Tips for Getting More Miles as a Trucker

Since over-the-road (OTR) truckers are typically paid per mile, being able to travel efficiently is an essential skill to develop. There are many factors that can influence your ability to get the most miles as a trucker. Some of these are out of your control, but there are others that you can work to improve.

Here are some tips for getting more miles:

1. Safety First

Before we dive into other tips for getting more miles as a trucker, it’s important to remember that safety should always be your top priority on the road. It’s never worth putting yourself and others at risk for the sake of getting to your destination a little bit faster or fitting in a few more miles for the day.

In the long term, you’re more likely to build a strong reputation with your company and get assigned more favorable routes if you have a reputation for staying safe. This means that even if you may lose a few miles in the short term, you’ll benefit overall.

Safety considerations to keep in mind when trying to increase your miles:

  • Maintain a safe speed at all times. Speeding is especially dangerous in large vehicles like semi-trucks.
  • Driving while tired has similar effects to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re fatigued, taking a break to nap is the best way to recover. You may drive fewer miles in the short term, but you’ll be safer, and you’ll get energized more quickly to continue driving in the long term.
  • This should go without saying, but never use illicit drugs to try to stay energized. This puts yourself and others at risk and you could lose your license.

2. Trip Plan

Trip planning is an essential skill for professional drivers to have. This involves scheduling your driving time to stay in line with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, as well as listing potential locations for stops.

Planning your trip can help increase your miles in various ways, including:

  • Reduces time spent looking for a place to park
  • Allows you to plan ahead for high-traffic locations (e.g. avoiding rush hour near cities)
  • Helps you build a track record of on-time deliveries

3. Perform Thorough Pre-Trip Inspections

Pre-trip inspections are required by the FMCSA. They help ensure your truck is in good working condition before you hit the road, which is essential for safety. Additionally, they can help minimize downtime. If you catch an issue before it becomes serious, it can often be fixed more quickly than if you let it get worse. This means that being thorough during your inspections can help you improve your mileage over time.

4. Don’t Forget the Social Side of Trucking

Trucking is a solitary job in many ways since drivers typically spend most of their day alone in their vehicles. However, there is a significant social aspect to the job, and understanding this can help you be more successful.

One of the individuals you will communicate with most is your dispatcher, and building a positive relationship with this person can help you get more miles.

Some tips for working with your dispatcher:

  • Keep them updated on any changes to your schedule.
  • Be polite and courteous, even if you are frustrated.
  • Work together to make deliveries on time, every time.

Other individuals you’ll interact with include dock personnel, customers at shippers or receivers, other truckers, and management at your trucking company. There may not always be a direct link between these interactions and your miles, but over time, your reputation can definitely make a difference in the routes you get.

Get Consistent Miles with DSW

At DSW, our goal is to help you get miles, get paid, and get home regularly. We offer competitive pay and work hard to provide consistent miles for our truckers.

To learn more about our open truck driving jobs, contact us today.

What Is An APU In Trucking?

Long-haul truckers spend weeks at a time on the road and their semi-trucks become their homes away from home. During hauls, drivers often pass through many different regions with various climates, so maintaining a good temperature in the cab is essential for staying comfortable. However, keeping a semi-truck running so the AC or heat stays on during breaks can waste a lot of fuel, and may even result in a fine in states with no-idling laws.

An auxiliary power unit (APU) provides a solution to this problem. This is a device that produces power to keep a semi-truck’s heating and cooling system running even when the engine is off. It can also generate power for electronic devices that are plugged into the inverter.

How Does an APU Work?

There are two different types of APUs.

The first are called combustion APUs and they run on fuel. This allows them to keep working for a longer period of time and to generate more power at once, but they are very maintenance-heavy and require more costs to run.

The second type, electric APUs, run on battery power and the battery recharges either while the truck engine is running or by plugging the battery into an outlet. The run time varies depending on the unit, but it is typically less than a combustion APU. However, these units require significantly less maintenance.

Benefits of an APU

Some ways APUs benefit truckers include:

1. Save Fuel While Maintaining a Comfortable Temperature

As an over-the-road (OTR) trucker, you’ll often be sleeping in your truck, and it can be very difficult to get comfortable if the temperature is too hot or too cold. However, leaving your truck idling overnight wastes a lot of fuel (on top of potentially being illegal, which we’ll discuss in more detail later in this article). Using an APU instead saves fuel while still allowing you to be comfortable in your sleeper cab.

2. Run Small Electronics

If your truck has an inverter, an APU allows you to keep small electronics running even when your truck’s engine is off. This is important if you want to have a mini-fridge or electric cooler in your cab and you can also use it for a small television, a video game system, or to charge your phone/tablet. Depending on the type of APU, you may need to be mindful of the total capacity and the time you keep these running.

3. Stay Compliant With No Idling Laws

Many states have laws that forbid idling or restrict the circumstances when it is allowed. Some such restrictions include having a time limit or specifying a temperature range when idling is permitted and restricting it otherwise. If you aren’t in compliance with these laws while you’re stopped in one of these states, you can get a fine. Having an APU means you don’t have to compromise on your comfort while still obeying state no-idling laws.

DSW Offers APUs for Drivers

At DSW, our management is made up of former truckers and we know what life on the open road is like. In addition to offering competitive compensation, we also offer benefits that make day-to-day life easier for our drivers, including equipping our fleet vehicles with APUs.

To learn more about our open truck driver jobs, contact us today.

Setting and Achieving Trucking Goals

In any career, being a self-starter and staying committed to your own success is essential for growth. In particular, trucking is a field that is very well-suited to self-motivated individuals. Since long-haul drivers are typically paid per mile rather than per hour worked, your performance is directly tied to how much money you take home. Knowing how to set clear and realistic trucking goals is an essential skill to develop throughout your career in order to set yourself up for success.

Here are some tips for setting and achieving goals as a trucker:

1. Think About What Motivates You

Everyone has values that are important to them, and tapping into this can give you more fuel to achieve your goals. It also helps you narrow down which goals are most in line with your values so you can give them more focus and attention.

For example, you may be motivated by your family, by long-term financial goals, or by a desire to reach specific career milestones. When working toward your goal feels challenging, remind yourself of this motivation and why it is important for you to persevere.

2. Start With One Goal at a Time

Splitting your focus between several goals makes it more difficult to give your full energy to each one, and makes it less likely that you’ll succeed. Instead, start with one goal that is most important to you. Once you’ve completed this goal (or made significant progress, in the case of a long-term goal), then you can start adding more to your list.

3. Set SMART Goals

One system for setting goals is known as the SMART system, and this can help you set goals that are more achievable. It also gives you a clear roadmap to follow. SMART is an acronym, and each letter represents an aspect of the goal you are setting.

We’ll use working toward a healthy lifestyle as an example to illustrate each of the principles of SMART goals since this is a common goal for truckers. However, you can apply this to any goal you wish to set, from getting more miles to managing your time on the road.

S – Specific

If your goal is too general, it’ll be difficult to know when you’ve achieved it. Instead, it should be specific enough to track. For example, “getting healthy” would be too broad, but narrowing in on a specific aspect of health like “working out more” would be easier to manage.

M – Measurable

You need to be able to measure your progress and have a clear indication of when you have reached a goal. In the example of “working out more,” you could make this measurable by setting a number of times a week to exercise and a length of time, such as two thirty-minute workouts a week.

A – Attainable

Setting challenging goals for yourself can help you grow, but your goals need to be within the realm of possibility. When it comes to working out, this can be a challenge for long-haul truckers since you may not have regular access to a gym or a lot of free time when you’re on the road. This is why starting small with two thirty-minute workouts each week is often more reasonable than trying for long workouts five or more days out of the week. Of course, you could increase or decrease this goal depending on your specific lifestyle, as long as you can honestly say it is attainable for you.

R – Relevant

Your goal should be relevant to your values. Otherwise, you won’t be motivated to work toward it. Following the example, this is relevant to many truckers’ lives because trucking is a sedentary career, and moving more is better for your heart and long-term health. You can also identify specific motivations that are powerful to you, like getting healthy for the sake of your family or in order to improve a specific health problem.

T – Time-Bound

Setting a time limit on goals helps you stay focused. For something recurring like working out regularly, you can set a time of a month to start so you can get used to doing so, then revisit the goal. For longer-term goals, the time limit should be reasonable. You want to challenge yourself, but you also want to make sure you can actually achieve your goal in the amount of time you set.

Grow Your Trucking Career

If your SMART goal is to grow your career with a family-owned trucking company, join the team at DSW. We’re currently hiring over-the-road and regional truckers and we offer competitive pay and benefits.

To learn more about how we can help you achieve your trucking goals, contact us today.

Managing Homesickness as a Trucker

Being an over-the-road (OTR) trucker has many benefits, but does come with its challenges as well. One challenge that drivers may face is managing the emotions that may arise when they are away from their homes and family for weeks at a time. Luckily, there are many ways you can overcome feeling homesick while on the road.


Follow these five tips to help you manage homesickness as a trucker:

1. Make Your Truck Feel Like Home

You will spend a lot of time in the cab of your truck as an OTR trucker, so making it as cozy as possible can help fight homesickness. Bring a pillow or blanket that reminds you of home. Not only will it help you get a good night’s sleep, but it will also make you feel closer to your loved ones. Carrying pictures of your family in your truck is another way to keep feelings of loneliness away. Seeing their faces while you’re driving will help you feel closer to them.

2. Find A New Hobby

Keeping your mind off missing home is another way to manage homesickness as a trucker. To keep yourself busy, you can try taking up a new hobby while you’re on the road. Subscribe to an interesting podcast, binge-watch your favorite tv show, or bring along some books to read. Other great hobbies for truckers are getting into photography, collecting, or learning to play an instrument. 

3. Keep In Touch With Loved Ones

Talking to your loved ones as often as possible is crucial during trips that span long periods of time. A lot of drivers find it helpful to set a communication routine. For instance, a driver with young children may video chat every evening before their kids go to bed or in the morning before they leave for school. Having scheduled family chats give you something to look forward to during the day and helps you avoid playing phone tag. You can also ask your spouse or friends to record or live stream important events so you don’t feel like you are missing out.

4. Bring Along Your Furry Friend

Trucking is one of the few careers that allow you to bring your pet along with you while you work. Many truckers have found that driving with their animals in the cab significantly improves their mental well-being. It gives you someone to talk to throughout the day and encourages you to exercise and be social at truck stops. 


At DSW, we are a pet-friendly company and are more than happy for your furry friend to join the team with you.

5. Be Kind To Your Body

Feeling good physically can help fend off pangs of homesickness, whereas feeling sluggish can magnify them. Be kind to your body while you are on the road by drinking lots of water, eating balanced meals, and getting good sleep as often as possible. Staying active can also help take your mind off of things. Exercise releases endorphins that put you in a good mood so if you are struggling with homesickness, try lifting weights or taking a long walk around the truck stop.

A Trucking Company That Cares

While occasionally feeling homesick is a part of truck driving, it doesn’t have to control your life. At DSW, we understand the importance of home time and make sure everyone who works with us gets home regularly. We have our drivers’ best interests in mind. 

If you are ready to take on both the challenges and rewards of being a truck driver, contact DSW today.

Should You Bring a Cat or a Dog OTR?

Life as an over-the-road (OTR) trucker is exciting, but it can also get lonely. You spend long periods of time out on the open road and away from home. One perk is that this is one of the few careers where you can bring a pet along with you every day on the job. Many truckers find that having a furry friend in the cab to keep them company is great for their mental wellbeing. If you don’t already have a pet but are considering getting one to bring OTR, you may be debating whether a cat or a dog is better suited to a trucking lifestyle. At the end of the day, the decision of which is better comes down to personal preference, but this article includes some of the pros and cons that can help you make your decision.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Any OTR Pet

No matter what type of pet you bring with you on the road, the biggest benefit is, of course, the affection and companionship pets provide. If you’ve had pets before at any point in your life, you know how wonderful it can be to spend time with them. Having one in your semi-truck during OTR routes can make you feel more at home.

The biggest thing to consider is that any type of pet requires work, and this work increases when you are dealing with the logistics of traveling with it in a semi-truck. You’ll need to talk to your vet, make a plan for any emergencies, and find space for pet supplies in your cab.

Trucking Dogs

Pro – Can Guard Your Truck

Having a dog on your truck can be a great way to deter thieves. Although you should be mindful of the available space and choose a medium or small breed, even a small dog can bark and alert you to someone who is getting too close to your vehicle.

Pro/Con – Need to Do Their Business Outside of the Truck

This is both a pro and a con depending on how you look at it. When you take a dog OTR, you’ll need to plan to stop regularly to let your dog out for exercise and to relieve itself. The negative part of this is that it adds another step to your trip planning and takes extra time. However, it also means you’ll be more active, and this is one of the reasons why truckers with dogs are often healthier.

Another positive part of this is that aside from any accidents, your dog will be doing their business outside of the truck. This means that you generally don’t have to deal with the waste being in your living space. Still, be sure you have cleaning supplies on hand just so you’re ready if any accidents do occur.

Con – Some Breeds Require More Activity/Space

Depending on the breed you choose, and on the individual personality of the dog, it may require more space than you can provide in a semi-truck. If you’re getting a dog specifically to take it OTR, you should have a backup plan in case they don’t like the trucking lifestyle and prefer to have more space to run around.

Trucking Cats

Pro – Often Require Less Activity/Space

You’ll need to dedicate some space in your truck for toys and scratchers for your cat, plus its litter box. That being said, the overall space a cat will take up is often less than a dog, even considering these items. Cats also don’t typically require the same amount of activity as dogs as long as they have toys to keep themselves entertained. However, this will depend on the cat, so make sure you know the personality of your pet. A cat that is content to relax and lounge will probably adapt better to the trucking life than one who loves to chase toys all day.

Pro/Con – Don’t Typically Leave the Truck

While you can theoretically leash train a cat, most don’t go out on a leash, and so the safest option is to keep your pet in the truck. Even if the cat does go out on a leash, you can’t typically rely on it to do its business outside of the truck regularly. This means that if you take a cat OTR, you’ll need to make sure you clean its litter box regularly to keep the smell under control. A positive side of this is that you won’t need to plan your stops around the cat’s need to relieve itself.

Con – Not Usually As Trainable As Dogs

We can’t say for sure that no one has ever trained a cat, but they don’t typically respond as well to training as dogs. You may be able to do a bit of training (such as getting your cat to use a leash) but a cat will, for the most part, do what it wants when it wants. When you’re on the road, this can be a safety concern if your cat gets out of the truck since you may have a hard time teaching it to come when called. This means that you should have a plan and keep a collar on your cat just in case. If you do want to let them out of the truck to explore, having a leash they’re willing to wear is a safer way to do this.

A Pet-Friendly Trucking Company

DSW is a pet-friendly trucking company and we would love to have you and your furry friend join our team. We are currently hiring for OTR and regional drivers.

To learn more about becoming a DSW trucker, contact us today.

Budgeting Tips for Truckers

Sticking to a monthly budget is a worthwhile goal for anyone. For truckers, there are some unique considerations to keep in mind. Living on the road introduces some challenges, especially when it comes to meal planning. However, with a bit of effort, it’s definitely possible to create and stick to a budget and save money as a truck driver.

Here are some budgeting tips for truckers:

1. Track Your Income and Expenses

The first step in saving money is to know how much you are taking in each month and how much you are spending. From there, you can create budgets for different categories. You do this by estimating your average income and expenses, or you can track for a few months to get a more specific idea of your monthly spending. Categorize what you are spending money on, and use these numbers to create budget limits for these categories. Once you have this data available, it’s easier to see where you may be overspending.

2. Focus on Food

Food is one of the biggest expenses for anyone, and for truckers in particular, expenses can add up quickly. It’s easy to grab meals at restaurants or truck stops on the road, and truckers may have a harder time planning meals and preparing them ahead of time compared to individuals who are home every day to cook. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Consider meal prepping during your home time and making meals you can easily heat up on your truck. To start, you can focus on one or two meals you would like to eat in your truck. Having a plan in place makes it easier to stick to your goals, and you may be surprised at how much you can save. Even if you still have some meals out, you can save thousands of dollars each year by preparing food in your truck as much as possible.

Trip planning is also beneficial for saving on meals, as it allows you to plan out more cost-effective places to stop for food and groceries when you’re on the road.

3. Take Advantage of Discounts and Perks

Many companies offer discounts for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. Ask around to see which of these you might be interested in. Although the savings may seem small, they can add up quickly and if you’re already purchasing these goods and services anyway, there’s no reason not to take advantage of any discounts.

As a driver with DSW, you can also take advantage of driver-friendly fuel purchasing. This allows you to control your fuel locations within the network and earn points for amenities like showers. Over time, this can help you save money.

4. Drive Safely to Avoid Tickets

Speeding tickets and fines for other traffic violations are unexpected expenses and can also put your CDL and your job at risk. While it may be tempting to speed up to try to get more miles in, you’re actually saving money in the long run and keeping yourself safe by following traffic laws and avoiding tickets.

Drive With a Company That Rewards Your Hard Work

Of course, one of the major items that affects your budget is your income. By becoming a DSW driver, you can take advantage of our competitive pay and benefits. We appreciate the hard work our drivers do for us, and our pay rates reflect this appreciation. Both new and experienced drivers can earn excellent pay.

To learn more about driving with DSW, contact us today.


Simple Tips to Stay Active as a Trucker

Staying active is a difficult task for anyone who has a sedentary job. However, there are additional hurdles for truckers compared to those with an office job. Despite these challenges, regular physical activity is important for your health and is a worthwhile pursuit. It also may be easier than you think. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day to stay active as a trucker.

Here are some simple tips for getting your body moving every day on the road:

1. Walk or Run During Stops

You don’t need any special equipment to go for a short walk or a run. This makes it a great way for truckers to exercise since you won’t need to take up space in your truck to store any gear. All you need is a good pair of shoes.

If you have the time for a longer run, this is a great way to get your heart rate up. Otherwise, start with making a commitment to go for a five-to-ten-minute walk around the truck stop whenever you stop for fuel or a break. You’d be surprised how quickly these small walks add up.

Remember to keep your personal safety in mind and pay attention to your surroundings. Stay in well-lit areas, avoid using headphones, and make sure your truck is locked any time you step away from it.

2. Incorporate Strength/Resistance Training

In addition to daily walks/runs, it’s helpful to incorporate some strength training. This can seem daunting since you can’t keep a full set of weights in your truck, but the good news is you don’t need to. There are many gravity/bodyweight exercises, like push-ups and sit-ups, that you can do without any equipment at all.

If you have room for a small amount of equipment, resistance bands are a great investment, or a pair of small weights if you prefer. These open up many possibilities for exercises you can do without even leaving your cab. As a result, it’s easier to incorporate some exercise before you go to sleep or right when you wake up in the morning. Again, you don’t have to commit a long stretch of time to working out. Take whatever time you have. Even five minutes makes a difference over time.

3. Fit in Longer Workouts When You Can

If you find that you are enjoying staying active and want to work out more often or for longer stretches of time, it’s possible to find ways to do this even as an over-the-road (OTR) trucker. To start, you can extend the length of some of your runs or resistance work-outs. Start with taking thirty minutes once a week, and once this is a routine, you can increase the number of days a week that you do.

Should You Get a Gym Membership As a Trucker?

Many gyms have locations across the country, so getting a membership is an option if it interests you. Keep in mind that you’ll need to make sure any location you stop at has parking that can accommodate a semi-truck. You may need to get creative to work longer gym workouts into your trip plan, but it’s far from impossible, and many truckers do so. If you’re passionate about fitness, this is something to consider, but it’s not a requirement to stay active.

Additionally, many truck stops are starting to add fitness centers. These are easier for truckers to use since you know their parking can accommodate you, and you’ll be stopping at these locations for breaks and fuel anyway.

Work For A Trucking Company That Cares

If you’re a truck driver and are looking for a motor carrier where the management will know you by name, not by truck number, DSW is hiring. We have OTR and regional routes available.

To learn more about driving for DSW, contact us today.

The Dangers of Aggressive Driving

Drivers have a responsibility to others on the road. When you’re operating a semi-truck, this responsibility is even more pronounced. Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard than other motorists because of the greater risks of accidents involving such large vehicles. If you’re a trucker, it’s important to avoid dangerous behaviors, including aggressive driving.

What is Aggressive Driving?

The broadest definition of aggressive driving is that it is any unsafe driving behavior that a person does due to getting frustrated on the road. Various states have laws that define this more specifically. Behaviors that fall under the umbrella of aggressive driving include speeding, following too closely (tailgating), cutting another vehicle off, or failing to yield the right-of-way.

Aggressive driving can escalate into road rage, which includes more serious behaviors like intentionally hitting another vehicle, running a vehicle off the road, or threatening another driver. Road rage also includes yelling, cursing, or making obscene gestures at other drivers.

Why is Aggressive Driving Dangerous?

Aggressive driving is technically a form of distracted driving since it takes your mind off the road. When you’re distracted due to a heightened emotional state, you aren’t making the best driving decisions possible. You may take longer to react to changes in road conditions, which can have devastating effects.

Additionally, many of the behaviors associated with aggressive driving reduce the amount of time you have to stop if you need to. Speeding and tailgating are two major examples of this. Keep in mind that in a semi-truck, the safe stopping distance is already significantly higher than it is for a standard passenger vehicle.

If aggressive driving escalates into road rage, it increases the level of danger. Drivers have been killed in the past due to confrontations arising from road rage.

Avoiding Aggressive Driving

It’s important to keep your cool behind the wheel and be a defensive driver rather than an aggressive one.

Here are some tips for avoiding aggressive driving:

  • Take a few deep breaths if you notice that you’re starting to get frustrated.
  • Remind yourself that your safety is a top priority. It’s easy to focus on getting in the most miles possible as a trucker, but at the end of the day, it’s better to go slowly and get to your destination safely than to rush and put yourself and others at risk.
  • Try not to take mistakes that other drivers make personally.
  • Avoid confrontation. Do not make eye contact with drivers that are being aggressive toward you, and do your best to get out of those situations as quickly as possible.
  • If you have a tendency to get frustrated easily, consider listening to calming music while you drive. This can reduce aggressive driving behaviors compared to other types of music.
  • Make a trip plan. This may not seem related to aggressive driving, but one of the major reasons drivers behave aggressively is due to stress about getting to their destination on time. With an effective trip plan, you can better plan for delays and unexpected circumstances, and this can help you feel more in control even if you are stuck behind a slow driver.

Drive With DSW

If you are a safe commercial driver, we’d love to welcome you to our fleet. We have openings for regional and over-the-road truckers.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a trucker with us.

Personal Safety Tips for Truckers

Knowing how to stay safe on the road as a truck driver is essential. In many cases, the conversation focuses on driving safety since truckers spend most of their time behind the wheel. In addition to this, it’s important to keep your personal safety in mind. Female drivers are often more aware of the importance of personal safety on the road, but this is a valuable skill for any trucker to have.

Here are some personal safety tips for truck drivers:

1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Situational awareness is a key skill for staying safe. When you are walking from your truck to a rest stop, look around and avoid any distractions. Being on your phone or having headphones in reduces your ability to quickly notice and respond to changes in your environment.

2. Plan Your Trips

Trip planning is a valuable skill for truckers to learn. It helps you travel as many miles as possible while staying compliant with hours of service (HOS) regulations, which translates into higher pay. In addition to this, planning your trips can help you stay safe. You’ll be able to look up truck stops and fuel stations ahead of time and read reviews to help determine which areas are safest.

Making sure you have a good “cushion” of available driving time and back-up truck stops also allows you to trust your intuition. If you pull into a truck stop you planned to stop at and get a strange feeling, you’ll be able to move on to your back-up plan.

3. Be Mindful When Parking

When you park for the night, you’ll need to balance personal safety with the conditions that are best for sleeping. Parking under a bright light may keep you awake, but it can also be a safer option. Over time, you’ll learn how to find a good middle ground where you are not isolated in a dark area but are still able to get the rest you need.

4. Don’t Talk About Your Cargo

Talking about the cargo you are hauling can make you a target for thieves. Don’t share what you are transporting and where you are headed with anyone at truck stops and don’t discuss it on the phone in the open. This is especially important for high-value or hazardous cargo, but it’s a good practice for anyone to follow.

5. Secure Your Cab

Make sure your truck is locked at all times whether you are inside or out of the vehicle. Keep the curtains closed so no one can see you or your belongings inside. One trick to keep the cab even more secure is to run either a seat belt or a ratchet strap through the door handles so they can’t be opened from the outside.

6. Consider a Self-Defense Class

Taking a self-defense class can give you valuable skills to use if you are ever in a dangerous situation. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use these skills, but it can increase your peace and mind.

Drive for A Company That Cares

At DSW, our management is made up of former drivers and we understand what life on the open road is like. We work as hard for you as you work for us and currently have regional and over-the-road jobs available.

To learn more about trucking with DSW, contact us today.

Managing Stress in Your Truck Driving Career

Any career has the potential to cause stress, and it’s important to know how to manage this for the sake of your mental and physical health. When it comes to truck driving, there are some unique challenges to take into consideration. However, it is definitely possible to reduce stress levels as a trucker. Following the tips in this article is a good starting point.

1. Take Care of Your Physical Health

Stress negatively affects your health and can cause a variety of symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and increased susceptibility to illness. In addition, the reverse is true and your physical health can affect your stress levels. Taking care of yourself physically can help you manage your stress and feel better on the road.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Eat Well: Choose healthier options when you are eating out, and consider meal prepping to save money and improve your diet.
  • Exercise Regularly: While it takes some planning, there are many ways to find time to exercise while on the road. Consider getting a pair of running shoes so you can jog around truck stops, or buy small weights for your cab.
  • Get Enough Sleep: Sleep is essential for your health and can improve your mood.
  • Stay Hydrated: Keep a refillable water bottle with you in your truck and take sips throughout the day.

2. Keep Your Cab Clean and Organized

A messy environment can increase your stress levels. Over-the-road truckers spend the majority of their time in their trucks and the area doubles as a workplace and living space. If it’s messy or unorganized, you’re likely to feel the effects on your mood.

Make a cleaning schedule for your truck and stick to this. Since it’s a relatively small space, you won’t need to devote as much time as you may think. Making sure that you have a place for everything and stay organized is helpful as well.

3. Stay in Touch With Friends and Family

Spending time away from friends and family back home can be difficult and can increase stress. To minimize the effects of this, find ways to stay in touch while you are on the road. Technology has made it easier than ever to connect with our loved ones from a distance. Schedule regular phone calls and video chats and spend quality time together in person when you are home.

4. Slow Down

A significant portion of the stress truckers experience is due to a pressure to get things done quickly. If you find yourself getting stressed, take a second to slow down, breathe, and calm yourself down. This is not only helpful for reducing stress levels, but is also beneficial for your safety on the road.

5. Ask for Help When You Need It

Everyone can benefit from help from time to time. Make an effort to find a support system of fellow truckers, and ask them for help and advice if you are overwhelmed. You can find others in the trucking industry by connecting with co-workers or visiting online forums.

A Family-Focused Trucking Company

At DSW, we care about our drivers and know you by name, not by number. We are a family-focused motor carrier with a small company feel and freight rivaling the larger carriers. Our management is made up of former truckers who understand what life on the open road is like. We work hard to reduce your stress by helping you get miles, get paid, and get home regularly.

To learn more about our available regional and over-the-road trucking jobs, contact us today.