Dynamic Drivers: Making the Most of Your Home Time
Life on the road isn’t easy. It takes a special kind of person to make that schedule work. Here at Dynamic, our drivers know that there’s a lot more to life than what happens inside the truck. We’ve talked about ways to improve a driver’s mental health. One great way to improve mental health is making the most of your home time. Whether it’s spending time with family or setting aside time for yourself, making the most of your home time is key to feeling refreshed and recharged when it’s time to run again. We recently chatted with a few of our drivers to talk about how they spend their home time and their tips for getting more out of yours.
Spend Time with Family
If you’re a driver with a spouse or kids, your off time is a valuable opportunity to reconnect and make lifelong memories. When you step out of the truck, our drivers recommend stepping into a family-first attitude. Your family does a lot to support you on the road, so it’s important to reward them with quality time, whether it’s a movie night at home or dinner at a favorite restaurant. Try making a list of three things you absolutely have to do during your home time. One of our drivers, Andreas Romero, shared his list with us.
“First thing I don’t budge on is a movie night with my kids. We’ll just pop some popcorn, get in the bed and watch movie after movie. Second, I need some time with my parents so I can catch up with them. And third, I have lunch with my wife every day I’m off. That’s our time to really connect with each other.”
Support Your Own Hobbies
You should also carve out some time at home to do the things you love. Even if it’s just going for a long walk or watching a football game on the couch, our drivers say that time spent on yourself is time well spent. Dynamic driver Tina Massena says her home time is for rest and relaxation with her boyfriend, who also drives with her.
“When we’re on the road, it’s about eating, sleeping and driving. So when we get home, we’re big on getting some peace and quiet,” Tina says. “We’ll catch up on our favorite TV shows and read some books. If we don’t take that time to ourselves, we’ll get burnt out on the road and then nobody’s happy.”
Andreas has a similar philosophy when he’s off. When his kids are at school, he uses that time to hop on his motorcycle and clear his head. He says it’s a great way for him to get out the house, enjoy the fresh air and settle into a groove before his next run.
“When I’m out on my bike, it’s just me and the highway. But instead of having a 80,000-pound truck under me, it’s a 900-pound bike,” Andreas says. It’s a different highway. I’m not on the job. I got nowhere to be. No noise, no distractions. It’s the perfect time to be alone with your thoughts.”
Create Home Time on the Road
Thanks to cell phones and video calling, today’s truckers know they don’t have to be at home to enjoy some time with their friends and family. The key, our drivers said, is using these tools to have consistent, quality conversations. Kevin Haney, a driver with us for eight years, says cell phones have made a huge difference in how he talks with his daughter.
“I love that I can pick up the phone anytime and give her a call, and she can do the same to me. About once a week, we’ll video chat just so we can see each other. It makes a big difference.”
Andreas feels the same way. With two young boys at home, he’s learned to adapt his work schedule to their routines. That way, they always know when they can expect a call from him and it forces Andreas to plan his stops and manage his time on the road.
“I call my kids every morning before school and every afternoon when they come home. Even if it’s just to say ‘I love you, have a great day,’ those talks really help me feel connected to what’s going on in their lives,” Andreas says. “And then every night I pull over and video chat with them before they go to bed. That consistency of seeing my face every night really helps them sleep.”
Making the most out of your off time means finding the balance between caring for your loved ones and caring for yourself. Just like you build a routine on the road, you need a routine for your home time, too. For new drivers, staying connected can feel like a challenge, but Kevin says it’s one that works itself out in the end.
“When I first started trucking, I lived in the truck. That truck was my life. And that’s hard on the driver and it’s hard on the families. As your kids get older or you get more time behind the wheel, it does get easier,” Kevin says. Trucking is not the only job where you’re gone a lot. With time, you get better at managing your time and making the most of it.”