Truck driving is an excellent career that provides competitive pay and benefits. This industry attracts a wide range of individuals, including many who have families or are hoping to start one soon. While there are some unique considerations truckers with families need to keep in mind, it is definitely possible to be successful as a driver while staying connected to loved ones back home.
Here are some tips for trucking with a family:
1. Set Clear Expectations
Communication is an essential skill for truckers, and this extends beyond interactions that are directly related to your job. You’ll also need to communicate clearly with your loved ones back home and have conversations about your expectations for how trucking will affect your family life. Being on the same page with your loved ones is important, and having support back home can make it easier to manage life on the road.
Some questions to talk through your your spouse and/or co-parents include:
- How will you handle any emergencies that occur while you’re on the road?
- What household responsibilities are most important to handle during home time, and how can you continue to contribute while you’re away?
- Which events or holidays are most important to try to arrange home time for, and how will you handle it if you aren’t able to get home when you expect to?
- How will you stay in touch while you’re on the road?
2. Take Advantage of Modern Technology
Modern technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with your family while you’re away from home. Set a time each day for a video chat or phone call to catch up. You can also take photos of interesting sights or things that remind you of your loved ones and send them via text. However, make sure you never drive distracted!
3. Get Your Family Involved
There are many ways you help your family feel involved in your life on the road, depending on your unique circumstances. Consider asking your children to help you with trip planning and give them a way to keep track of where you are during hauls. Then, during your calls, you can keep them updated about the places you are visiting. If your children are older or your partner has time off work, many motor carriers allow you to take a passenger on the road. This can help them see what your life on the road is like. Be sure to choose a shorter haul if possible and plan ahead for such a trip.
4. Look For Family-Friendly Trucking Companies
Finding a company that offers home time that aligns with your needs can make trucking easier in the long run. Although you will likely start with an over-the-road (OTR) position that involves a few weeks at a time on the road, you may be able to transition to a regional or even local job over time. These allow for more consistent time at home. As a general rule, many truckers spend one year OTR before they have enough experience to look for a regional or local job, although this can vary.
Earn Your CDL in Phoenix
If you’re interested in supporting your family with a career in trucking, Phoenix Truck Driving Institute can help you get started. Our students are able to earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in as little as four weeks, and we offer job placement assistance to help you find positions that match your goals.