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Truck Driving Difficulties

Marriage and relationships can be difficult as is. However, when you add a career into the mix which takes one partner away for extended periods of time? Times can be even more trying. There are many different career paths that might lead to these types of relationships. Maybe your spouse is in the military, you’re taking a job in a different city, or maybe you’re in the truck-driving industry… While each for these fields are inherently different, they have one thing in common: long-distance relationships. Today, we want to focus in on truck driving difficulties in terms of relationships. Furthermore, we want to help you learn how to manage them, and maybe even grow a bit within the process… 

Truck Driving Difficulties: Managing Intimate Relationships 

Give yourselves something to look forward to during the week 

Let’s face it, depending on your spouse’s schedule, you might only see each other for a few hours a week. Therefore, it’s important to find ways to make the most of that time. Whether you dedicate two hours of that time towards having a lunch out together, or maybe just taking two hours behind closed doors… every couple is different. Furthermore, the ways in which you connect will vary too.

When facing truck driving difficulties from either side of the relationship, you might take to online forums that will remind you that you’re not alone. However, when looking for advice on how to cope and spend your time, remember to customize your experience. We all have our own means of bonding and connecting, don’t rule that out because of what works for DriversWife123.

Manage expectations 

We encourage having activities to explore with each other on those long-awaited days off. However, we also encourage managing your expectations in terms of what that time off looks like for your partner. You miss them and they absolutely miss you. But, at the same time, their job is exhausting. Both mentally and physically, your partner needs to relax and decompress in preparation of their next journey.

Arguably one of the largest truck driving difficulties for the stay-at-home partner, is to not hit the ground running when their partner gets home. Give them a bit of time to rest up, relax, and enjoy the comfort of their own home. As we’ve mentioned, you miss them and they miss you. However, they also miss the comfort of their own home. 

Don’t belittle each other’s roles 

As your partner gets started out on the road, there will be a few growing pains. You see it all the time in couples who are figuring this thing out: that issue of managing expectations. As a driver, you have a lot of time on the road to yourself. This can lead to some resentments in terms of how hard you’re working, and how difficult the job can be. However, on the flip side, your spouse is taking care of everything at home. 

From school drop offs, practices, lunches, tending to the home, and also making sure everything is squared away for when you get home. Therefore, on both sides, there might be some feelings of ill-will in terms of how hard you’re working. Truck driving difficulties come in many different forms, and are not limited to the driver. Your chosen career path is not for the faint of heart, and we commend you for that. We also encourage you to follow these steps, and create your own, for avoiding common issues that arise for trucking industry families. 

Trip Planning for Truckers

Trip planning is a crucial skill for all truck drivers. Properly planning ahead can make your trip much more smoother. That way, you can be prepared for anything which might come your way…

Trip Planning: Prepare For Your Drive

Check your route

Your trip planning, of course, will probably begin with you plotting out your route. Now, you’ll want to make sure you plan the best route you can. This means using multiple resources to check the road ahead, even if you have a “favorite”. A new one might give you a time advantage that you would’ve never known about otherwise.

A GPS will be your best friend in this situation. These can help you plot out the best route before you begin driving. Plus, apps like Google Maps or Waze let you turn your smartphone into a quick and efficient GPS. These apps also have a nice advantage, as they will update in real-time and alert you to accidents, detours, or faster routes. 

Plan for breaks

It’s also important to make room for brakes in your trip planning. Some drivers think that they can just push through their drives and don’t need to take breaks. However, this can lead to increased fatigue and burnout, which can impact the trucker’s driving ability. This kind of risk isn’t worth any potential time-saving you think you might get.

A generally rule of thumb is to plan for both longer and shorter breaks. Longer breaks can be ones where you take some time to stop and get something to eat. Shorter breaks can be for when you stop for fuel, to use the bathroom, or to just stretch. Make sure you plan these breaks in safe places, and have backups in mind just in case.

Watch the weather

The weather might get overlooked when you do your initial trip planning. After all, if you’re in your truck, then it won’t matter if the sky is clear, right? However, the biggest thing is to look for when the weather is being not-so-pleasant.

Inclement weather like heavy rain or snow can really get in the way of your trip. You can expect not only a tougher time driving, but also a lot more traffic than usual. Plus, some roads might be in so poor shape that you can’t drive on them. As a result, it always helps to double-check before you head out and have a backup just in case. 

Summer Traffic: Seasonal Driver Woes

Truck driving in the summer can already be difficult thanks to the hotter temperatures. Throw in the extra summer traffic, and it can become nearly unbearable. Since a trucker has to drive so often, this traffic can be a major inconvenience. However, there are still some ways for you to handle and survive this kind of traffic…

Summer Traffic: How To Handle It

Schedule properly

It’s important to schedule your drive properly in order to avoid as much summer traffic as you can. While this traffic can be inconsistent, there are some times which will be less likely to have a lot of traffic. For example, driving very early or late at night can help minimize the traffic you encounter.

The days you drive on also can be important. It’s a good idea to avoid driving on the weekends, as that’s when most people will be leaving for trips. Also, you can plan on taking breaks when traffic might be high. That way, you can avoid rush hour traffic while giving yourself time to eat or rest.

Practice defensive driving

Defensive driving is a good way to keep safe on the road. However, when dealing with summer traffic, it becomes especially effective. During the summer, you might have to deal with more carefree drivers, or lost tourists who don’t know which way they’re going. That means you’ll want to make sure you keep yourself safe and avoid any accidents. 

It helps to always be looking ahead for any possible hazards while driving. Keep an eye out for any drivers who appear to be dangerous, like ones who are swerving, speeding, or aren’t paying attention. That way, you can give them plenty of distance. The more you’re able to avoid these drivers, the less stressful your trip will be.

Be prepared

Still, even if you’re as careful as you can be, there will be some times where you get caught in summer traffic. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for when that happens. For example, it helps to bring some extra food and water for those long traffic jams. An emergency kit is also useful in case your truck experiences problems while in traffic.

Remember to bring some things that’ll help shield you from the sun. This can mean packing some sunblock, sunglasses, and some hats as well. Sitting in traffic with the summer sun blaring down can cause you to get sunburn if you’re not careful. 

Runaway Ramps: Truck Driving Safety

A CDL endorsement provides truck drivers with a specific license that allows them to drive a semi-truck. Furthermore, it ensures that they’re up to the task. While driving through the mountains remains a breeze for some people, accidents are still likely to happen on occasion. Due to the fact that semi-truck accidents offer more consequences than a two car accident might, there are runaway ramps alongside mountain ranges.

Runaway Ramps: A Life-Saving Tool

No doubt, just like all vehicles, semi-trucks can lose control. However, when this happens, it causes a bit more chaos than your average incident. We all want to keep ourselves and others from injury on the roadway. However, we know that accidents happen. 

Anyone who has driven a tractor trailer knowsthat a runaway ramp is there for emergencies only. In fact, the danger of runaway ramps can often lead endangered drivers to avoid them at all costs. Most runaway ramps look quite similar. A steep incline of dirt, speed bumps, and caution signs to alert drivers of it’s purpose. 

What happens when 18 wheelers lose control? 

When a semi-truck cannot stop in time, everyone on the road is in danger. Because semi-trucks are quite large, an accident can cause issue on both sides of the road. Brakes fail, a truck is moving at full speed, and next thing you know— you’re part of a massive collision. This is where those runaway ramps come in. 

As any truck driver knows, runaway ramps are notsomething to use lightly. In fact, they will ruin a vehicle, potentially cause injury to the driver, and lead to one stranded, injured driver. Runaway ramps are a safety feature that should only be used in dire circumstances. However, when needed, they can be a life-saving tool. 

A Life-Saving Tool

While we warn against the potential impact of runaway ramps, please understand that they could be the thing that saves your life as a truck driver. When your vehicle’s brakes go out— you have to figure out a means of saving yourself, and also those around you. In this case, a runaway ramp might be your only option. And in that scenario, you’re saving yourself and countless others from danger. 

Truck Driving-Related Work Injuries

There are plenty of different fields you can enter within the workforce. Form physical labor, to desk jobs, and even hitting the road. The thing to remember with any job, is that they come with their own set of risks. Even desk jobs come with a heightened risk of back and neck injuries. Another field that often leads to back injuries, is truck driving. Truck driving-related work injuries are extremely common due to the nature of the job. While many injuries are obvious in nature, there are also a few which you might not have considered… 

Truck Driving-Related Work Injuries

Back and Neck 

Quite obviously, when it comes to truck driving-related work injuries, your back is at a high risk of facing issue. If you consider what a truck driver is doing— driving long hours, sleeping in close quarters, and also occasionally lifting and unloading heavy materials… It’s easy to see how these injuries would occur. Therefore, it’s important to practice good posture in driving and lifting.

Consider purchasing additional support for your driver’s seat, and also pulling over for a stretch every now and then. While stiffness is pesky, it’s also not low-impact. You want to stretch your muscles, maybe take a short walk, and engage your back before sitting back down in that seat to avoid truck driving-related work injuries.

Slips and Falls 

While you might not think that there’s much action which can lead to injury— there are actually a few different ways to face slip and fall truck driving-related work injuries. From getting in and out of the truck, to lifting the back door, lowering the lift gate… Even these seemingly small actions put you at risk for taking a tumble and hurting yourself. 

Repetitive Stress Injuries, and Ignored Issues 

You’re sitting in the truck for long periods of time. Your back might hurt a little bit, but you’re not too concerned. However, ignoring those little pains can lead to a bigger issue, and serious truck driving-related work injuries. In fact, ignoring that injury can lead to further injury down the line. Due to the fact that your back is under stress, and ignored— the issue can amplify.

There isn’t the same opportunity to heal while continuing your job when you’re a truck driver. Instead, you’re sitting down. Therefore, it’s important to take a day or tow when you need it. That way, you can avoid a prolong time spent off the road to trying to recover from truck driving-related work injuries. 

Tire Blowout: A Dangerous Accident 

Driving a commercial truck is hard work. Furthermore, driving around commercial trucks can be intimidating to many. We know that you have to be a superior driver to get behind the wheel of a big rig, but accidents will happen. While we can take steps to prevent an ‘oops’, we aren’t always so lucky. One potentially deadly hazard for truckers and drivers, is a tire blowout. We expect the standard wear and tear, especially on a vehicle that is so large, and traveling so much. But, as tires age, or if you’re skipping maintenance, a tire blowout can become serious for all drivers.

Tire Blowout: A Dangerous Accident

One of the most dangerous things about a tire blowout, is that they can occur out of nowhere. Maybe the tire has become a bit deflated, or worn down. Next thing you know, rubber hits the roadway and cars start to scramble. One of the largest saving graces for big rigs, is that they typically have a lot more tires than a passenger car does. Therefore, they usually have enough time to get off of the roadway, and repair the issue without too much skin off their back. However, it’s not so simple for other drivers.

Nearby vehicles will likely hear a loud ‘pop’ or ‘bang’ sound, and shreds of black rubber will scatter across the roadway and into the path that vehicles are traveling at high speed. These shreds of rubber serve as a distraction, a hazard to drivers, and can cause damage to other vehicles.

What causes this issue?

Ultimately, wear and tear is the root of this issue most of the time. For passenger car vehicles, we typically aren’t driving cross country on a daily basis. Therefore, while we need to replace our tires on occasion, a truck driver will need to replace a bit more frequently. Their tires are built to last longer than our vehicles. But, they’ll often reach that ‘time to change’ marker a bit quicker than we will. Ultimately, performing routine maintenance and quality checks on your tractor trailer can be pretty telling. If you notice wear on your treads, or repetitive flat tires, it might be time to go ahead and update those wheels.

Accidents will always happen, and sometimes they cannot be easily explained. However, by performing routine maintenance, we can prevent at least a few of them. Furthermore, as a passenger car driver, make plans for the ‘what if’. You might never have to use those plans. But, knowing your plan of action if you see a tire blowout can make a huge difference in your reaction time. Not to mention, it can go a long way to prevent potential damage to yourself or the vehicle.