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Balancing Work and Personal Life for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers face unique challenges in achieving a harmonious work-life balance. However, with careful consideration and proactive strategies, it is entirely possible to find equilibrium in this profession. In fact, due to the demands of their job, maintaining a work-life balance becomes even more crucial for truck drivers compared to individuals in other industries.

Table of Contents
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  • Hours of Work for Truck Drivers
  • Days Off for Truckers
  • Finding Work-Life Balance & Happiness on the Road

The trucking industry provides several avenues for truck drivers to establish a well-functioning work-life balance, allowing them to enjoy a prosperous and fulfilling career. To achieve the optimal equilibrium between truck driving and personal life, it is essential to focus on the following six key aspects specific to truck drivers:

  • Understand the typical workload demands based on different types of truck driving.
  • Determine the frequency at which truck drivers can return home.
  • Assess the income potential for truck drivers.
  • Identify the advantages associated with specific types of truck driving.
  • Address common work-life challenges encountered by truckers.
  • Discover effective strategies for balancing work and personal life demands.

By giving attention to these areas, truck drivers can navigate their career path while nurturing a healthy work-life balance, ensuring satisfaction both on and off the road.

Hours of Work for Truck Drivers

How many hours do truck drivers normally work? A typical day in trucking can span up to 14 hours, involving tasks such as inspections, loading and unloading, complying with hours of service regulations, and customer interactions. The flexibility of your work schedule depends on the type of truck driving career you choose and the time required for loading and unloading. 

How long do truck drivers work? In a typical week, drivers work approximately 40-60 hours. While some companies have cycles of 14 days and 7 days off, others send their drivers home every weekend after 50 hours of work.

How many days do truck drivers work? A typical week for truck drivers is 7-8 days.

How many hours a week do truck drivers work? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in the U.S. limits drivers to 60 truck driver working hours over 7 days or 70 hours over 8 days.

How many days do truck drivers work? 8 days a week. No, we’re not joking, despite the fact that we say it somewhat ironically. The real length of an over-the-road driver’s week is eight days. How is that possible?

The federal government, however, sets limits on how long we are allowed to drive. We are one of the few professions that is so tightly controlled, along with airline pilots. Without delving into the specifics because they may be rather complicated, we are only allowed to “work” a total of 70 hours of truck driver hours per week, after which the clock must be reset by sitting still for a string of 34 hours.

The duration of time truck drivers are away from home varies based on their career path. Local drivers have more frequent home time, while over-the-road (OTR) drivers spend longer periods away from home, driving greater distances.

Days Off for Truckers

Legally, truckers must take at least 34 hours off duty after working for 70 hours. However, it is also important for truckers to take vacation days to fully rest and recharge. Companies typically provide two weeks of vacation time, but this may vary depending on the company and the trucker’s position. CloudTrucks, for example, offers a flexible vacation policy, allowing drivers to take sick days and general time off as needed.

When considering a career path in truck driving, it is crucial to examine each option and determine which one aligns best with your work-life balance goals. To aid in your decision-making, here are some statistics to consider:

  • According to the FMCSA, truckers can work up to 14 hours in a row, with 11 hours dedicated to driving and 4 hours for other tasks.
  • Truck drivers are entitled to 10 hours of off-duty time per working period, leaving 2 hours of downtime after accounting for 8 hours of sleep.
  • The median wage for truck drivers, regardless of career path, is significantly higher than in many other occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The trucking industry faces a shortage of drivers, resulting in job security, higher pay, and increased options for achieving work-life balance, as reported by the American Trucking Association.

While the work-life balance of truck drivers has traditionally been overlooked, there is a growing recognition of its importance. The scientific community is beginning to address this issue, as evidenced by research studies funded by institutions like the University of North Carolina.

Finding Work-Life Balance & Happiness on the Road

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are options to make work-life balance achievable as a truck driver. Consider the following strategies:

  • Try a flexible trucker schedule: Communicate with your dispatcher or broker to develop a truck driver schedule that allows for special occasions and rest. Consider joining CloudTrucks for complete control over your schedule.
  • Plan your route: Incorporate time for exploring new places, visiting landmarks, or trying local restaurants.
  • Learn something new: Utilize audiobooks, podcasts, and educational content to expand your knowledge during driving hours.
  • Pack home-cooked meals: Bring meals from home to enjoy healthier and more cost-effective options on the road.
  • Use efficient management tools: Embrace automation tools like the CloudTrucks app to streamline load scheduling and optimize routes.
  • Pursue a hobby: Engage in hobbies like playing an instrument, writing, or photography to relax and unwind.
  • Work with a supportive company: Choose a company like CloudTrucks that prioritizes your well-being and offers independence in load selection and scheduling.
  • Stay connected: Utilize technology to stay in touch with loved ones through calls, video chats, and handwritten letters.
  • Take care of yourself: Maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, rest adequately, and practice self-care through meditation or enjoying nature’s beauty.
  • Share your work schedule: Keep your family informed about your schedule to maintain a balance between work and home life.
  • Create a comfortable sleep space: Personalize your sleeper cab with a comfortable mattress, sheets, and reminders of home.
  • Take breaks and vacations: Prioritize regular breaks for rest, food, and injury prevention. Plan vacations to spend quality time with loved ones and decompress.

By implementing these strategies, truck drivers can enhance their work-life balance and well-being on the road.

Logity Dispatch understands the challenges truckers face in maintaining work-life balance and offers solutions to help. They optimize routes, promote transparent communication, provide flexibility, and support truckers’ well-being. By prioritizing work-life balance, Logity Dispatch empowers truckers to lead fulfilling lives on and off the road. Check out the Logity Dispatch blog to learn more about growing your trucking business.