How do Truck Drivers Stay in touch With Family on the Road? 7 Ways to Stay Connected

September 26, 2021

Life as a truck driver can be exciting. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to spend your days hauling cargo across the country. Driving for long hours and being far from home for days or weeks can make drivers feel lonely. Drivers usually download podcasts and playlists to keep them company, but neither of those can replace the feeling of being with family.

Fortunately, technology has advanced so much that it’s now very easy to communicate with loved ones who are far away. Technology like Bluetooth and WiFi means that truck drivers can connect with their families from even the most remote parts of the USA. 

While time with family can be limited, there are still ways to stay connected. Maintain all your meaningful relationships. Stay in touch with family through technology, paper, and making the most out of every moment.

How Often Do Truckers See Their Families?

No matter how much we evolve as people, trucking will always have its difficulties. That is one of the downsides that come with a good job. Specifically, for truckers with families, long-distance communication is the biggest difficulty drivers can encounter.

On average a truck driver can expect to be home every 2-3 weeks.  Home time for truckers varies by company policy, routes driven and cargo type.  Company drivers report less home time when compared to independent owner operators.

Families can survive even when they are apart. There are times that your partner at home might want your presence more, or it might be you who’s feeling that way. Either way, being on the road can put a lot of pressure on these circumstances.

Parents have more duties to fulfill. It’s not only each other they have to connect with, but their children as well. The long hours and days apart can leave children feeling sad,  and you as a parent feeling isolated.

We can give our thanks to the evolution of modern technology. That's the main reason why there are now plenty of solutions to use for staying connected on the road. Connection with loved ones keeps our minds and hearts warm and healthy. So, the next thing you must know is how you can keep these connections alive and well.

How Do You Maintain A Relationship with a Truck Driver?

Presence is crucial when it comes to relationships. No matter if it's a long-term, new, or budding relationship. The distance from each other can make it difficult for truck drivers to maintain relationships.

Does that mean it is impossible? No, far from it. Sometimes, distanced relationships act as tests. This helps to see how willing you are to be together, despite circumstances. It’s very sad at times, but the dedication and effort from both sides, it can actually strengthen a relationship.

Truck drivers’ partners have to be comfortable with being alone. That might not sound the most ideal, but being too reliant on a partner’s presence can be problematic. If your partner is a truck driver, get comfortable being with yourself. Though you know that there’s someone waiting for you, it doesn’t mean you should forget that you’re still your own person.

Trust, loyalty, and understanding are the most important traits you should have. Without those, it can be difficult to keep a semi-distanced relationship afloat. 

How Long Are Truck Drivers Away From Family?

In the past, truck drivers were expected to be on the road for months on end. Since then, operators have changed and made things much easier. Now, drivers are gone for only a maximum of a month.

Despite that, it can still leave a driver’s family feeling left alone. Truckers still feel lonely and isolated. Sure, you are doing your job to provide for the family, but your presence will still be missed.

The distance can also cause plenty of rifts. There might be arguments, disagreements, and discomfort with each other. Longer time on the road means less time for family, which means more time apart. This can sometimes lead to developing bouts of mental exhaustion.

Don’t worry, though: feeling the love of family is possible, even from the farthest distances. Check out how you can turn things to your advantage. Here are tips to keep your family loved and connected with you, even when you’re on the road.

Tip #1: Be Present When You Do Have Home-time.

Have you ever thought about the times you’ve been home? Sometimes, drivers focus more on the time they are apart instead of thinking about the times they were home. This can make a driver feel more isolated and lonely.

If you’re thinking about moments you love, great. But if your thoughts are filled with regret instead of warmth, you might be doing something wrong.

Make those moments you’ve spent at home an inspiration. Whenever you’re on a long-haul trip, thinking about these moments can help. You can use them as motivation to get the job done well and get yourself home soon.

This can also help avoid detachment and keep your mental health safe. Despite the distance, your family will always be with you.

Tip #2: Try to Send Postcards

Traveling great distances can take days, even weeks sometimes. It can be an isolating journey, especially since you’re driving. It can also make family miss you more, especially if it’s a common occurrence for you.

Something you can do while away is to pick up postcards from where you are and send them home. Write a small note for your partner or children. This will be a nice way of letting them know you’re thinking about them.

Postcards are also great keepsakes. Every postcard you send home is one that marks a place you went to, which you and your family can keep for the future.

There are also online methods for this if you don’t have much time to mail postcards. Electronic cards exist, which are like normal postcards but can be sent virtually. They’re quicker, easier, and loved ones can reply as soon as they get it.

Tip #3: Tell Your Stories and Keep Family Updated

It’s very easy to make a personal blog. You don’t even have to be a good writer for it! All you need is the willingness to tell stories and the right audience. Yes, you’ll have an audience:  your family and friends.

Blogging about your travels is the same as telling stories over text message or in real life. The internet has made it easier to be able to share your experiences. What better way, then, to keep your loved ones updated on your travels?

You can include pictures in your post. You can choose to be in-depth or brief about your stories. It can be personal or a bit mysterious. It’s up to how you want to present yourself! 

Tip #4: Buy Souvenirs and Other Small Items

Every state has its own specialty. Most of the time, that state will also have plenty of souvenirs related to whatever that is.. It might make you look like a tourist, but a souvenir is a souvenir. Plus, it doesn’t have to be for you!

If you have children, it’s a  no-brainer that they love small toys and trinkets that you can bring home. WIth all the traveling a trucker does, bringing home these small reminders can be fulfilling. Not only for you, but for your family as well.

Nothing says “I thought of you” more than the idea of a souvenir. They’re fairly cheap, small, and a great gesture of appreciation.

Tip #5: Send Small Messages While You’re Traveling 

Blogging can be taxing for some people. If you’re not a person who is into writing or talking too much, the blog might not work out for you. Instead, there’s a much easier and smaller way of doing this. Much more private, too!

It’s already a given that you’ll be sending loved ones updates on where you are and how you’re doing. It’s a whole other thing to tell some short stories as you’re away. It is very thoughtful and can make a relative, specifically a partner, feel included and loved. 

Other than smaller messages, a good thing to do would be to make your presence known. Not every important conversation can be held in person. When you feel like you or your partner is sad, take a few minutes to have a meaningful conversation over the phone.

It takes time to get used to being apart. Sometimes, you just have to use everything at your disposal. This includes texts, calls, whatever messaging app you’re comfortable using.

Aside from text messaging, you can also do this through social media. Apps made by Facebook and other platforms have plenty of tools that can help you enrich your stories further. Attach a photo or two as well if you have them!

Tip #6: Movie Night Can Happen, Even While You’re Away 

The nightly pit stop for rest is essential, of course. . Sometimes, though, these nights are too lonely. You might even feel bad if you used to have weekly scheduled family movie nights and bonding time. However, don’t worry!

Just as technology gave us text messaging, photo sharing, and video calling applications, there’s more. Now, you can have long-distance movie nights through the use of different software and applications.

Thanks to COVID-19, long-distance bonding has become the norm. Plenty of developers have made new apps catered to connecting over online video calls. . This benefits more than distant loved ones. It also offers more opportunities for truckers to bond with family.

Aside from watching movies together, there’s more you can do. A group video call through Zoom, play games together using the Internet, the possibilities are endless. All you need is a few hours to spare and a phone, and you’re good to go!

Tip #7: Be Home For The Big, Important Things

Time is a very precious thing. It can feel like you either have all the time in the world or no time at all. So what do you do when you have time on your hands?

The best way to stay connected is to be home when you are needed. Life is short and people change fast. This is really critical if you’re away a lot. While you’re gone, people at home are experiencing changes in life that change them as a whole.

That is applicable to partners, parents, and especially children. Since children grow up so fast, you might be missing out on a lot. Birthdays, first words, first bike rides, and so much more. Remember to be there on the biggest days or else children will feel like you’re not there at all.

You know your schedule. Always plan ahead to see if a delivery, transportation, or any work-related event will hit a big day at home. If you have enough notice, you can still work your way around so you’ll be home just in time.

Loved ones feel loved the most when they know and see you right there with them. It might be a bit hard, considering truck driving is a long-distance job. But it won’t hurt to try. Connections are built stronger when people make solid efforts.

All these tips are small but incredibly helpful. They’re also fairly easy and accessible, which benefits truckers the most. Keep in mind that while family will always be there for you, you have to do the same as well.

A strong and healthy bond is the key to success. You will rarely feel alone, knowing there are people who love you and are waiting for your call. Use technology to your advantage and be there for your family.

Can Family Ride  with Truck Drivers?

Some drivers might be interested in bringing along passengers for their travels on the road. This could be due to various reasons. Some people like companies as truck driving can be an isolating job, and others want to involve their loved ones more.

Yes, driver's can bring family members in their trucks.  There is no restrictions by law that prohibit passengers or pets in commercial vehicles.  However, policy can vary from company to company so be sure to check with your supervisor before bringing anyone in your truck.

Each company has its own standards regarding passengers. If you’re a new driver to a company, it’s good to ask what the policy is in terms of passengers. If you’re thinking of bringing along any friend or loved one along with you, it’s best to make sure it’s allowed at the very beginning.

Newer drivers have more restrictions on the road. Most likely because companies are not yet 100% sure you’re trustworthy, and that’s fine. The restrictions won’t stick around forever, as this will just be during the waiting period. The common waiting time is around six months, and if employers see you drive safely, then you’ll likely be allowed to bring someone along.

A Balance Between Driving and Family

Truck driving is a rewarding career. At the same time, spending time and making memories with family is just as important. It can be hard to choose between the two, but it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

You can have a life spent balanced between work and loved ones. Despite what you might hear from other people, anything can be possible if you try hard enough. Staying connected with friends and family helps you avoid loneliness and make you happier.

You won’t always have to face the road alone. Communicate and talk to your loved ones at home. Make time to be with them when possible. Never forget that you are loved and have people waiting for you.

About the author

I’m Luis Uribe, author of this website. I am the owner and head publisher for Trucker Daily and a freight brokerage Total Connection Logistics. I have been in and around the trucking industry for over 15 years. It is my mission with Trucker daily to equip truck drivers, with the latest in industry updates, news, and helpful tips to help further your trucking career and life. Whether you are a truck driving veteran, or beginner, you will find information on this site to save you a lot of time in your driving journey.

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