Darnell’s Tips for Making the Trucking Lifestyle Adjustment

Darnell Rhodes started a new truck driving job about 6 months ago with USA Truck.  He recently took the time to do a phone interview with Driver Solutions so we could share some of his tips for success.  We all know that beginning a new truck driving job means making some lifestyle adjustments.  So how can you maintain a good relationship with your family while out on the road?  What's the best way to eat so you stay healthy without going broke?  Get answers to these questions below!

Q: Truck driving jobs mean making a lifestyle adjustment. Now that you’ve got some experience, fill us in on some tips for success.
A: I’m a family man – I have a wife and a kid. One bit of advice I have, is if you got a family, spend as much time as possible with them whenever you’re home. Spend as much time as you can with them because you’ll be away from them a whole lot during the year. When you’re at home, make that time count. Don’t be going around and spending all your time hanging with your buddies.

Spend as much time as possible with your family, because without them you’re not going to succeed out there on the road. Make sure they understand that you might not be able to get home every time you want to and that your truck driving job is based all on how the loads are running. You might not get home when you want to or when your family wants you to, but you will get home eventually.

Don’t get an attitude, because the company will get mad and cut your miles. Then you’ll get mad and quit, and you’ll have a bad reputation on your record so you won’t be able to go to another company to get another job. Then you won’t be able to support your family.

Have an open attitude and make sure your family understands the trucking industry. Explain it before you get into it and make sure they agree with what you’re doing.

Q: What should you bring with you during OTR training and how should you handle eating out on the road?
A: Bring about a week’s worth of clothes. Bring a pen and a folder to keep paperwork in. You’ll have logbooks so get something to keep yourself organized. Bring laundry detergent to wash your clothes with.

I’d suggest going to Walmart and buying canned goods or something that won’t spoil to take on the truck instead of eating at truck stops.  Bringing your own food will allow you to save up some money while you learn the best way to eat for your budget. Go to Walmart and buy some Vienna sausages or something that won’t spoil so you can stretch your money further.

I have a mini fridge and a microwave. I basically do all my cooking on the truck - I hardly ever eat at truck stops. I tried eating at truck stops for one week and I calculated up the money that I spent. It was over $100 a week just eating out of the truck stops, versus going to Walmart and spending $50 and having food for a whole week.

It’s healthier than truck stops too because you’re not eating a whole lot of fried stuff and you don’t have a ton of grease. Cold cuts, and little things you can stick in the microwave are a whole lot healthier than eating stuff in a truck stop that's dipped in grease.

Now that Darnell's shared some tips to help you be successful, it's time to get on your way to starting a new truck driving job!


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