Balancing Work and Personal Life as an Owner-Operator

Truck for a hero section
Written by Mike Skliar

Owner-operators represent one of the most rewarding professions that radiates adventure and splendidness, accelerating with every mile run by agile drivers on a smooth, speed-indulged highway. The owner-operator occupation is now bursting with unique opportunities and benefits eagerly embraced by forward-thinking truckers who want to run their own businesses just as they firmly and resolutely rush to wield their steering wheels. 

But the trucking industry’s heaven has its roadblocks thrown upon it from underneath the “highway to hell,” too, being too imperfect to be called idyllic. Certain bottlenecks fairly mar the gloss and bliss the owner-operator business offers truckers are forced to deal with. One of them is maintaining a longed-for equilibrium between work and life beyond work. Things get even more burdensome when work, however awe-inspiring and mind-blowing, is too life-consuming to let owner-operators have a life at all. Swallowed by the fully-immersive and sometimes turbulent road turmoil, so bright yet so tedious, truckers struggle with finding the right turn leading to having a proper life-work balance. 

Think of What Hobby You Could “Take Along” 

Even though both physical and mental fitness are the cornerstones of good professional performance and staying happy on the road, the latter is somewhat tougher to attain. There’s a plethora of ways to keep your mind in great shape. One of them is keeping focus on the things you like to do, often referred to as “hobbies.” Obvious as it might sound and pointless as could appear to pessimistic truckers, being able to enjoy your hobbies while on the road is a way to stay sane and sprightly. 

If you like photographing things around you that you find joyful, go for that. Spend some time taking pictures of what attracts or amuses you. If it’s music that keeps you uplifted and helps your mind plunge into serenity, let your favorite tracks blast the hell out of your vehicle as long as the whole thing doesn’t distract you from driving. 

Make Your Route the Way You Feel It

Planning your route in advance is itself a self-rewarding decision. But adapting that route to your needs and whims, if possible, is a record-breaking venture! When developing your route map, be sure to include some places that fit the route and which you would like to pay a visit to. Be it some quaint 50s-like diner or a contemporary art museum, don’t hesitate to make the place one of the spots to stop by during your trip. 

Work Out 

It can be extremely wearing to spend most of your day sitting behind the wheel. Such a posture can strain your body and prevent you from burning calories, which is not good at all. That said, to eliminate the harm that constant sitting can do to your health and prevent possible glitches from growing on your body, consider working out. 

Make sure to dedicate at least an hour a day to working on improving your physical health: do the workouts you favored as a school student or look up YouTube ideas of how to exercise if you work as an owner-operator. Regular exercising will greatly improve your mental state – as they say, “a healthy mind in a healthy body.” 

Stick to Healthy Eating Habits

Maintaining a healthy diet when on the road is a tough thing to do, alas. When you steer the wheel most of the time with your mind being constantly occupied by deadlines, detours, safety, and quality of the goods shipped. The last thing you would want to care about is taking care of nutrition. The impact of unhealthy eating may be quite dramatic and inadvertent, so you’d better show proper regard for your culture of eating.  

Fixing and developing your diet when on the road can consist of two parts: planning and choosing the meals. Regarding the former, you need to create a daily food consumption plan featuring the time at which you will have a meal. When it comes to what food to consume, you’d rather be pretty selective as the meals need to be healthy and nutritious. Going back to planning, it’s worth noting that you may have a good snack in between meal intakes. It’s only that the snack needs to be anything but something that could be classified as “junk food.”

Find the Time to Interact with Your Next of Kin

The biggest challenge lurking behind the corner, where a long trip awaits them, is adjusting their work schedule so that they get to spend time with their loved ones. 

One of the most effective ways of balancing your work time and family time is to ensure the careful, in-detail planning of your work trips: organize your transportation journeys in such a way that they don’t conflict with your weekly personal interactions and don’t eliminate the amount of time you consider appropriate and enough for hanging out with family and friends. 

Make sure you’ve created a work schedule that also doesn’t get in the way of your planned family outings, preventing your parents/spouses/kids from experiencing awkward encounters with others who might express a certain confusion or even condemnation of you not being alongside them at an event. 

The Bottom Line 

Balancing has always been a gruesome and challenging process to manage, no matter what things need to be kept in order. Exceptionally and rather remarkably difficult to handle comes the balancing of life/work routine for owner-operators. Their mission is, on the one hand, to hit the road carrying duties and goods and, on the other hand, enjoying cozy and precious get-togethers with their loved ones at  home waiting for them to cross the threshold by the side of that same road. 

But every malady has its cure, something solid and reliable that will bring wellness, unlike the oxymoron-titled talked-about film “A Cure for Wellness” suggests. And the cure comes in the form of the time-proven and widely favored tips we have listed for you in this “first aid kit” post. Even though attempting to dub the harsh routine of the globally revered profession of an owner-operator a “malady” a few lines earlier, this occupation is still too good to be dodged away from on the condition drivers handle it properly using the recommendations we have handpicked. 

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Author Mike Skliar

As the truck driver recruiting agency's CEO, I deeply understand the unique challenges and demands truck drivers face.

Drawing from my extensive work experience, I bring knowledge in truck driver recruitment, logistics, and transportation management. I possess a comprehensive understanding of industry regulations, safety standards, and best practices, ensuring that the agency adheres to the highest standards of professionalism and compliance.

Now, looking back and remembering my path from the very beginning, it seems to me that this story is a lifetime. During all these years of development and growth of our agency, I took part in no less interesting projects in which my experience, knowledge and vision were needed. And I was also able to gain new skills, contacts and experience by participating in the development of these projects from various fields, such as cargo transportation, trucking companies, e-commerce, parcel delivery and much more! But the best is yet to come!

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