Turn Your Truck Into a Home Away From Home
by Dale Jackson
Dale Jackson has always been passionate about the open road. In order to help other people realize their dreams, he writes for Capital Solutions, Inc..
Trucking is a surprisingly exciting industry in which you get to visit new places and meet all sorts of people. Some of the conversations I have had with complete strangers have been the most interesting of my life. I’ve learned about the areas I’ve traveled through, the cargo I’ve shipped, and a lot about myself.
Still, it can get lonely out there by yourself on the open road. Since you’re traveling all the time and have no real source of consistency or structure, it is important to create your own. Since you spend more time in your truck than some people spend in their actual houses, it is important to make yourself at home. Here are some important things to consider when turning your truck into a home on wheels.
10-hour drives. Those words alone are enough to make any normal person’s legs start to get stiff. But as truck drivers, we get used to a mostly sedentary lifestyle in small spaces. This doesn’t mean that our bodies thrive in this environment though. Climbing up and down into the truck all day combined with sitting in the same position for hours on end takes its toll.
Sleeping on a decent mattress is the first step to preventing aches and pains. Next, invest in some comfortable blankets and pillows. Sitting against a contour cushion could help keep your back straight. When you’re sitting alone all day, there may not be any motivation to keep from slouching. Poor posture can have a negative effect on your overall physical health, so do what it takes to keep your back straight.
While you certainly aren’t spending the entire day doing nothing, driving can get a bit monotonous. With advances in technology though, there are a lot of options for things to do both while driving and during your hours off.
Music has always been available on the road, but in rural and mountain areas, the radio can be spotty. Now we have not only the options of tapes and CDs, but mp3 devices. And these aren’t just for music. You can download movies, audio books, and podcasts. So if you’re a talk radio person, you can download your weekly news between trips and then listen to it on the road. This is a great way to stay up on current events.
For the off hours, keep a stash of good books and puzzle games on hand in order to keep your mind active. You can also purchase a 12V TV and DVD player so that you can watch movies and TV shows. Loved Ones
The hardest part about being on the road is probably being away from friends and family. Whether you’re single or not, regular travel is keeping you from putting down roots and creating lasting memories with people.
In order to keep those you’ve left in your heart and mind, keep photos of them around. You can keep a photo book, tape pictures to the dash, or both. Keep pictures of places you’ve been too. Sometimes loneliness can overwhelm, but the truth is that trucking is a fulfilling career, and it can definitely be worth the sacrifices.Health and Fitness
Truck stops don’t always promote the healthiest food choices, but there are a lot more options then there were twenty years ago. Most places have a t least a couple items that have fewer preservatives, carbs, fat, or whatever dietary aspect your doctor told you to avoid. Also, we no longer have to be completely dependent on truck stops. By purchasing a mini-fridge and microwave, you give yourself a lot more freedom over what you eat. Most stores have pre-washed produce that you can use for salads and other easy-prep meals.
A microwave can be used to prepare a lot of things. You can make quesadillas, rice, beans, pretty much anything. You can also prepare meat while you’re home and then heat it up while you’re on the road. Not only is preparing your own food cheaper and (conceivably) healthier, but it adds an element of routine to your day. Preparing a meal, however simple, is a chance to unwind and focus your mind on something different from whatever’s been going through your head all day.
When it comes to creating a home, it’s the little things that make the difference. Trucks aren’t a place for clutter, so when items can multi-task, everyone wins. Make your cab homier by focusing on items that have a function, whether it be for comfort, entertainment, sentiment, or health and fitness. These simple additions will make your travels even more fulfilling because you won’t have to focus on anything you’re lacking.