When the office is also your home and the bed rests a couple of steps behind your seat, it can be tough to create a work-life balance. But truck drivers still find personal ways to make life comfortable on the road.
TruckNews.com spoke to five professional road warriors about how they live their lives when the curtains are drawn and doors are locked. Here’s what they shared.
Lee Wood, already three weeks on the road and with plans to run another two, is typically away from home for weeks at a time.
He carries running and hiking shoes with him because he likes exploring during downtime. “I like to go for a walk depending on my schedule and weather,” the driver says, referring to a few favored areas on his routes. Nipigon, Ont. is “absolutely breathtaking” and he loved exploring Newfoundland’s Wreckhouse area.
Wood also finds that proper meals boost his morale, and he claims to have mastered the art of boiling pasta in the microwave. He cooks every day and uses a hot plate to prepare steak or hamburger.
Mexican wraps with soy-based meat, along with pizzas, are the comfort food of choice these days. “You don’t need a toaster to make the perfect pizza,” he says. Pitas offer a crust for the sauce and toppings. “If it is a little gooey, nuke it a little longer and roll it into a wrap.”
And like most drivers, he goes through a lot of data, streaming shows on his phone and tablet during downtime. “You have to occupy your mind, or you will lose it,” he says.
Longhaul trucker Dawna Jacobsen spends fewer than 12 weeks a year at home. But she adds personal touches to her home on wheels, applying designs to the cab glass and walls. “I have a beaded hummingbird and peace things. They make the cab a bit nicer,” she says.
As for meals, she hauls a cooler, juicer, and three-in-one microwave/air fryer/convection oven appliance, providing different cooking options.
Trying to get more active, Jacobsen has purchased a badminton set, too. “If someone wants to join me for a game at the truck stop, they are more than welcome. If not, I’ll keep hitting the birdie in the air.”
During quieter times she solves Suduko and puzzles on her phone, or reads the Bible while waiting to pick up loads. And she loves to sing, adding her voice to any music playing in the cab.
Sameer Vij sometimes takes loads across the continent and has just returned to his Oakville, Ont., home base after a trip to Los Angeles, Calif.
The owner-operator is a film buff and loves watching old movies after he is done driving, using a smart TV equipped with a DVD player in the cab. He streams newer content but watches classics on purchased DVDs. “I watch some movies many times over and DVDs are ideal for that,” he says.
Vij has also installed LED lights around his bunk area. The colors can be changed and provide mood lighting, helping him fall asleep.
Barry Kasdorf played a lot of hockey when he was younger, so it was a natural progression to rollerblade during downtime.
He finds rollerblades are ideal for urban areas with sidewalks. “It’s a great way to meet and interact with local residents,” he says.
When doing a reset at an out-of-the-way truck stop, no problem. Parking lots offer plenty of room for laps.
Paul McKinchie loves listening to music. He pays for a satellite radio subscription, so he doesn’t have to keep switching channels as he drives through northern Ontario, where radio stations are few and far between.
“I usually listen to the ‘60s as I am old guy. I also listen to old radio shows, like Alfred Hitchcock stuff and stories.”
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