Dealing with the isolation of truck driving

As a truck driver, you’re going to spend a significant amount of time alone on the road. Many people find it tough to deal with the isolation. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons why people quit truck driving careers. Learning how to handle being alone is one of the most important parts of the job other than the technical skills.

When you’re a truck driver, you’re basically separated from everything else going on around you. The vast majority of your day is nothing but roads, rest stops, and parking lots. For all but a few hours a day, you’re entirely alone, and when you’re not, you’re in the company of complete strangers. Home feels very far away – it often is, too.

Even when you do get the chance to spend some time at home, things aren’t always the same. You’re physically present again, but the world kept on going even though you weren’t there. For many truck drivers, home loses its sense of familiarity and comfort. The solitude doesn’t end just because you’re not on the road any more. It’s tough to accept, but when you’re out on the road, people get used to you not being around.

Even when you manage to reconnect with friends and family, most of them won’t and can’t understand because they haven’t done the things you’ve done. The difficulty of the job and the many hours spent completely alone are alien to them, and that just ends up driving a bigger gap between you and your old life. Being a truck driver means that to some extent, you’re abandoning the life you used to have.

If you don’t have a family and close friends, becoming a truck driver can be a great decision. If that’s not the case, though, it’s important to understand that sacrifices will have to be made. You can still take jobs that won’t bring you far from home, but there’s always some level of solitude in truck driving.

Problems that new truck drivers face

Truck driving can be a solid career, but many truck drivers will admit that getting started isn’t easy. It doesn’t require extensive formal education and there’s an abundance of truck driving jobs, so many people try to jump right in. What they’re often not aware of is that there are many nuances to truck driving that can make it difficult to establish footing.

One of the most important things to do when you’re a new driver is to stay focused on your career goals. Do your best to disregard any preconceived notions about truck driving – you should grow from your own experiences instead of leaning too heavily on advice from others. Recruiters, trainers, and other truckers all might have something to say, but don’t place so much stock in their words that you let the annoying things take all the fun out of the job.

It’s also crucial to set your own expectations and take initiative to learn things on your own. You probably won’t have time to learn everything from your trainer, company, colleagues, or anyone else. Don’t let your trainer’s shortcomings set the tone for your truck driving career. Beyond that, if there’s something you don’t learn during your training that you feel like you should’ve learned, don’t sit around and wait. Instead, do your best to learn it on your own so you can be fully prepared for  any situation that you find yourself in with your truck.

The last big thing that surprises newcomers is the separation and exhaustion that comes with being a truck driver. You’ll spend long periods of time alone where you don’t see anyone at all that you know. You’ll also feel like you have no energy left after working for long periods of time trying to deliver a load. Truck driving isn’t always easy, but it can be rewarding.