During peak holiday months, there is a significant increase in travel, online shipping and return orders. According to a recent FedEx report, consumers spent a total of $204.2 billion online shopping and 47% of consumers used same day or next day delivery for holiday shopping convenience in 2021. On top of that, last year, $120 billion worth of goods were sent back between November and February. This trend continues this year, with online shopping expected to reach $1.1 trillion in 2022.
There is no doubt that the holidays are stressful for everyone, but truckers feel the pressure significantly more. Increased travel and online shopping lead to chaos on the roads. Traffic is at an all-time high and while truck drivers are used to long hours on the road, the increased holiday traffic and time away from their own loved ones can add more stress and worry to the job.
Doran understands that being busy is part of the truck driving job, but we also want drivers to feel the holiday spirit. We've put together five tips to help you feel a little more jolly pulling your sleigh this holiday season.
Let’s face it, the more organized you are, the more seamless your travel will be. Before you head out make sure to plan your travel time. If you have a favorite truck stop, rest area, etc. that brings you joy, make it a point to stop there along your route. Map out rest stops that provide the necessities you need to keep moving, like coffee, showers, and gas. If you find a favorite truck stop that has Wi-Fi, use that time to reach out to friends and family back home with a video call. This can lessen the burden of being miles away during the holidays.
Make sure to know when you should expect to go through a weigh station. Research rush hour for each city you travel through, and make sure you plan your stops and weigh station check-ins around those hours. While your travel won’t be perfect, this can give you a structure to work around and eliminate as many unnecessary interferences as possible.
Being on the road during the holidays is stressful, but it can also be lonely. Family and friends may be home enjoying hot chocolate by a warm fire or attending holiday parties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring joy to your travels. Have some fun this season, and decorate your truck! Put a wreath on the back, hang lights around the edges, you can even wear a Santa hat while you’re driving. Use this time to get creative, you may even bring a smile to other drivers!
Properly inflating your tires can greatly reduce the risk of accidents, additional maintenance and downtime during travel. Time spent at rest stops can be minimized with properly inflated tires. Many trucks are already operating with low tire pressure and winter months will affect tire pressure even more. When tires are underinflated, more rubber makes contact with the pavement increasing friction and lowering fuel economy. . Improper tire inflation pressure can also increase wear and tear on your tires, and potentially lead to a blowout.
Before your travel time, make sure to check your tire pressure at the appropriate time, and consider including tire inflation check in your travel planning. To make tire pressure checks more efficient, , consider using a tire pressure monitoring system.
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems continuously measure tire pressure and temperature while providing drivers and fleets with real-time notifications for low pressure & high temperature events. There are a multitude of benefits from using TPMS including increased safety, decreased downtime, increased fuel efficiency, extended tire life, and decreased maintenance costs.
If you're an owner/operator, consider adding this to your truck if not already installed. If you drive for a fleet, share the benefits of TPMS with your leadership if you haven’t already. Ordering and installing a TPMS now is the best way to assure truck driver, customer, and fleet satisfaction during the holiday season. There are many types of tire monitoring systems available that can accommodate a variety of needs, from small to large bore valves and beyond.
Similar to the truck decorating idea, making a playlist for your travels can help keep your spirits up, eliminate distractions, and keep your mind busy while you’re driving. Throw some holiday tunes on the mix, as well as nostalgic songs, and high energy beats for when you begin to feel tired. You can even include podcasts and audiobooks.
Truck drivers are really underrated elves bringing joy and necessities to people all over the world. Although being on the road can feel lonely at times, truck drivers must continue to support each other. Get creative with decorations, make a fun playlist to share with your fellow drivers, or plan to meet up at a rest stop for a quick meal.
Most of all, whether you already have a reliable TPMS or you’re shopping for a new one, every truck driver deserves to feel safe and remain efficient so they can return to their loved ones and celebrate the holidays too.