“Daddy drives an eighteen-wheeler
And they sure miss him when he’s gone
Ah, but he calls them every night
And he tells them that he loves them”
Alabama’s song, “Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler)“, is one of the more famous trucking songs out there. Central to the song is what is foremost in the heart of almost every trucker: a connection to family. Being away from loved ones is a well-known theme of the trucking life; a stereotype that’s not accurate for every driver, but rooted in truth for many truckers on the road. Because it can be tough for those behind the wheel to stay connected to their friends and family, today we’re exploring why Staying Connected on the Road is important and what can we do about it!!
So why care about staying connected? If it gets lonely, why not just grit your teeth and bear it until you’re home again? It’s a great question, and it is true to some extent that riding solo has to be accepted as part of the job. But here are some facts that are also true:
- Positive relationships are tied to happiness, life-satisfaction, and other aspects of emotional well-being.
- Psychological health and physical health are intimately related. Lower stress equates to a bunch of health benefits, including lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, better sleep, a stronger immune system, and improved digestive and reproductive functioning.
In short, staying connected can improve every aspect of drivers’ lives, from happiness to health. Okay, great, now how can we stay connected on the road?? Here are a few quick ideas:
- Alabama sang it best, put in a call every night. A quick conversation on the cell-phone is still the easiest way to connect with family and friends.
- You could even leave short voicemails when you know people aren’t available – or use your smartphone to send short audio messages – every few hours, to provide your loved ones with updates throughout your day.
- Facetime, Skype, and Google-Hangouts are all great ways to have a face-to-face conversation, despite being miles apart. Something about seeing a loved one’s face makes the interaction even more meaningful.
- Postcards are classics; they help the recipient feel like a part of your journey and lets them know you were thinking of them.
- Letters can be even better. You don’t have to be a novelist to write a letter; you just have to be willing to spend some time sharing your thoughts. Even the simplest letter goes a long way and will likely become a cherished memento of the relationship to the other person (fellas, this is especially true around Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and anniversaries!!).
- If you are unavailable for longer stretches, or if you have to miss especially important dates, you can schedule for flowers, gifts, or even a favorite meal to be delivered to a loved one, letting them know that you haven’t forgotten them and that even miles away you still want to celebrate with them.
A great way to keep up with communication and ensure availability is to get everyone on a shared calendar; Google-Calendar is great for this and works across device models. And, of course, don’t forget to make the most of your time at home when the job is finally done!! If you missed a holiday or other special occasion, celebrate on your own time. Sometimes that can be even more fun than going out on the usual day!!
Ultimately, how you stay connected is up to you and your family and friends. Just remember how important connections can be and put your plan into action!! We’ll leave you with a few more lyrics from Alabama:
Roll on highway, roll on along
Roll on Daddy till ya get back home
Roll on family, roll on crew
Roll on Momma like I asked you to do
And roll on eighteen-wheeler, roll on
Let us know in the comments below, how do you stay connected on the road??