Dealing with Truck Driver Burnout

Photo of a truck driver resting

If anyone knows a thing or two about a job with a demanding schedule, it’s a trucker. But even with the long distances and hours, it’s easy to get lost in all of it. Before you know it, you can find yourself taking up every single job opportunity, being on the road for weeks at a time, and neglecting your health. But this is a path you do not want to find yourself taking, as it can very quickly leave you feeling burnt out.

What Is Truck Driver Burnout?

Truck driver burnout occurs when a driver works themselves to a point of exhaustion that affects their mental and physical well-being, threatening their job-performing abilities. When you live the heavy lifestyle of a trucker, feeling a case of burnout can happen very easily and often if you’re not careful. So, for your business, your health, and the safety of others on the road, it’s important to watch out for the signs of truck driver burnout and do what is needed to eliminate them as soon as they start showing.

The Causes

While the overall busy schedules of truckers can lead to feeling burnout, there are two main factors that really contribute—earnings and lack of sleep. Due to truck drivers being paid by the mile, there is pressure to always be on the road, making money. Drivers can tell themselves that another job wouldn’t hurt, but the hours add up and can be detrimental if declining a job is never an option. In addition, having little to no time for sleep leads to complete exhaustion and a lack of energy that can make the job more difficult than it already is.

The Signs

It is crucial for one to be honest about their mental and physical state. To be able to recognize a case of driver burnout, here are the most common signs and what they mean:

  • Truck Avoidance- Feeling absolutely no desire to get into the truck, and having to force yourself to do your job. Also, you’ve lost any passion you might have had for your profession.
  • Distance Avoidance- You’ve developed a habit of making up excuses to make unnecessary stops when driving, to avoid driving long distances. You can only drive a maximum of 50 to 100 miles.
  • Procrastination- Finding anything to do that might help you kill some time and keep you off the roads for longer.

The Fix

Your well-being is a priority. So, if you have noticed some of these signs, it’s important to do what is best for you.

  • Don’t pass up on vacations. You need a healthy amount of time away from the job in order to do your job well.
  • Take time to rest. If possible, try to have one or two days off each week to spend time at home, and even get into a better sleep schedule. For longer jobs, don’t overwork yourself, and stop for breaks when your mind and your body need them.
  • Use electronic logs to meet the required number of hours off the road and to make sure you’re not burning yourself out.
  • When you’re on the job, try to spend a little time away from the truck, doing something you enjoy.

The sooner you pick up these habits, the sooner you’ll be back on the roads, doing what you love, and this time with a healthier, balanced lifestyle.