plop right on the passenger’s seat if necessary. Many truck stops and rest areas have biking trails that can help get your blood pumping and clear your mind.
Specific Walking Shoes: Many people who work truck driver jobs have a go-to pair of shoes they wear while operating the rig. Whether you think they are just lucky or help your feet breathe, those are for driving. Transition to a comfortable pair of walking shoes when you pull over. That small ritual will signal walk time and the low-impact cardio has tremendous long-term health benefits.
Weights: It might not be practical to bring a full weight set on the road, but a dumbbell or kettle can provide the means to do some curls, lifts and other exercises.
The basic point is that exercise and physical fitness has a direct connection to stress reduction.
Take Steps To Stay Fully Rested
The body and mind function best when they enjoy a complete night’s sleep. The range for individuals may be different, but most of us need around 8 hours. It’s important to structure your time to get an uninterrupted sleep. Beyond being time organized, consider getting a mattress and pillow that are ideally suited to your sleep patterns. Also, a battery-operated fan or heating device can help you keep the can temperature right in your sweet spot. It’s important to be well rested every day.
Stress Exists In The Mind
Although a lot of things contribute to stress, it’s all in your head. Spending time by yourself opens you up to think about a great many things. Some of these may be worries about friends, family, and bills to pay. It’s important to have tools to take your mind off stressful thoughts. Whether that means a simple distraction or a positive focus, these are some things to consider.
Audio Books: Dramatic readings of some of your favorite authors can be great entertainment while you roll down late night highways.
Motivational Tapes: Inspirational speakers can help with a positive outlook. Consider famous speeches, wellness talks or religious text readings. If it makes you feel good, go for it..
Good Music: Commercial and talk radio tends to be either full of advertisements or tough subject matters. Get organized and bring along some upbeat tunes.
A relaxed mind is a stress-free mind and that will make your travels far more enjoyable.
Invest Time Into Family And Friends
Having family and loved ones waiting at home can be a tremendous boost. The time you spend with them when you return home is very important. But too many drivers find themselves vegging out on the sofa watching TV in an effort to get rested up. As was previously mentioned, it’s important to stay rested on the road.
Spending quality time with friends and family when you are home strengthens those bonds and provides a sense of home. Home might be the open road while you are working to deliver America’s materials and goods, but home is also where the heart is. You are the one that comes and goes, so reach out to your people about when you will return and make plans ahead of time. You will feel so much more fulfilled that you and your clan are tight.
People that work truck driving jobs for flatbed trucking companies enjoy a great deal of freedom and make good wages. In order to have a wholesome, long-term career on the open road, it’s important to take steps to reduce stress and enjoy life to the fullest.
For more information about a truck driver job, contact Alco Transportation, a leader in the flatbed industry.