Category Archives: Home Time

Summer Vacation

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Kids are out of school so you have to be even more aware when you are rolling through a little town on a 2 lane highway. Kids on bikes, kids running out from between parked cars and kids playing and not paying attention to what’s going on around them are all dangers that are heightened in the summer. Rest areas, truck stops and service plazas will be crawling with children at this time of year so it is especially important that we all attach extra “antenna” to be able to notice and avoid any accidents!

If you work for a company that allows you to take your kids on the road with you, it can be something they will remember for a lifetime. It’s a chance for them to see where you go and what you do so that later, when you make that call home, they really know where you are. It can be an opportunity for you to get to know them better as well, the chance to really spend some quality time together. Sometimes, as our kids mature, it can be a lot of fun to take them one at a time (if you have more than one child of course!) It gives you time with each of them and them time alone with you. My son has lasting memories of whale watching in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and going on the Boston Tea Party ship when he was eight years old. Since I have driven a truck his entire life, he has been many places and loved regaling his class with the stories when he got back!

You have to plan to have that extra little body on the truck. Pack all the things they will need, these days there are all kinds of electronic gadgets that can occupy their time when it gets “boring”, like while sitting at a dock. There are also the old fashioned things like coloring books and regular books, miniature games that can be played while traveling, they have games now that were created specifically for travel. You can play the old favorite license plate game, or my car, your car.

Speaking of docks, you have to be aware that some shippers and receivers don’t allow children on the dock or even outside of the vehicle, try to have a plan you can follow if this were to happen. Make sure you have something inside to keep your child occupied and safe.

Extra food in the fridge, including some healthy snacks like fresh fruit and veggies is a good idea. This might be a good time to take them to some of your favorite places to eat while you are on the road. Not all the same places that you have at home are chain restaurants across America. Make it a point to treat them to different places with different types of foods. Hopefully they will enjoy it as much as you do. Change it up a bit for them so they can get a little taste of what our country has to offer.

Trucking with dad or mom or mom and dad can be a great history and geography lesson. Postcards are cheap and usually include text about the picture and some of the history associated with it. You can make a game out of picking one up every time you stop so your child can write a little something on the back and keep a journal of sorts of the entire trip. It’s also a great way to teach them English and spelling, turning the trip into an entire learning experience for both you and your child!

We should always be aware of our surroundings and you can take this time to teach your kids safe practices while they are on the road. It’s never too early to learn how to be safe in your circumstances!

When school starts back up and they are asked to share with their class what they did over their summer vacation, they will be able to bring in their postcard ‘diary’ or journal, along with (hopefully) a photo of you with them by your truck. They will get to tell the story of trucking across America. They will be the coolest kid in their class!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.


 

Trucking & Multi-Tasking

Trucking & Multi-tasking | Trucker Tips Blog

By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm

Drivers who have been driving for any length of time know all too well the challenges of getting everything done at home when you are on the road. It makes no difference if you are running team or if you are alone. There is always more to get done than there are hours in the day. Having someone at home all the time helps but it doesn’t mean there still won’t be plenty to do when you do get that precious home time.

Planning can help you make the most of the hours you do get at home. If the lawn needs mowing, hopefully the weather will be on your side. Being on the road means that sometimes we end up missing so much! It’s always nice if you can make it to the kids ball games or school programs. Scheduling doctor appointments can be a challenge, making an appointment a year from now is crazy, but that’s the way it is sometimes. Hopefully you will have a dispatcher that understands the importance of your appointment and a doctor that understands your crazy lifestyle.

If you are an owner/operator there is even more to do, like all of the paperwork that has to be done. Sometimes you just have to give it up and hire someone to do things like this. It’s a tax write off and it frees up some of your home time. It’s also nice to have a shop near home that can do your scheduled maintenance. Anytime you know you are going to be home, try to schedule it with the shop. If you can give a week or two notice, odds are you’ll be able to get in. Waiting might mean they are too busy to get to you, forcing you to get the work done on the road at a shop you don’t know. A good relationship with a shop at home is always wise, if there is a problem you are more likely to have them stand behind their work. Read more Trucker Tax Tips here.

Another approach is to have a shop on the other end of the country, one you visit regularly, which is what Roger and I did all the years we owned our own trucks. We would call ahead and schedule any repairs or maintenance we may need so that when we arrived they had a spot open for us and were able to get us in and out right away. A good relationship with a shop is invaluable and also frees up time at home for personal things so you can actually step away from the truck while you are there. From the time you set those air brakes until the time you have to push them in to leave again is time you should be able to enjoy as much as possible. After all home and the people you love is what you are out there working for! Read more about Maintenance Records here

If you have down time before you get home, sometimes it is worth doing laundry on the road. For one thing, you won’t have to drag it out of the truck and drag it back in. If that doesn’t work, put in a load of laundry and go out and start mowing. When you take a break, put the wash in the dryer and start another load then finish up the mowing. Try to make the most of the miles you have running errands without having to back track a lot. Try to spend only one day of your home time taking care of the things you can’t take care of while away.

Even the best laid plans go awry sometimes and you always have to be ready with a Plan B, C, D… Sometimes dispatch will have an emergency forcing you to cut your time at home short. If possible be flexible and do them a favor, hopefully they will remember they owe you one.

Above all, TRY TO RELAX while you are home! Home time is precious and scarce so use it to reconnect with those in your life you love. Do your best to take care of those things that need tending to but don’t neglect the PEOPLE in your life! We try always, to take care of business and personal business while away in order to take the most advantage of our home time to nurture the relationships that make life worth living!

Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!


Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.