Santa’s workshop is operating at a total capacity 24/7 to produce toys for children worldwide.
Truck drivers also work extra hard behind the scenes to keep holiday shipments in stores nationwide. With expected high demand, many drivers find taking time off to make it home for the holidays is challenging.
Many companies provide significant compensation increases to work the holidays, which helps lessen the stress of being away from spouses and children during this magical time. However, it still doesn’t make it easier. So, here are some tips for truckers to help make the holiday season easier.
Safe Driving Habits
First, taking care of yourself on the roads is vital to stay alert and safe. Traffic during the holiday season is always at its peak. Couple that with potential weather conditions that can slow travel; being behind the wheel of your big rig becomes even more stressful.
Avoid letting your guard down, maintain safe distances, and give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go. The holidays are stressful enough. You don’t want to add an accident or injury because you push yourself too hard.
The Holiday Spirit
Get into the season’s spirit by decorating your truck’s interior or outside. Maybe a tiny tree, scented cones, and other decorative items for your sleeper cab. You may have seen trucks decked in Christmas lights, wreathes, or décor.
We know specific truck drivers who decorate themselves in red and white hats, gloves, and more. If you believe you are essential in delivering joy to other families and kids, you’ll find the spirit of the holidays in your heart.
Surround Yourself with Company
Knowing you’re not alone on the road this holiday season can also be a comfort. Celebrating with fellow drivers at truck stop driver’s lounges can be great for your holiday morale.
Lean on the camaraderie, companionship, and shared experience of your fellow truckers. That can help ease the loneliness and missing your family over the holiday season.
Don’t Skip the Holiday Meal
Something else that will help soften the blow of working during the holiday season is to treat yourself to a holiday meal. Good food always provides some comfort and a feeling of home.
Most major truck stop chains offer holiday dining options. If you know you’ll be working over the holidays, plan your route so you’ll know you have an excellent holiday dining option along the way. Many truck stops with holiday meal options may require you to RSVP, so be aware. With some planning, you can take a break to enjoy a hearty holiday meal.
Celebrating Traditions on the Road
While being away from family during the holiday season can be challenging, it’s also an opportunity to celebrate traditions on the road. Many truckers bring their holiday traditions, such as cooking their favorite holiday dishes in their sleeper cab or watching a favorite holiday movie during their break. Some even participate in a gift exchange with fellow drivers at truck stops.
Others find ways to give back to the communities they drive through, volunteering at local food banks or donating to charities. It’s heartwarming to see how these truck drivers spread the holiday cheer and make a difference in the lives of those they come across on their journey.
Managing Holiday Stress and Mental Health
The holiday season can bring joy and happiness, but for some, it can also bring sadness, loneliness, and stress. Truck drivers who are away from their families for extended periods can experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues during the holiday season.
Truck drivers need to manage their mental health and stress during this time. Taking breaks regularly, practicing mindfulness, and exercising are all ways to manage stress while on the road.
Efficient Route Planning During Peak Season
Peak season during the holidays means heavy traffic and road closures that can add stress and delays to your delivery schedule. One of the best things you can do to mitigate these issues is to plan your routes carefully well in advance. Efficient route planning can mean the difference between timely deliveries and costly delays, ultimately affecting your company’s bottom line.
Utilize GPS tools like Google Maps, Waze, and other fleet tracking software to optimize your routes. Consider speed limits, traffic conditions, and road construction when planning your routes to avoid costly delays. It is also good to communicate with your dispatch or fleet manager to ensure your routes are current and no unexpected detours could derail your delivery schedule.
Always prioritize safety over speed and take breaks to rest and recharge when necessary.
Enjoy the Holiday Season While Safely Trucking
The holiday season can pose unique challenges for truck drivers on the road. But with safe driving habits, embracing the holiday spirit, surrounding yourself with company, not skipping the holiday meal, and celebrating traditions on the road, you can make it through this busy time of year.
Additionally, don’t forget to prioritize your mental health and manage any stress that may arise during this peak season. You can successfully truck through the holidays and safely return to your loved ones with efficient route planning and self-care strategies.
Remember that every mile driven is an accomplishment, and be proud of your dedication to keeping goods moving during this celebration. We at ATC wish you a happy and safe holiday season. Stay safe out there, and keep on trucking.