How Do You Deal With Homesickness?

Topic 19529 | Page 1

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Kyle M.'s Comment
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Hello everyone training is going well so far and it's the start of my 3rd week away from home. My question for you all is how do you deal with home sickness? The company I am training for said they get you home every 7-10 days and 14 at the most. But I had a week lomg orientation and didn't have a way home before leaving for training. I'm very very close with my mom and brother and being away for this long is alot more difficult then the driving itself. Any help would be appreciated

Unholychaos's Comment
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Communication is the key. Talk to them while on the road, Skype or FaceTime while your stopped.

This aspect of trucking is why a lot of new drivers quit after a short period of time. It's a very hard lifestyle change to get used to for both you and your loved ones.

Kyle M.'s Comment
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Ok thank you I'll try that and see how it works

Damon L.'s Comment
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I've been away from home quite a bit being in the military text messaging, phone calls, and video chat have done wonders in my life. It's so much technology out there now it's so easy to stay connected.

Hello everyone training is going well so far and it's the start of my 3rd week away from home. My question for you all is how do you deal with home sickness? The company I am training for said they get you home every 7-10 days and 14 at the most. But I had a week lomg orientation and didn't have a way home before leaving for training. I'm very very close with my mom and brother and being away for this long is alot more difficult then the driving itself. Any help would be appreciated

OtrEscapeArtist's Comment
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To me homesickness is a variable animal. I'd say it gets more bearable with time and separation experience but just when I think that it creeps up again! It's natural, it sucks, it comes it goes.... No matter your age, no matter your predicament..... I found with my real little ones at home that daily contact was a bit much and actually made my absences seem longer to them. My teenagers don't seem to be super bothered lololol.... In any case, ride the waves of emotion and always tell the folks you love just that....Hang-in there.

Errol V.'s Comment
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UHC declares

Communication is the key. Talk to them while on the road, Skype or FaceTime while your stopped.

This is true. I spoke with my wife every day in the evening (whether I was driving at the time or not) to catch up on how she was doing.

Now if you might feel homesick, steel yourself against the following news from home:

  • I miss you so much!
  • Arfie dug a hole under the fence and got out again!
  • The upstairs toilet stopped up.

These are not emergencies "enough" to send you home immediately. Those at home will need to take care of things until you can get there on your next home time.

My wife had to wait a week till I got home to unclog a toilet. (Like most houses these days, we have two bathrooms). And she only had to wait three days so I could get home to replace the water heater. (DMs can pull off some good dispatches if they need to!)

My point echos UHC - communicate as often as you can. But don't try to "drop everything" every few weeks.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Matt 's Comment
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I'm not going to say it gets better or goes away but it seems like the first two weeks are always the worst every time I left the worst was the first two weeks was hard after that everything seemed to settle into place.

Kyle M.'s Comment
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Thanks for all the answers everyone I woke up today and it did seem to be a little better

Old School's Comment
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Thanks for all the answers everyone I woke up today and it did seem to be a little better

Kyle, I'm just going to add this: It is part of this job, it just comes with the territory. Anyone who loves and misses their family is never going to get over it so much as they will get more accustomed to not having it drive them crazy so that they are constantly wanting to go back home all the time. I'm not sure how else to put it, but it is one of the many difficulties of this career. Many drivers choose to just bite the bullet and endure that first year as an OTR driver and then start looking for other opportunities that will allow them to maybe be home on the weekends, or even some folks transition into a home nightly, or local driving job. I have a friend who has been a truck driver for well over twenty years, but he hated over the road. He has a job where he goes home every night and sleeps in his own bed. That is what worked best for him, even though he makes considerably less money than he could as a high performing OTR driver.

Personally, I love the lifestyle of the over the road driver. I still have my moments where I want to make a Bee-line for home. There are days that I just want to be at home and fall into my wife's arms, but there are also days that you couldn't pay me enough money to stop doing this. My point is that those feelings of home-sickness are somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster type thing and part of being good at this job is to learn how to cope, or deal with the emotional and mental parts of this puzzle. When we talk about folks being top-tier drivers people always think we are just referring to their ability to endure long bouts at the wheel turning lots of miles each day, but there is really so much more to what it takes to be one of the top performers out here. Mastering your emotions, being self disciplined and focused are such critical factors to success out here. You simply cannot succeed at this if you're not fully vested mentally and emotionally in what you are trying to accomplish. A driver with a clouded mind and mental distractions is a distracted driver, and that is sometimes just as bad as trying to text and drive at the same time.

My advice as far as "how do you deal with it" is that you have just got to focus on the task at hand. Think about a professional athlete. Their focus is on the prize - they want to win - they want to make that next score. They don't let what ever happened two minutes ago distract them from what they are doing NOW. Every day that I am out here I have got goals that I set for myself, and I focus on making sure those things are met. Nothing is allowed to distract from that, and trust me there are ten thousand things that arise to do just that. One of those things may very well be my thoughts about my family at home. I don't want to sound hard hearted, because I am certainly not that in any way. Being focused on my goals benefits my family as much as it does my career - they understand that and actually help me to stay focused. They don't bother me with the little details of life that a normal husband/father would be dealing with. They are my best cheerleaders, because they understand that I love what I do, and they benefit from the generous amount of money I make by being such a focused driver who accomplishes his goals.

That is my advice - Be focused, don't let your thoughts or your emotions master you, or distract you from your goals. Reach those goals, and then start making goals that put you just a little more higher up the ladder before you. Learn how to be productive by understanding all the rules that we work under and how to manage that clock in a way that assists you to be productive. Always visit with your family, share with them how you are obtaining your goals, and listen to the things that they want to share with you, but the main objective is to stay focused on the task at hand. When you are on the road focus on being on the road - "git er done." When you are at home you can focus on being at home. Just realize that every time you leave the house it will be a few days until you can get yourself back into that mode of being focused on the prize.

There is no getting around that roller coaster effect, but being focused on what you are doing at the time is an effective way of making it work in your favor. When at home be totally focused on being at home. When on the road be totally focused on that. It is when you start trying to blend the two into one is when you lose focus, and as far as I'm concerned that can be dangerous while out on the road.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Kyle M.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you old school that did help me understand things more. And my goal right now is just to complete training without any accidents and learn as much as possible in my 8 weeks with my trainer

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