Image of truck driver with kid standing next to red semi

Balancing Work and Family as a Long-Haul Trucker

Staying Close While Miles Apart

One of the tough realities of being a long-haul trucker is spending long periods of time apart from friends and family. However, you can still maintain a close-knit, loving family while pursuing your career goals.

Today’s technology provides a multitude of ways to communicate—from video calls to group texts, it’s easy to stay in touch. But sometimes, a text or quick chat on the phone lacks the personal touch needed to feel truly connected. Before you hit the road, check out these tips for keeping your family members close even when you’re miles apart

Share More Than a Text

Keeping in contact with your loved ones through texts and scheduled phone calls is important, but there are ways to make it even more exciting! As often as you can, take photos of the places you visit and share them with a story about your day or information about the location! As a long-haul trucker, you get to travel through parts of America that many people never get the chance to experience. Share these sights with loved ones and maybe even impress your kids in the process with your photography skills!

Even better, create a shared photo album for yourself and the whole family where everyone can upload photos they take throughout the day. Add some videos if you’re feeling creative! There are many apps that have this feature, like Apple and Google Photos.

If you didn’t snap any pictures that day and don’t have a planned phone call, consider sending a voice message rather than a normal text. Your family will love hearing your stories in your own voice!

Collect Souvenirs

This popular commercial from a national banking chain depicts a truck-driving father who stops and collects rocks while out on the road. Later, it’s revealed he’s taking these short breaks to collect stones for his daughter, who collects rocks.

There are many ways to participate in this trend, whether it’s collecting stones or even postcards from each state you visit. Truck stops have a wide variety of souvenirs, toys, and collectibles that will make anyone smile! No matter how small the gesture, anything to show you’re thinking about them while on the road will make all the difference!

BONUS IDEA: Your family can track your route at home using push pins on a paper map, and when you return, they can add the postcards to each state! This ongoing project is perfect for young kids and the whole family!

Make it a Learning Experience

Kids’ opinions are always changing, and it’s important to keep up with their interests. You can still do this while on the road (and maybe even throw in a fun fact once in a while!) Come up with questions to send your kids in a text and try to tailor them to the places you are visiting. We’ll give some examples for our favorite state, Georgia:

  • What’s Georgia commonly known for? (Besides our delectable peaches, of course!) Many don’t know that Coca-Cola was invented in the state of Georgia!
  • What do you like (or think you would like) about living in Georgia? Ask them what aspects of this state appeal to them the most!

Let your kids think of their answers and have a little Q&A session the next time you’re catching up on the phone! Then, you can give them new questions for your next destination and let the cycle continue. Also, many companies allow you to bring your kids on the road for a few days after you have demonstrated safe driving. They can see your daily work routine, and it will be a family trip they won’t soon forget! When starting with a new company, ask what their policy is so you can plan ahead.

Focus on the Positive

While on the road for weeks at a time, it’s easy to start feeling down and dwell on the negative. However, it is important to focus on the positives until you are able to return home! Rather than thinking about the things you may be missing, think about happy memories from home and start planning fun activities for your next homecoming! By planning ahead, you can be present and make the most of that time!

You will surely have a lot to share about your journey, so when you come home, don’t spare any details! Let your family ask questions so they can feel like they were a part of the journey the whole time!

Long-haul trucking can be difficult, but it is a rewarding career that will take you far. While you’re advancing through the industry, you can also grow your family bond! Your travels can be an adventure for all, and the memories will stay with you and your family for years to come.

If you’re interested in becoming a truck driver and earning your CDL, Georgia Driving Academy is ready to help! GDA provides Class A and Class B CDL training services for Georgia residents. If you’re interested in beginning a career as a trucker, learn more about our CDL training programs.

Updated August 2023