The onset of winter means shorter days, longer nights, and weather that can make driving a genuine pain at times. Veteran truckers are used to the ebbs and flows of the seasons, but that does not necessarily make the job any easier during the winter months. There are just some things that are different from mid-December through the end of March.
At C.R. England, we value our drivers as important members of our team and safety is one of our top priorities. To that end, here are three ways truckers can keep on trucking during the winter without any loss of productivity and remain safe:
1. Maximize the Daylight Hours
Numerous studies looking into seasonal affective disorder (SAD) have shown that some people are adversely affected by the shorter days of winter due to less natural sunlight. Even people who do not suffer from the syndrome can find that the shorter days of winter affect everything from their moods to their willingness to work.
We recommend truck drivers do their best to maximize daylight hours. In other words, if you are a truck driver who prefers overnight driving to stay out of traffic, consider shifting your work schedule during the winter so that you are awake for the entire time the sun is up. You may find that more exposure to natural daylight helps keep your spirits up and your mind alert.
2. Don’t Ignore Daily Exercise
Daily exercise is important to maintaining good health even as a truck driver. Assuming you get regular exercise during the spring, summer, and fall, do not get into the habit of ignoring it come winter. Don’t allow the colder temperatures to keep you locked in your cab living a mostly sedentary lifestyle.
Taking 3 to 4 months off from your normal exercise routine makes it that much harder to start exercising again in the spring. Moreover, every time you slack on your daily exercise and then attempt to resume, you are solidifying a yo-yo habit that is just not healthy. It is far better to find new ways to exercise than to simply stop altogether during the winter.
Yes, you may have to be creative if cold temperatures and icy conditions prevent you from going on that daily run or engaging in calisthenics. But there are plenty of ways to exercise apart from what weather conditions offer. You just have to want to do it.
3. Stay in Touch with Family
Our final tip to help you keep on trucking through the winter months is to stay in touch with family. This time of year, more than ever, you will benefit from the smiling faces of your kids and good conversations with your spouse. And if you’re not married with kids, you may have other family members with whom you can keep in contact. Think parents, siblings, and even extended family members like cousins and aunts and uncles or close friends.
Family relationships are the lifeblood of humanity. It is amazing how much good solid family relationships can do to motivate the trucker to keep going. Rather than allowing yourself to be emotionally drained by being away from family this time of year, make every effort to find new ways to stay in touch.
The calendar says winter is here. We all know it. But we don’t have to let winter dictate our happiness, productivity, or anything else for that matter. If you are a truck driver, keep on trucking regardless of what the calendar says. Spring will come in just a few months.