Each year tens of thousands of drivers spend yet another holiday season on the road, away from family, friends and the familiarity of home.
“The loneliness of the long-distance trucker is very real, and it can be especially difficult over the holidays — especially when drivers have young children at home,” commented Michael Bilokonsky, the CEO and President of Whitehorse Freight, which is headquartered in Bellevue, KY, and provides clients with a full range of logistics solutions from small LTL shipments to over dimensional loads with escort. “And this year it is likely going to be even tougher, as the coronavirus pandemic has seen truckers spend much more time on the road as they pick-up and deliver essential goods, everything from food items to home repair products to clothing to hospital items, and the list goes on.”
The good news is that there are some ways that truck drivers can enjoy their holidays on the road. While they aren’t substitutes for enjoying the company of loved ones, they can make the season brighter and far less lonely. Michael Bilokonsky provides his suggestions on how truck drivers can enjoy the holidays on the road.
Video Conference with Family and Friends
Today’s truck drivers have an option that their predecessors didn’t, and probably couldn’t have even comprehended: video conferencing. From virtually anywhere that they can get a reasonably fast and stable internet connection, truck drivers can connect with family members and friends.
“Video conference platforms like Zoom and Skype are free, and can really take the edge off being along on the road during the holidays” claims Michael Bilokonsky. “Having the opportunity to interact with the people you care most about makes being away for extended periods of time significantly easier.”
Connect with Other Drivers
As seasoned truck drivers know: it’s not merely a job, but it’s a calling — and more than that, it’s a way of life, complete with its own culture, vocabulary, and myriad of unwritten but clearly understood rules. For example: always help other truck drivers pass, always wave at other truck drivers, don’t hold up the fuel line, never use jake breaks in parking lots in which other truck drivers are sleeping, and the list goes on. During the holidays, getting together with other truck drivers at a well-known truck stop, coffee shop or restaurant can be fun and festive.
“Some truck stops really go the extra mile during the holidays with holiday-themed lights, decorations and music,” commented Michael Bilokonsky, whose company provides real-time multi-modal load tracking that generates up-to-the-minute location and ETA of every shipment by land, rail or sea. “It can be very heartwarming, and lets truck drivers know that while they can’t be at home with their family, they can still connect with the extended family of fellow driving professionals.”
Spruce Up the Truck
Speaking of going the extra mile with decorations: some truck drivers provide an extremely valuable public service by sprucing up their truck— everything from hanging a wreath on the grill, to adding a string of battery operated lights.
“These ideas are very simple and small, and only cost a few bucks, but they can really make a difference — especially since truck drivers spend a great deal of time in their cab, even when they aren’t driving and are off duty,” ,” commented Michael Bilokonsky, who was recently featured in an exclusive interview with Ideamench.
Reschedule the Holidays
Truck drivers can reschedule the holidays with family members, so that they still have quality time together — and plenty of opportunity to watch their favorite movies and TV shows, listen to classic Christmas songs, and enjoy seasonal meals.
“Who says that the holidays must fall on a specific date or series of dates each year? For example, if truck drivers who celebrate Christmas cannot be home on December 25, they can shift it to December 28 — or any other date that is feasible,” commented Michael Bilokonsky.
The Bottom Line
Being a truck driver can be rewarding in many ways. But there are also some challenges and obstacles — including being obliged to be hundreds or thousands of miles away from family and friends during the holidays. The tips above can help bridge the emotional distance, and make the holidays brighter and happier for both new and seasoned truck drivers alike.