A week in the life of a truck driver

The trucking life can seem idyllic at times: driving the open roads, seeing parts of the country many people will never get to experience, meeting people from all walks of life, and the freedom of being out there on your own with no one looking over your shoulder. There’s a lot to love about a trucking career, but what does the day-to-day really look like? Read further to get a glimpse of what a week looks like in the life of a trucker:

It’s the first day of your work week. Every driver has a different schedule, depending on their route and company policy, but for you, your first workday of the week is Monday. You’re up bright and early, refreshed after having a couple of days off and are excited to hit the road. You drive your personal vehicle to your home terminal. This is where you park your car while you’re on the road. It’s also where you pick up your truck.

Once you have your truck, you’ll complete your pre-trip inspection to ensure everything is in working condition and you’re ready to pick up your load. You look over your route to refresh it in your mind and quickly check the forecast for inclement weather. Looks like nothing but sunshine today! Because of FMCSA’s regulations, your workday is 14 hours long with up to 11 hours spend behind the wheel. The rest of that time is spent taking breaks, grabbing something to eat and refueling.

Since you’ve planned ahead, you’ve already reserved a parking spot at a truck stop along your route. This gives you the ability to have safe parking and access to a bathroom and shower when you’re ready to get off the road. After you park, you complete your post-trip inspection before filling out some paperwork.

You had extra time over the weekend so you prepped all your meals ahead of time. It doesn’t take long for you to cook up some seasoned chicken and sautéed vegetables for dinner. You also take some time video chat with your kids to say goodnight as they head to bed. Then you scroll on social media for a little while and read another chapter in the book you brought before getting some much-needed rest.

The next morning, you’re up just before 6 a.m. Breakfast is coffee and a bowl of oatmeal. You decide to forgo a shower and plan to take one this evening instead because you’re ready to get on the road. Before you do, you get out of your truck for another pre-trip inspection. Everything looks in its place and in good working condition. Today’s forecast shows some rain along your route, so it’s good that you’re getting an early start to your day. Bad weather usually means traffic delays or driving slower for safety.

You reach your destination just after lunch time. Since your load, like most at MVL, is drop and hook, you back your trailer into the designated spot at the warehouse. Before you leave, you’ll get an empty trailer to bring to your next location. Your dispatcher gives you the information for your next load and you head out on your way.

It’s close by, but this time you have a live load. This means you’ll be waiting a while for lumpers to load your trailer. It usually takes a couple of hours, but if it ends up taking longer, you know that MVL has detention pay to compensate you for your time.

After your truck is loaded, you decide you’ll drive just a couple hours more before looking for a place to park. It’s a little on the early side, but you’re concerned about the limited parking options available if you drive any further. Parking early will give you some free time to go for a walk or jog and grab a shower after your post-trip inspection. Dinner tonight is a simple salad with protein and a green smoothie for dessert. You also decide to forgo the book tonight and stream one of your favorite TV shows on your laptop instead.

The days are passing quickly this week, because before you know it, the weekend is here. You’ll spend most of this time relaxing at home and catching up with friends at family. MVL drivers enjoy home time most weekends because we know our drivers value predictable schedules and work life balance. Once Monday morning rolls around, you’ll be ready to get back on the road.