Trucking

7 Tips for Trucking Through the Holidays

CT Team

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We at CloudTrucks want to wish a happy holiday season to truck drivers, their families, and everyone working behind the scenes to keep our country moving. This is a busy time of year for truck drivers as holiday shipments are going out to stores across the nation. Because of this high demand for shipping many drivers find it difficult or impossible to make it home for the holidays. We’ve put together this special article to provide you with seven tips for trucking through the holidays.

1. Check your Company’s Time Off Policies

If you prefer to make it home for the holidays and spend time with family and friends; it may be helpful to consult with your company’s policies for taking time off. Depending on who you drive for you may have options like a guarantee that you’ll get to choose one holiday for hometime, while being required to work the other holidays. Other companies may give their drivers the day off during specific holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. And quite a few provide no special consideration for their drivers to make it home for the holidays.

"If you’re familiar with the policies it will help you to manage expectations and leave you better equipped to coordinate plans for the holidays with family and friends."

 2. Put in Your Time Off Request as Early as Possible

If making it home for the holidays is important to you and your family, be sure to put your time off or hometime request in early as possible to give you the shot at having your request approved. Each company handles holiday time-off requests differently, so be sure to consult with your fleet manager as well.

3. Leverage Technology 

When you’re not able to make it home to your family over the holidays but want to be a part of your family’s holiday celebrations, utilizing cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices in conjunction with wireless internet can help you stay in touch by using a variety of apps such as:

  • Facetime for Apple users
  • Duo for Android users
  • Zoom
  • Skype

The above apps typically require special data plans with your cell carrier, or the use of Wi-Fi. Fortunately, the major truck stop chains, many state welcoming centers, and other establishments provide Wi-Fi that is accessible to truckers. 

4. Holiday Meals

If you’re not able to make it home, or choose to stay out but you still want a traditional holiday dinner, you’re in luck. Most major truck stop restaurant chains provide seasonal holiday dinners. Chances are you’ll encounter their advertisements in the weeks leading up to the holidays. With a little planning, you can still have a hearty holiday dinner while on the road. Keep in mind that some restaurants provide dinners on an RSVP basis, so if you have a specific place to stop for the holidays in mind, it helps to double check if you need to RSVP or not.

5. Celebrate with Fellow Drivers

Truck drivers are part of a larger community and for drivers who can’t make it home, or have no family to spend the holidays with, celebrating together at truck stop driver’s lounges, restaurants, and other venues is a wonderful way to participate in the holiday spirit. The camaraderie and companionship along with the shared experience of being out there working hard together through the holidays can be a rewarding experience and help drivers cope with feelings of loneliness. 

6. Decorate your Truck

One way many drivers partake in holiday activities and show the spirit of the season is by decorating the interior and/or the exterior of their trucks. Chances are you’ve seen drivers with their trucks decked out in Christmas lights, wreathes, and other decorations. Just keep in mind that any decorations you use on the exterior of your truck need to be placed in a safe manner and not violate any safety standards. As far as the interior decorations go, a small tree, scented cones and other decorative items placed in your sleeper berth can help you keep in touch with traditional holiday practices and feelings. 

7. Stay Alert and Stay Safe

On a safety oriented note, stay alert and stay safe while on the road during the holidays. HIghways typically experience higher levels of traffic during the holidays and with more cars on the road it’s important to avoid letting your guard down. Keep your head on a swivel, maintain safe distances, and be alert for motorists who are unaccustomed to driving on the interstate highway system. It also helps to give yourself plenty of time to make it to your destination by taking into consideration the increase in traffic.

We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season whether you’re on the road or at home with your family. If you’ve had problems in the past with making it home for the holidays and are looking for a change, we invite you to visit our CloudTrucks signup page. Drivers at CloudTrucks are in 100% control of their scheduling. Drivers who prefer to make it home for the holidays can do so, hassle free. 

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