Juggling a career as a lorry driver and maintaining a successful family life can seem a bit tricky at times, particularly when you’re assigned long-haul delivery work. That’s why I’m here to give you a few pointers on how to create a balance between the two that best serves both your family and your driving commitments.
Be Open with Your Family
Discussing the challenges of your job, whether it be the long hours or the time spent away from home, can only help. By getting your loved ones’ input on your work schedule, you can plan your assignments around family commitments. Knowing that your daughter’s school play is coming up or that your son has a football match that he really wants you to be cheering him on at is the best way of ensuring that you’re home for those important moments.
Choose a Predictable Driving Schedule
If you don’t want to get called away at random times and throw your family’s routine out of whack, opt for dedicated trucking journeys. You’ll be assigned a single route, dropping off or picking up a load from the same destination for a specific company every week. This way, you’ll always know when you’re leaving and when you’ll be back. Chances are that you’ll be home in time to cook your kids’ dinner and tuck them in at night.
Favour Local Delivery Work
If you don’t want to miss out on family time, stay close to home. Take on local and regional runs that don’t involve overnight journeys or weekend travelling. Anything from delivering food for grocery stores to transporting furniture and appliances would be suitable.
Of course, the only way to have complete control over your schedule is to become a self-employed driver. You can mix and match your delivery work according to your family’s timetable. Need extra money? Take on a long-haul assignment that pays more. Don’t want to miss an important family gathering? Favour regional work. Put simply, choose whatever suits you.
Stay in Touch
Since you can’t always be by your kids’ or your partner’s side, chatting with them regularly is the best way to maintain your relationship. It’s so easy to stay connected these days through apps like FaceTime and Skype, and if you’re too busy to chat, just drop them a text or email to check in.
Ask for Help
It’s no secret that childcare is a struggle for drivers and hauliers, particularly when you’re away and your partner is working. Asking willing family and friends to babysit is an easy solution.
In case money starts to get a little tight (a touchy subject, I know), don’t feel embarrassed to reach out to close relations. I don’t necessarily mean asking them for money – instead, you could complete small jobs, such as lawn care or handyman fix-ups, which are a great way of earning extra cash while you’re doing local delivery work.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you that it is perfectly viable to do delivery work while being a supportive and present parent and spouse. You just need to be a little organised!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.