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Driver Solutions CDL Training - 2011 Truck Driver Holiday Survival Guide

Written By onci on Friday, December 23, 2011 | 10:51 AM

  1. HOLIDAYSURVIVAL © 2011 DRIVER SOLUTIONS | HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
  2. GUIDEThe holiday season can be as challenging for some as it is uplifting for others. For some truckers,home is in the driver’s seat, but for many others home is across the country with family members.As truck drivers, we recognize that not everyone shares our passion for travel, driving, and hardwork. We value these activities because they help us support our families, help the Americaneconomy, and help us build networks of meaningful relationships. But with the holiday seasonupon us, many will be setting aside time to go home and reconnect with family and friends.The month of December can be a trying time for truckers. Most trucking companies respectrequests for time at home during the holidays, but other variables like bad weather, possiblebreakdowns, and late delivery times can all effect time with the family. If you do end up on the roadduring the holidays, try to make the best of it no matter what. Be thankful for what you do have,and remember that truck drivers help keep the toys, clothes, great foods and many other Christmasgifts moving across the country.Going home for the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful. As the song goes, “’Tis the season to bejolly,” not stressed out! It IS possible to balance the important aspects of our lives with our careerresponsibilities. Whether you’ve been driving for days, months, or years, here are a few suggestionsto help you survive the holiday season. Trucker Gift Ideas In today’s busy world, gift buying has become not only more complicated, but a lot more expensive. The good news is that shopping for a truck driver doesn’t have to be hard. There is a long list of both essential needs and nice luxuries that a truck driver might want. Plus, gifts do not need to be pricey or expensive, but rather should be thoughtful and from the heart. Here’s a list of some sample gifts for any budget: Nice Cell Phone A nice cell phone will help drivers stay connected to family members and friends, search the web in down time, take pictures or videos, or may even act as a GPS. Keep in mind that safety comes first, so don’t use your cell phone while driving! iPod An iPod or other mp3 player can store music for the many hours that drivers are on the road. Some devices can now also store video and © 2011 DRIVER SOLUTIONS | HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
  3. pictures, so truck drivers would have plenty to do for entertainment.AC/DC Transformer An AC/DC transformer could be a lifesaver for drivers if their truck breaks down while on the road. A transformer would allow a driver to still plug in some small appliances, like a refrigerator, TV, microwave, heater, or to charge electronic devices like a cell phone.GPS Truck drivers are often driving in unfamiliar territory, and having a nice truck driver GPS can help save time and make trips safer. GPS devices can now be found for under $100, but advanced models can be much more expensive. Make sure your get a GPS that is rated for truck driver use and includes truck-friendly routes.Maps and Atlases Some drivers may prefer maps and atlases to a GPS. Even if a driver has a great GPS, maps and atlases can be a great tool to help supplement a GPS or provide backup in case the GPS stops working.Movies or Books Truck drivers may have a lot of down time between runs or may hit delays with nothing to do. Having movies or books to delve into will help keep drivers entertained and have fun.Sleeper Cab Fan No one wants to sleep in a stuffy truck. A sleeper cab fan will help regulate the temperature in the cab, which drivers will probably really appreciate when they are trying to get the vital rest they need.Seat Cushion Sitting all day or night can take a toll on the body. Consider getting your favorite truck driver a nice seat cushion to help ease the aches that sitting can cause. If you know a truck driver who really needs some extra love, consider a heated or massaging cushion.Sheets Having nice sheets can help a driver be more comfortable while sleeping and remind them of home.Bluetooth Headset There are many great hands-free headsets that will help make driving and talking on the phone safer. Now that a ban on hand-held cell phone use has been passed, a hands-free headset is more important than ever. © 2011 DRIVER SOLUTIONS | HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
  4. Satellite Radio Much like an mp3 player, a satellite radio will help make the endless miles of driving more enjoyable. Not only can drivers listen to music on satellite radio, but they can also listen to sports and talk shows.Polarized Sunglasses Anyone that has been out on the road knows how important it is to be able to see. Help your trucker driver safer while protecting their eyes.When in doubt, most people enjoy handmade gifts like a home-cooked meal ora knitted blanket. Gift cards are also a safe gift that anyone can find a use for. Money Saving TipsOne of the biggest challenges for inexperienced drivers working their firsttruck driving job is saving money. With the holidays right around the corner,many families are really pinching pennies to buy food for get-togethers andgifts for friends and family members. Here are a few tips that can help yousave money during the holidays: • Make a list and check it twice. Search for the best bargains, regardless of what you are buying or where you are buying it. • Recycle. By reusing wrapping paper, tissue paper, and gift boxes from previous occasions, you should save time and money on new products. • Make a spending plan and stick to it. Safe Driving TipsYou never know when inclement weather or a mechanical breakdown willhave you stranded on the side of the road. Being prepared for these situationsis important. Here are some tips to help keep you safe so you can make it homefor eggnog and pumpkin pie: • Create a survival kit with extra clothes, blankets, water, canned food, a small travel tool kit, a basic first aid kit, a flashlight and toiletries. © 2011 DRIVER SOLUTIONS | HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
  5. • Always remember to do a proper pre-trip inspection before you go anywhere. • To avoid a fire hazard, do not to leave anything plugged in when you leave the truck. • Do not leave your truck running when you leave it, no matter how cold it may get! • Never drive tired. • If a deer or other animal suddenly appears in your headlights, DO NOT try and swerve to miss it. • Be aware of distracted drivers that might be using cell phones, eating, drinking, or trying to read a map. • Tune in to traffic for road closures, delays, and accidents. • Above all, if you don’t feel its safe, DON’T DO IT. Tips For Staying Stress FreeThe holidays are generally a time when family and friends come together andshare traditions. For many, however, the holidays can be very stressful or evenlonely. • Choose realistic expectations for the holiday season – keep it simple! • Set realistic goals for yourself. • Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle. • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable. • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. • Look to the future with optimism. • Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the good old days of the past. © 2011 DRIVER SOLUTIONS | HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
  6. • Find holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday decorations, going window shopping without buying, and watching the winter weather, whether it’s a snowflake or a raindrop. • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way. • Spend time with supportive and caring people. Source: http://www.ua.edu/features/holiday10/stress.html Places To SeeOne of the biggest advantages when you’re driving over-the-road is seeingmore of the country in one year than many will see in a lifetime. The holiday isa great time to see special events, exhibits, and beautiful decorations. So whileyou’re driving, take some time between runs or at the end of a shift to visitsome of the great tourist destinations around the country. Even better, if youhave time to spend with your family members take them to see some of theselocations. Here are some ideas to get you started:Halls of Fame Whether you’re a football, baseball, basketball, or music fan, there’s probably a hall of fame for it! Learn about the greats that impacted your favorite sport or pastime and relive a memorable moment or two.Museums Every large city has them and some cities are known for them. When visiting a new city, check out their art museums, natural history museums, or even the children’s museums. Many museums hold special exhibits just for the holidays, so make sure you don’t miss out on a unique experience.Theme Parks Theme parks are no longer just for young kids. Most parks like Disney World, Six Flags, and Universal Studios have tons of fun activities for kids and adults alike. Plus, most theme parks get ramped up for the holidays and have special exhibits and holiday lighting.Historic Monuments From the Battle of Bunker Hill in Massachusetts to America’s first city - St. Augustine, Florida- our great country has many memorials paying © 2011 DRIVER SOLUTIONS | HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE
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