Trucking during the holiday season can be very rewarding, as countless items need to rapidly make it from one place to another for restaurants, stores and shoppers. While trucking can be profitable during these months, it can also be dangerous as more drivers are on the road. For the drivers that do have the opportunity to spend some quality family time with their loved ones, it is hard to do much shopping while on the road, much less get into the holiday spirit altogether. If you are trucking this holiday season, here are some of both useful and safe driving tips you need to know.
- Maintain Your Truck
Maintenance is what makes the difference because a truck that is safe and enjoyable to drive and one that is a risk every time on the road. Make sure that your truck is working correctly so that you can identify any potential problems before you will find out about them during the ride. At a minimum, you should be taking your truck in as the seasons change to make sure that everything is in good shape. This is especially important in the winter months if you will be driving in areas with ice or snow.
- Your Mobile Technology Can Be a Great Ally
For drivers who have adopted mobile devices, tablet, phone or laptop can be an excellent way to stay connected during the holidays as well to stay on top of one’s Christmas shopping.
When working on the road during the holidays, truckers are pressured to find much time at all to complete Christmas shopping – using one’s phone to peruse sites such as Amazon and Target are a great way to stay on top of gift-giving. There’s not much need for in-store shopping in this day and age, and it eliminates the possibility of forgetting one’s Christmas list.
Mobile apps such as FaceTime and Skype are an excellent way to keep in touch with loved ones and to send them Holiday greetings. It i s easier than ever to stay connected when on the go. Communication with others is key to a healthy work-life balance and a good state of mental health for drivers.
- Know Your Way Around
Picking the right path is essential when you are trucking during the holiday season. Any routes that go near malls or other popular shopping areas should be adjusted to avoid the traffic. Mapping out multiple travel routes or using a traffic app is especially important on travel weekends or weeks like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Also, pay attention to traffic alerts in the cities. That will mentally prepare you for encountering hazardous spots on the road and allow you time to adjust if needed.
- Avoid Distractions
Finally, it is critical to avoid distractions while trucking during the holidays. Many of the drivers around you are going to be distracted by the stress of the holidays, traffic, cell phones, or the pile of gifts balanced next to them in the passenger seat. As responsible as you may be, it is important to realize that other drivers may not be so committed to safety. Especially during the holiday season, you should never eat, use a cell phone, or attempt to do anything remotely distracting on the road. It makes a huge difference in your level of road safety while you are trucking during the holidays.
- Don’t Worry About a “Perfect” Celebration
As we become more casual with our holiday celebrations, there is less pressure for families to create the so-called perfect Christmas. When you do get the opportunity to celebrate the upcoming holidays (whenever that may be) remember that your overall presentation is more important to the holiday than anything else. It’s about spending time together rather than planning something busy, and getting to have a nice meal paired with quality time is what your loved ones will recall down the line.
It is certainly not easy to hold a truck driving job and provide your family with the “dream Thanksgiving and Christmas” but rest assured, a perfectly nice holiday celebration can be achieved.
Merry Christmas to all Truckers in the US from DOT Operating Authority!