For new drivers, long-haul drives can seem intimidating. Being on the road for hours by yourself is no easy task. However, we are here to help. Through an interview with Tony Van Pypen, a western long-haul driver who has been driving for 34 years, and Mike Sanders, Erb Transport’s eastern Midwest international cross-border driver, we came up with 5 things to help you have fun on the road and keep the drive interesting!
- Tune in to the radio
According to Tony, the radio is great for long drives. Whether it be talk radio, music radio, or satellite radio, this is a valuable tool for drivers to stay entertained. In addition, radio stations also keep drivers updated on current traffic situations.
- Download mobile applications and audio books
Audio books “make the time go by quick,” says Mike. What easier way to read a book than to listen to it? Mysteries, crimes, sci-fi, comedies, documentaries – audio books are a perfect way to occupy yourself while learning something new. Furthermore, Tony wishes that he had spent the time during his drives to pick up another language, so if this is something you are thinking about, go for it!
- Carry a book with you
As nice and handy as audio books are, there is still something about the smell of paper, the feeling of flipping the pages and holding a book in your hands. This is something our driver Mike swears by. Mike claims he always has a book in his cab to read while waiting for a trailer to load/unload. Furthermore, reading has been proven to reduce stress, improve memory as well as concentration and mental stimulation. Therefore, this is a very beneficial activity for new drivers to keep in mind.
- Get out of the truck and move around
Both Tony and Mike stressed that this is the most crucial thing to driving long haul. Being in your truck all day can take a toll on your legs and potentially cause tiredness and fatigue. Drivers should get out of the truck to stretch and take in natural scenery and breathe in fresh air any chance they get. This is a nice break from staying highly focused and alert during the drive. Tony shared his personal experience of bringing his fishing pole with him and stopping to fish along the way. “Fishing is one of the most relaxing activities that help me unwind,” says Tony. “Everyone’s got their own hobbies. It’s best if you could incorporate yours into your drive.”
- Keep your truck tidy and clean
“Your truck is your home away from home,” says Mike. Think of it as your house. You would want to live in a neat and comfortable environment, where you can feel at ease to do your day-to-day work. Your truck is the same way. Decluttering your surroundings is actually decluttering your mind. Keeping your truck tidy and clean will make your drive more enjoyable.
Got more tips for new drivers? Leave a comment below!