Creating Work-Life Balance as a Truck Driver

Published Date: 3/29/2023

Updated Date: 5/31/2023

Is a healthy work-life balance possible for truck drivers?

A healthy work-life balance is more than possible for truck drivers to obtain: It is encouraged.  

Many trucking companies actively promote this idea as a part of creating a more sustainable truck driver work schedule. Swift Transportation not only believes in drivers' safety on the road, but their well-being and mental health. 

At Swift we want drivers to thrive both on and off the road. We’ve created these easy-to-use tips for professional truck drivers to foster a healthy work-life balance of their own. 

Achieving a healthy work-life balance at home 

Truck driving professionals spend a major amount of time on the road and away from home. Making it critical for them to find ways to actively create work-life-balance in order ensure their ability to uphold their commitments outside of trucking. 

Prioritizing the ones they love while also avoiding missing out on life’s most important moments – both big and small – by planning ahead and communicating with others.  

Plan time off around life’s biggest moments 

From weddings and birthdays to sports games and recitals, don’t miss out on some of life’s greatest moments because you didn’t request time off.  

A great way to ensure you’re able to receive the time off you need is to plan ahead and communicate with driver leadership early on. It is best to connect with them as soon as you become aware of your upcoming social event so they have adequate time to accommodate your personal request. 

Swift is dedicated to getting you home, be that for planned celebrations or sudden life events. Our Hometime team will do everything that they can to get you home when it matters most. 

Swift driver and mentor Tina Y. can vouch for the unique flexibility truck driving offers her.  

“I mean, it's literally the best job in the world. I get to get paid to drive to where I go on vacation,” Said Tina during an interview. “I could request home time anywhere and go take a 34 hour reset. I got to check out the memorial at Oklahoma City recently. All these things that nobody else gets to do and I get paid to go there.”

Swift Transportation Tina Y. proudly leaning against a Swift Refrigerated trailer

Swift Refrigerated driver Josh B. echoes Tina’s sentiment. He recently shared how he balances his time and works with leadership to get to important destinations on time.  

“This past November I was able to watch my cousin get married in Ohio,” Josh said during an interview. “I put in some home time at the Columbus terminal, rented a car for the day and I was able to be there for my cousin’s wedding! Before this job, it may have been hard to get a plane ticket at the last minute and pull that off. But I talked to my driver leader and we figured it out. That’s one thing I really love about this job.” 

Swift Transportation truck driver Josh B. is sitting in driver seat of his truck

Make the most of your time off from work 

There is no better way to use time off from work than by planning a vacation, day trip, or even a simple staycation with friends or family.  

Trucking companies, like Swift, offer competitive employee discounts outside of their usual roster of benefits that can make travel easier and more accessible. These can include travel-related discounts on things like car rentals, hotels, and entertainment that can make trips and time off even more special.  

This helps truck drivers approach their PTO, or even regular days off, more intentionally. Making the most of their time off from work while creating memories. 

Take a day off from anywhere 

Did you know that Swift Drivers can technically take a day off from anywhere along their route? Providing truck drivers with valuable opportunities to explore regional cultures and take in some landmarks. Creating an opportunity to truly be paid to travel as a truck driver. 

To utilize this benefit, truck drivers will need to work with driver leaders to have their en route days off submitted and approved ahead of hitting the road.  

Achieving a healthy work-life balance on the road 

The route to finding your ideal on the road routine will take some testing and time, but it can have a positive impact on your mental health. Making it incredibly important to find what works best for you to create work-life balance within your life on the road.  

Occupy Your Mind  

A day in the life of a truck driver is filled with the open road and plenty of time to get lost in thought or a great audiobook! Occupying your mind with audio-based entertainment, like podcasts or new music, can make even the lengthiest long haul go by more quickly.  

It is worth considering getting a library card, as many branches have online portals where you can rent audiobooks and ebooks for free from anywhere.  

This can include educational and recreational content in the form of:  

Stay Connected  

Staying connected with loved ones is critical to our mental health, especially when your career requires you to be away from home regularly.  

Making it no surprise that loneliness is one of the primary side effects of being a truck driver and is experienced by an estimated 27.9% of truck drivers.  

Finding ways to schedule phone calls, FaceTimes, or digital game nights can be helpful in making truck drivers feel closer to family from afar. This also supports creating a stronger sense of work-life balance by breaking up their day in a meaningful way.  

Drivers at Swift can join the Swift Driver Facebook group and stay connected to other Swift drivers 24/7! 

Find a Hobby  

Finding a portable hobby – like photography, creative writing, or playing music – can help truck driving professionals make the most of their free time by filling it with the activities they care about.  

The key to ensuring you’re able to complete your hobby on the road is to choose something that is either easily portable or doesn’t require anything you can’t safely store in your truck cabin.  

Not sure what your hobby may be? That’s ok! Your downtime is a great opportunity to explore what you may be interested in and create time to build your skills within it.  

To get started, many popular truck driver hobbies include: 

  • Taking online courses 
  • Cooking new recipes
  • Learning languages
  • Sightseeing 
  • Meditating 
  • Puzzles
  • Reading
  • Knitting
  • Biking 
  • Gaming 

Gaming is one of the most popular hobbies for truck drivers. Some Swift Drivers even deck out their trucks with all of the equipment they need to participate in online gaming tournaments while on the road. Full game rooms are also available in some Swift trucking terminals for drivers to use during their downtime.

Finding a trucking company that cares about balance 

It is important to take into consideration finding a trucking company that cares about good work-life balance when starting a career as a truck driving professional.  

Swift Transportation not only advocates for this balance, we also provide Swift Drivers with competitive benefits and opportunities for career advancement. Seeking to make their drivers’ lives in and outside of work as fulfilling as possible. 

Whether you’re seasoned with CDL Experience or consider yourself a new driver: We want to hear from you!  


The Author

Swift Marketing

Swift Transportation is the Nation's #1 full truckload carrier. Swift offers Driving careers in our Linehaul, Refrigerated, Flatbed, Intermodal, Teams, and Dedicated divisions.