Part of being an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver means that you may be spending a part of the holiday season on the road rather than at home with family and friends. Understandably, this can leave many drivers feeling a bit blue as they may be missing their families or feel as though they are missing out on the holiday altogether.

The good news, however, is that there are a few ways to help combat the holiday blues as an OTR truck driver. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holiday season ahead!

Bring Something Homemade By Loved Ones

As an OTR driver, you will spend quite a while away from family. This can be especially difficult when you have young children waiting for you at home. Consider asking each family member to make you something special like a holiday craft or card. Take these items along in your truck and each time you’re feeling sad you can look at these gifts for comfort. These decorations will remind you how excited your family will be to see you when you return home for your extended time off.

Listen To Holiday Music & Audio Books

Listening to holiday music can brighten anyone’s mood! Try tuning in to a local radio station, or putting on your favorite holiday music while you’re driving. Another fun way to get into the holiday spirit is listening to audiobooks. Have a favorite holiday story? Search for an audio version of your favorite stories online. Listening to holiday music and stories will help you feel right at home!

Participate in Holiday Festivities Where You Can

Since you’ll likely be on the road for a large part of the holiday season, it could be fun to do a bit of research to see if you can catch any fun events near your destination. If your schedule allows, stop by and participate in a local holiday event between your deliveries. It could be as simple as taking a moment to sip a hot chocolate and enjoying a display of lights. Spending some time with others and celebrating the season will put you in the holiday spirit.

Send Packages Home

Sending packages home to your loved ones is a great way to connect during the holidays. Fill a package full of treats and goodies from different cities you visit as a reminder that you’re thinking of them. In addition to making your family feel loved, this can also boost your mood. Moreover, sending home little trinkets from where you’ve visited can make for a great story to share when you arrive back home.

Utilize Technology

As technology has progressed it has left us with many options of communicating across distances. Video calling through Facetime or Skype is an easy way to feel right at home. Talking on the phone is nice but it’s even better when you get to see the people you miss most. Create a set schedule so you can check in with your loved ones daily or several times a week. Sticking to a set video call schedule will help keep you from feeling disconnected this holiday season.

While being an OTR trucker can be challenging at times, there are several things you can do to make it more enjoyable. Adding just a little holiday cheer into your life on the road can help you beat the holiday blues as a truck driver. Plus, when you are done with your route you’ll get to go home and enjoy some extended time off with family and friends!

Getting homesick is a common issue for a lot of OTR truck drivers. Luckily, there are ways for you to Deal with Homesickness as a Trucker!

Preparing your truck for winter is vital, especially if you are driving through the northern states where frigid temperatures, snow, sleet, and ice are common conditions. Though it may seem unlikely that you will break down, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Especially during the winter season.

These 6 tips will help you prepare your truck for the winter⏤ensuring you are being as safe as possible on the road!

Bring the Essentials

In the case of a breakdown, be sure that you have packed the essentials to keep yourself comfortable until help arrives. When packing the basics be sure to include extra blankets, a set of warm clothes to bundle in, extra food and drink. Including a Gatorade or Powerade is always a good plan as it takes lower temperatures to freeze these than it does plain water.

Pack Supplies for the Truck

Having the right supplies for your truck could be what makes the difference between you being stuck on the side of the road and being able to get back on your route again. Some things to consider when collecting your supplies will be the basic set of tools such as a drill, wrench, screwdriver, pliers, etc. It would also be helpful to include a couple of flashlights with extra batteries, jumper cables, and a good pair of work gloves.

Get Your Truck Tuned Up

Tuning up your truck is a small thing you can do now that will make a huge difference down the road. Getting a tune-up can include a lot of different routine maintenance such as having the oil changed, changing your battery, and ensuring you have a spare tire. Giving your truck a general look-over can help ensure you’re ready for the frigid weather ahead.

Maintain Antifreeze Levels

Ensuring that you have enough antifreeze in your vehicle is vital to keeping your radiator and engine humming along smoothly. If you don’t have enough antifreeze in your radiator, your engine will not maintain proper temperatures. A frozen engine can lead to trouble and possibly a breakdown out on the road. Check your antifreeze levels before each trip and be sure to have extra antifreeze in your cabin to top if it off when it gets low.

Check Your Tires Tread

Driving becomes especially dangerous for truckers when the roads get icy. Check the tread of your tires to make sure that you will have adequate grips on the road this winter. If they do not pass inspection have them changed before hitting the road. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a dangerous situation sliding around or being unable to move at all.

Consider Using Snow Chains

Depending on the area you plan to be driving in, you may want to talk to your company to see if snow chains are an option. It will also depend on the type of precipitation in the area and the tires on your truck. Snow chains have helped many truckers get out of slippery situations but may not work well for other conditions on the road. Understanding your truck, your route, and your needs will determine if you should carry snow chains with you.

These are just a few things you can do to prepare yourself for driving this winter. You just never know what you might have to face on the road this winter. Better to be safe than sorry!

Need to refresh on your driving skills before the winter? DriveCo CDL Learning Center offers a customizable CDL refresher course to help you improve your skills! Contact us today to get started.

Many veterans may feel lost or unsure what their next step is after serving in the military. You may be feeling pressured to find work quickly as you have a family to support and bills to pay. It can be tricky to land on a career path that allows you to use the skills you gained in the military. While it may not seem like it on the surface, the trucking industry shares a lot of similarities with the military.

Why Choose Trucking?

The trucking industry values veterans and shows this by giving back to truck drivers who have served our country. At DriveCo, we offer a variety of financial assistance options for military veterans including Post 9/11 GI Bill®, Montgomery GI Bill®, Survivors, and Dependents Educational Assistance Program, and Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts. These grants are designed to help place veterans in jobs that are vitally important to keep our economy moving.

Moreover, some military veterans may have gained valuable driving experience if they ever operated heavy military equipment while serving. This experience may allow you to use a Military Skills Driver Waiver. This waiver could help you save time and money as it allows you to skip the driving portion of the skills test meaning you would only have to pass the written part of the test in order to get your CDL. Having previous driving experience will also bring a bit of familiarity and comfort to your new career.

Consider Your Skill Set

As a veteran, you already have most of the skills you will need to be successful in the trucking industry. Truck drivers must be responsible in order to make their deliveries on time. Trucking companies value reliability and communication skills, both of which are learned in the military. Finally, being a self-starter is a must in trucking as you may be spending the majority of your time alone.

The military teaches veterans to be responsible, punctual, and meet high expectations. In the trucking industry, these skills will get you far as everything runs on a tight schedule. Just as you would once communicate with supervisors and sergeants or lieutenants, you will now be communicating with the dispatchers to stay on track.

Job Security and Competitive Pay

The trucking industry is one of the most in-demand job markets today. There is currently a truck driver shortage and the need for drivers is expected to rise as older generations of truck drivers retire. The pay and benefits are also competitive with other job industries. Trucking positions start around $40,000+ per year and some senior positions can pay much as $100,000+ annually. Depending on the trucking company, these jobs can also come with paid time off and other benefits like health insurance or a 401k retirement savings plan.

You have selflessly served our country, now it is our turn to repay you. The trucking industry offers a quality job with flexible schedules and complete benefits to ensure you and your family’s futures are secure. DriveCo CDL Learning Center can help make the transition from military to trucking easy as can be.

For more information on how you can get your CDL and get on the road to a new career, please feel free to contact us!
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at