Let’s face it: it is difficult to stay connected to your family while you are on the road as a long haul truck driver. You have to make a decision to be intentional about it. The dividends are more than worth it, as your family feels connected with you while you may be a thousand miles away at a truck stop or a hotel room along the road.
But what are the best ways to do it? You obviously have to have your eyes on the road so communication from the cab of your truck can be more difficult. But if you plan ahead a little bit, you might find some gold to mine in the relationship with your kids, or grandkids
Let’s Pull Out the Maps
First of all, let’s say you live in California. When you are home, you might start by asking them to tell you for what the state is best known. Oranges? Hollywood? The Redwood Forest? You might pull up a map and tell them to point to the state capital of Sacramento. Then ask them to tell you the crops for which California is best known for around the country. . Where does Highway 1 go in California? It starts in (fill in the blank) and ends in (fill in the blank.) That kind of thing: whatever is unique to your state. It is an educational lesson for them, and time you get to spend with them before you head out on the road. Then give them your itinerary. Show them on a map where you will be driving and when. Ask them to find the state capitals in each state you’ll be passing through, as well as the Official State Bird, and one cool or weird fact about that state. If you will be passing through several states and have several kids or grandkids, it might be worth dividing up the states between them so they can each research a few states and feel very familiar with them.
Keep Them Engaged in Your Journey
Then, when you have a chance to talk with them on the phone, you can let your kids or grandkids tell you the answers they discovered in their research. Maybe you stop in Oklahoma one evening. You can ask your kids “What does the name Oklahoma mean?” (It means land of the Red Man.) It was an Indian Territory until 1907 when it became a state. Who are the famous celebrities from Oklahoma? (Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, etc…) If you are going through Ohio: “What does a Buckeye mean?” Those kinds of questions can connect them with you when you are far from your home base and give you something fun to discuss. The goal is to keep them engaged in your trip, and give you some interesting conversation along the way.
If you are a long haul trucker, you see the country in a detailed way. You can use this as an opportunity to share this with your kids, or grandkids. Take out your cell phone and snap a pic or two at a beautiful turnout. If one of them seems to have a particular interest in a certain state, find a souvenir to bring back with you to share with them.
Come Along with Me
Some companies allow you to take your children on the road, which can be a memorable summertime trip. It gives them a chance to see what your daily life is like, and share in it. A few days on the road with you will be a trip they won’t soon forget.
Once you are home, it is the perfect time to hang out with your kids and you discuss your travels through various states. You have a lot to share. Did you meet some interesting people along the way? What were their stories? Talk with them about what you loved most about the places you saw. What was less than expected? Where would you want to take them on a family vacation? What were the people like in the different parts of the United States?
Back to Home Base
At Fleet Oil & Truck Supply, we know you have a tough job, and we want to do everything we can to keep you up and running, so you can get back home to your family safely. Contact us for your trucking needs. We are there for you!