ExpressTruckTax Blog

Showing posts with label Work-Life Balance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Work-Life Balance. Show all posts

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Balancing Act Of Living A Healthy Life On The Road

Work-Life Balance SignManaging work-life balance can be tough, but it is even tougher when you feel like life is 5,000 miles away from work. There are plenty of benefits that come with truck industry jobs. 401k, insurance, great pay and independence are a few of the perks given to truck drivers, but when it comes to helping you maintain a balance between life and work you may find that it isn’t included in the benefits package.

A Healthy Life Is A Wealthy Life

The first area of your life that becomes neglected is your physical health. A life on the go calls for fast-food and on the go snacks. In bulk these things can take a huge toll on your weight and energy. Every trucker is mindful of the fuel that goes into their rig, so why not be as concerned about the fuel that goes into your own bodies. Lack of nutrition in the body can make you feel sluggish, every truckers nightmare when it comes to having a long haul ahead of you.

Tip: To find a healthy balance prepare road snacks with plenty of nutrition to boost your energy and not zap it. Try pre-washed fruits and vegetables, and nuts for a bit of protein. Making your way to the gym isn’t ideal with a life on the road. Luckily there are plenty of methods to boost your heart rate than an elliptical. Free weights and a jump rope are both small enough to be carried on the road with you and make for a great full body workout.

Mental Health Matters

Being stuck in a truck cab alone for hours on end can get lonely and in some cases lead to burnout. It’s important that you keep your mind active and away from daydreaming to protect yourself and others on the road at all times. Some may not choose to believe this, but when you look your best you feel your best. Although, as a trucker you are typically to yourself, for
most of the day, but small adjustments to the outward appearance can boost how you view yourself.

Tip: Try listening to music, audiobooks, podcasts or finding a second language to pick up and practice using an app. Keeping your mind focused on something other than those things going wrong is beneficial to mental health. Even the way we dress can put us in an overall better mood. We don’t suggest you wear a three piece suit, but by buying a new lotion with a scent that reminds you of home or wearing a shirt that's soft and comfy will likely take you from being dreary to happy.

Trucking FamilyHome Is Where The Heart Is

Of course being away from your family is one of the biggest downfalls of the career, but the coming home part isn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. Veteran truck drivers can attest that it is easy to come home and feel the need to hibernate or over do it when it comes to getting neglected errands done and chores taken care of, but making time for your family when you get the chance is important. You may have video chatted for hours, but nothing compares to being able to tuck your kids in and make sure everyone is at one table for dinner. You miss out on the little moments that make for big memories, so making up for that time, in creative ways, adds to the relationship.

Tip: If you have children make them feel connected to you when you’re on the road by telling them where you’re headed and have them do research on fun facts you can discuss when you get home. Do something similar with your significant other, such as purchasing a book you two can read together, being sure to purchase yourself the audio version. These are the people who you’re on the road for, and making them happy involves making real time for them.

Being a trucker is not easy and neither is creating a work-life balance. It requires commitment and if having a work-life balance is important to you, you’ll want to work for it. Following these tips will help you develop your own ideas to maintain good physical, mental and relationship health.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Top 3 Trucking Lessons To Get From The Big Screen

ExpressTruckTax Big ScreenThe big screen has taught us plenty of life lessons since the creation of film. We’ve rambled through a collection of trucking films and compared summaries and comedic tag-lines to give you our top 3 trucking lessons from some pretty iconic cinematographic work. We encourage you to watch these films if you haven’t already, or re-watch them to freshen up on the lessons they provide.

Big Rigs On The Big Screen

Snitch (2013)

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Benjamin Bratt, and a 2009 Freightliner Coronado, this film captures the essence of fatherhood. Johnson, an owner of a successful transportation company tries to free his innocent son, who is facing 10 years in prison after being set up by an acquaintance. As a businessman and father with past regrets of being neglectful, he stops at no end to free his son. Risking his successful business credibility, as an informant, to smuggle narcotics across the border and even manipulate and expose one of the biggest kingpins. In this film Johnson proves himself to be one tough trucker.

Fun Fact: This film is based on the true story of James Settembrino who worked as an informant to lower his son's sentence.

What you can learn: The success of the transportation company owned by Johnson’s character was created by his determination to cater to his family. This determination eventually led to neglect of his families needs and ends with divorce. The transportation industry can be demanding, but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Warning: Beware Of Dog

Black Dog (1998)

Jack Crews, played by Patrick Swayze is a trucker convicted of vehicular manslaughter after losing control and hitting a stranded motorist. Desperate to find work after being released he is tricked into hauling a load of illegal firearms. He later finds out that his wife and child are in danger if he fails to deliver the goods on time. To truckers, it comes as no surprise that Crews finds himself facing the ‘black dog’ during his long-haul, a term used to describe visions caused by fatigue.

Fun Fact: Patrick Swayze went through the entire process to receive his Class A CDL for the film.

What you can learn: There are different variations of the black dog legend, an omen to truckers that a fatal crash is coming. No matter what variation it is you believe, we can all agree that a delivery made on time is not worth more than life. If you feel as though you have seen this mystery K-9, take the precaution to get off the road and let dispatchers know that you are too tired to continue on your route. 

The little guy

Don't Discredit The Little Guy

High Ballin’ (1978)

We don’t believe this list could actually exist without at least one 70’s trucking film. Where else did that cool CB lingo come from? 

King Carroll is the boss of one of the biggest trucking companies in the area. He uses his money and undermining tactics to run small independent truckers, like Duke Boykin, out of business. Duke is one of the many independent truckers tired of the monopoly plaguing the industry and has decided he has had enough. Out of fear other independent truckers in the industry let Duke take on Carroll alone. It isn’t until he finds an ally in his good friend, Rane and fellow female trucker, Pickup that he gets some back up to take down Carroll.

Fun Fact: 41 years later the Triple T Truck Stop featured in the film is still in business.

What you can learn: Don’t let big players in the trucking industry bully you. Big companies were considered the ‘little guy’ before, stay passionate and persevere. Other people will see your fight and want to help. The key is to never stop fighting for what you believe in.

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