New driver going crazy OTR

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Kingty9183, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. bryan21384

    bryan21384 Road Train Member

    Sep 18, 2009
    1918 Anywhere, USA 90210
    Don't feel bad, I get trapped into that mindset sometimes too. I'm gonna yel you this though: You have to listen to your body. When you get burned out, you gotta go home. If a driver don't listen to his or her body, and go home, or at the very least rent a motel room for a weekend, they'll end up leaving the industry altogether. I don't think there's a particular timetable for when a driver should go home, just whenever they've had enough. That's what I do. Usually it varies between a month or 2 months.
    Sirscrapntruckalot Thanks this.
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  3. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    First, I'm not in favor of the current trend to quit sooner and sooner. It seems 90% of new drivers are convinced that have 1-30 days of experience behind the wheel means they can now qualify for a better job. Maybe that's true, it's also been a well-worn path to permanent access to crappy jobs. Obviously some situations cannot be improved and cannot be tolerated. Only the OP has all the facts of his situation. Local work has it's own set of awfulness. Many drivers I know jump jobs too fast with almost no information about their next company. I did that as well. That's not a good strategy. Sometimes is accidentally works out.
  4. Six9GS

    Six9GS Road Train Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Yuma, AZ
    You are dealing with something EVERY OTR driver has to figure out. That balance between running and downtime. Different drivers end up with different solutions that hopefully work for them. Also, it isn't something you figure out easily and maintaining that balance to maintain your sanity can also change around a bit here and there. I've learned to pay attention to certain things that help me realize either I'm OK to keep running, or I'm at a place I need some downtime.
    In general, this is what works for me. Your solution will probably be different, but the more you know about what works and doesn't for other drivers, hopefully the easier it'll be for you to find a solution for yourself.
    Anyway, I generally stay out on the road for about a month and a half to 2 months. When I go home, I want to stay home for about a week. Just being home a couple days, doesn't really give me the break I need. However, while I'm out I will irregularly regularly take a day off. Usually once I start earning recap hours, I'm ready for a day off. But, depending on where I am and what load demands are at the time, I may extend it a few days or even shorter it a bit. That's where the irregularly, regularly comes from. Yeah, I take a day off about every 8 days or so, but it can be 5 days or 13 days between days off. But, I find I need that down day. I get really grumpy, inflexible and not fun if I just try and run too much without getting downtime, as in a day off at around once a week-ish. Fortunately, I can usually get that downtime need met with just chillin at a truckstop or similar. Some places I really like that more than others, so try and arrange that down day when I'm someplace I like, if it works out.
    Anyway, don't fret, you're about on schedule at figuring out you're not Mrl Supertrucker who can run day after day after day without it getting to them. Try different things to find that balance and your solutions will eventually be figured out.
    Best of luck to you!
    I wanted to add a couple things. Many on here say getting off OTR was their solution. It isn't the solution for everyone. I don't think I could successfully do another type of trucking and be happy. More than anything, I'm a traveler at heart and the countryside and landscape I enjoy traipsing through the most, just isn't anywhere near where I actually live. Plus I enjoy the diversity of different landscapes and scenery, so I don't want to always run in the same area. Also, I'm quite comfortable in my own company for extended periods of time, a trick many don't pull off so well. No judgement on that, it's just different strokes for different folks.
    Lastly, as some mentioned, it isn't a bad idea to take a day or two off and check into a hotel to get out of your truck on occasion. I've been known to take 2 days off and put myself into a hotel for a couple night here and there for the respite it provides. I say 2 nights because if I'm doing that, I want to be able to wake up, spend a full day off, and not have to get back into my truck till the following morning. Takes 2 nights in a hotel to accomplish that. Once again, it's what works for me.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
  5. mstrchf117

    mstrchf117 Medium Load Member

    May 21, 2016
    Personally I try to stay out a month or 2, then take 5-7 days off. Was out for about 2.5 moths straight last year, and that was rough. Sometimes I get running hard and love it, but can only maintain that maybe a week, then I need a slow week. Not necessarily time off, but more relaxed loads, only driving 300ish miles a day etc.
    Trucker61016 Thanks this.
  6. roundhouse

    roundhouse Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2018

    I used to leave the trailer at a terminal or sometimes at a truck stop
    I’d make sure the truck stop wasn’t gonna tow trailers left there .

    And find a nearby state park .
    Much more relaxing to spend a couple three days in a state park camp ground next to a lake roasting hotdogs over a campfire , than spend the same
    Time sitting in a truck stop .
    Trucker61016 and Dennixx Thank this.
  7. austinmike

    austinmike Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2011
    @Kingty9183 - I just put you in for 10 days off at your earliest conveinence. You're Welcome-;)
    Trucker61016 Thanks this.
  8. Dennixx

    Dennixx Road Train Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    twin cities
    Do you need to be "home" or do you just need some time off from the truck?
    Some just grab a motel or Airb&b, rent a car and do whatever to chill out.
    tscottme Thanks this.
  9. rpad139

    rpad139 Heavy Load Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Refrigerated load and heavy loaded trailer make the trip a lot more tired after driving.
    tscottme Thanks this.
  10. supergreatguy

    supergreatguy Heavy Load Member

    Nov 26, 2020
    Cant believe you took 10 days off, the laziness these days are crazy
    xlsdraw Thanks this.
  11. Moosetek13

    Moosetek13 Road Train Member

    Nov 1, 2010
    Burnsville, MN
    And if you were working a regular job you would have set days off each week.
    Would you be stressing about not making money on those off days?
    Probably not, because they are your scheduled days off and you would welcome them.

    So why is it SO hard to give yourself the hometime or days off in this job?

    And, please!!!
    Get off the road before you kill someone and/or yourself because you can not figure out how to balance work with rest times.

    It is not rocket science, but it IS trucking science.

    This can be the hardest profession, or the easiest.
    One mindset makes it the former, while another makes it the latter.
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