The winter season can be punishing for regular drivers. With snow and icy conditions likely, roads are often closed, and accidents are too frequent. For many truckers this can mean getting stranded for hours on-end, or even days. And you just never know when that will happen, so you have to be ready. Keep a few things on-hand to help keep your mind busy and entertained during those down-times. Even the most patient driver can quickly become bored when he has nowhere to go (or can’t go).
Here are a few quick tips to get your prepared for the inevitable delays that come with working over winter.
A good book
Reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but a good book can be a real life saver. If like many people you have not picked up a book since you were in school, probably because they force-fed you Shakespeare and old classic novels that have forever tainted the experience. However I would highly recommend you picking up something you fight find that you enjoy it. Think of what films you like watching and they’ll be a book to fit your tastes, from dragon slaying to gangsters the selection is massive.
A good book can help you pass the hours parked up waiting for the roads to clear and even give you something to do in the time after driving but before going to sleep. A Good book can be addictive so remember to only read while you’re not moving, as reading while driving is a serious danger, not to mention illegal.
Phone Apps & Games
Phone games and apps open up a new world of gaming, which is designed for quick on-the-go entertainment whenever you can grab it. This makes mobile gaming perfect for the trucking lifestyle. There is a massive variety to choose from. The range of games couldn’t be greater, from town management to war games and even puzzles. As mentioned above, the great thing about mobile gaming is that it is so easy to pick up. Even people who have never played video games before will quickly find themselves addicted and enjoying their breaks. Like reading, remember that it is an offense to use your mobile or other gaming device while driving so make sure you are pulled up and stationary before saving the world.
Now I know this isn’t the most exciting prospect, as unlike the previous two suggestions, paperwork can be fairly boring in itself. However paperwork is a key part of a trucker’s job and it is far better to get it out of the way when you have a few minutes rather than leaving it all until the last moment, and then having to do it in your own time. Doing paperwork also gives you something to do, which you will find makes your delay go by all the quicker.
Trucking can be a lonely profession sometimes- not seeing your family and loved ones for weeks at a time. Since you’re stuck, and have some time free, why not give someone a ring? It gives you the opportunity to help ward off the homesickness, as well as have a catch-up with what’s happening back home. Ringing at times like this can be great as often planned regular calls quickly become routine and lose their personal touch, which can leave them feeling forced. Remember again (I’m aware I’m starting to sound like a parrot), but don’t use your mobile while driving as it’s very dangerous.
Have Plenty of Music
Often bad weather can kill your radio signal, and the couple of CD’s you have in reserve will soon drive you mad after the fourth play through. Music can be a great way to get you through the boring patches so make sure you have a wide range to choose from. It’s well worth investing in some kind of MP3 player, and a compatible radio system for your truck- and loading it with lots of your favorite music. One of the best things about music is that you can listen to it even while driving.
This was a guest post by Sam Fisher on behalf of the Pannone Law Firm, specialists in motoring law.