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Day in the Life of a Truck Driver

Being a truck driver is a unique and demanding lifestyle. It’s a constant journey, and each day brings new experiences, challenges, and a connection to the open road. H&M Bay is inspired by these road warriors that successfully deliver 7,000 shipments for us each and every week.

This life of independence begins early in the morning, often before the crack of dawn. The day begins with a thorough inspection of the truck and trailer. This includes everything from checking the engine, lights, tires, and brakes to ensuring that the cargo is properly secured. After the pre-trip inspection is completed, a driver will begin to plan their route for the day. This applies GPS and other trucking-specific navigation tools to plan, often taking into account traffic, road conditions, and any potential detours or rest stops.

After a hearty and nutritious breakfast, the trucker may check in with the dispatcher or employer to confirm the schedule for the day. This consists primarily of updates on the route, potential delays, or changes in delivery times. The morning routine sets the stage for a trucker’s day on the road by ensuring a smooth and safe journey.

The afternoon of a truck driver is a crucial part of their workday as they strive to meet delivery schedules and cover more miles on the road. The most critical task, of course, is driving. They cover hundreds of miles, navigating highways, city streets, and various road conditions along their journey. In compliance with federal and state regulations, truckers take breaks in order to prevent fatigue. These breaks are often spent at rest stops. Such places are used by truckers to stretch, use the restroom, and grab a snack or meal.

As the evening sets in and truckers begin to end their day on the road, there are still a plethora of tasks that must be completed. Firstly, truckers must look for a suitable place to park for the night. Finding a safe and well-lit parking spot is a priority for drivers, meaning that they often find themselves in rest areas, truck stops, or designated parking lots. Many of these overnight locations will have nearby restaurants where the drivers have a chance to enjoy a hot meal, socialize with fellow truckers, and take a break from the road.

After dinner, the truckers have a few more tasks to complete before they are able to return to their sleeper cab for a good night’s rest. Many truck drivers take time to review their route and schedule for the next day. They consider numerous factors such as distance, delivery times, and any changes or updates they may have received from the dispatcher.

Another essential in trucking is to keep accurate records. An often-overlooked aspect of a trucker’s day is the time spent tending to documentation. This is where drivers must complete necessary paperwork related to pickups and deliveries. Such documents include bills of lading, delivery receipts, and any other required records.

Since December 18, 2017, an ELD (electronic logging device) is required for commercial vehicle drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS). An ELD automatically records driving time and hours of service records, as well as capture data on their vehicle’s engine, movement, and miles drive. Before that time, these records were kept manually in driver paper logbooks. There are a few exceptions to this rule, including if the driver drives less than 8 days out of every 30 day period or if the truck is older than a 2000 model (because of the how the ELD is connected to the truck’s engine).

The final aspect of a truck driver’s day is spent in the sleeper cab, which includes just about everything to live life on the road. A good night’s sleep is crucial for the safety and alertness of the driver on the road the next day.

The day-to-day life of the truck driver while on the road can isolated. There is an estimated 50% of professional truck drivers that travel with their pets for emotional support.

Next time you see an 18-wheeler rolling down the highway, remember that behind the wheel is a dedicated and resilient trucker, whose life on the road keeps our world moving.


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