Truck Driver Vacation Time
We all need a good vacation from time to time, but how do vacations work for truck drivers? Let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of time-off for truckers, including full-time, part-time, and freelance vacations, and how to spend those well-earned days off.
Truck Driver’s Vacations
A truck driver is entitled to vacation time — and paid vacation time at that — like any other worker across the United States. Working regulations in this country require employers to offer a certain amount of paid time off each year, with full-time employees entitled to a longer vacation based on their annual working hours.
In most cases, full-time truckers will be provided with around two weeks of time off across a single year. For part-time employees, the total may be somewhat less than this but is likely to be proportional to the number of hours worked. Many employers will have specific holiday schemes for their truckers, which will be built into the contracts they offer to their employees. This may involve increasing vacation time for each complete year spent with the organization.
Truck drivers’ vacation time may be made up of paid and unpaid time off work. There should also be sick pay that you will be able to claim if you are unwell and are unable to fulfill your duties. However, there is no industry standard for this, so organizations may offer different benefits in these areas.
Trucking Vacations for Freelance Drivers
Trucking vacations work a little differently for freelance drivers compared to those of salaried personnel. These truckers have vacations, but the structure will be handled differently. In many cases, freelance truckers will work on a looser basis than their salaried counterparts — they may work the same hours, or even longer, but they do not enjoy the same vacation rights. Of course, if you are a freelance trucker, you can still take time off, but you will need to organize this time off very carefully, and you are not likely to get paid.
As you build your reputation as a freelance trucker, and as you network with clients and partners in the field, you may find yourself in a better position. You may be able to build vacation time into your regular contracts, potentially giving you some paid vacation each year. Freelance trucking certainly provides drivers with more flexibility, but this may come with a price — a less regular schedule of vacation.
How Does Vacation Time Work for Truck Drivers?
Even on a fundamental level, truck drivers vacations tend to be pretty different from those of a regular 9 to 5 office worker. In an office, people can expect to clock in on Monday, work their contracted hours, and then clock out on Friday, ready for the weekend. Many workers across industries may experience different kinds of schedules, but this model is still considered the norm across much of America.
Trucking is very different. When operating a trucking route, you are likely to find yourself working an intense schedule, completing a long and arduous route over the course of several days. In order to stay at your best — and to remain compliant with road laws in the United States — you need to be well-rested and alert. This means you will need to take regular breaks along the way and, crucially, have some vacation time — perhaps a few days — when the route is complete.
Trucking companies and any organizations that hire truckers recognize this. No business that is serious about the safety of their drivers and about the quality of their services will expect truckers to go without the proper rest and recuperation time.
Best Vacation Plans for Truck Drivers: Enjoying that Much Needed Time Off
What are the best vacation plans for truck drivers? On vacation truck drivers need time to decompress, recuperate and reset. This means you will need to separate yourself as much as possible from your work.
- Avoid Any Additional Jobs
It may be tempting to take on additional freelance jobs for truck drivers in vacation time. Avoid this temptation. You won’t be able to properly rest and refresh your physical and psychological health. Compartmentalize your time — tell yourself, “Now, it’s vacation time. The time to work will come later.”
- Try to Drive as Little as Possible
If you are traveling on vacation, there may be some driving involved. Try to limit this driving as much as possible. Taking a long road trip with you behind the wheel is not a good break from driving your truck.
- Make Vacation Time Count
When you are at work, you may dream of doing other things that you just can’t find the time for. This could be reading a book you’ve put on hold for too long, visiting friends you haven’t seen in ages, or going to a ballgame with the kids. Whatever you do, make that vacation time count.
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