At the Premier CDL school in Utah, we teach students the mechanics of truck driving along with their legal responsibilities. The same goes for schools in California, Indiana, Georgia and Texas. What we do not focus a lot of attention on is driver comfort. It's not that comfort is not important, it is just that it is a very personal thing that is not easily explained in the context of a classroom. That said, we do know there are things drivers can do to make driving more comfortable.
Why is driver comfort important? Because a comfortable driver is a productive driver. Any job you do is made more difficult if you are not comfortable doing it. Just by making a couple of changes in the cab of your truck, you can improve your comfort and your performance.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
One of the biggest mistakes truck drivers make is wearing clothing that is not comfortable. For example, pants that are too tight can cause significant discomfort in the waste, thighs, and so on. The last thing you need halfway through a long day is discomfort in your lower body that makes sitting in the driver's seat difficult.
We recommend loose fitting clothing that gives your body plenty of room to breathe. During the winter, dress in layers. Layering allows you to add or remove layers as the temperature requires.
Buy A Few Accessories
The most comfortable drivers in the industry have a couple of key accessories they keep in the cab:
- Electric Blanket – An electric blanket can mean the difference between being comfortable or being cold while you are trying to sleep on those cold winter nights. Fortunately, manufacturers make electric blankets designed specifically to be used with your truck's electrical system. Get one.
- Shower Kit – It goes without saying that a hot shower and shave go a long way toward achieving personal comfort. A shower kit including toiletries and grooming aids is just what you need to make the best use of those truck stop shower stalls.
- Sunglasses – While technically considered accessories, truck drivers know that a good pair of polarizing sunglasses makes all the difference in the world. High-quality sunglasses reduce fatigue and help prevent sun-related headaches and eye strain.
Establish a Sleep Schedule
Though we understand that a regular sleep schedule is not always possible in the trucking industry, drivers should make every effort to establish a schedule if they can. Science has proven that the body gets used to sleeping and waking at certain times every day, subsequently adjusting itself to work accordingly. When a normal sleep schedule doesn't exist, a person just has a harder time getting restful sleep.
C.R. England has been in the trucking industry nearly 100 years. One of the many things we have learned from our own experience is how important restful sleep is to driver comfort. If you can find a way to make sure you get enough restful sleep every night, you will be more comfortable behind the wheel every day you are driving.