Getting In The Groove

Topic 25160 | Page 1

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Hunter G.'s Comment
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I’m new with just a few months experience. I’ll come home after 5-6 week tours hauling reefer running recaps. When I get home I just feel exhausted and towards the end of a tour. Do you get used to this as time goes by or do you still get tired?

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

LDRSHIP's Comment
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I’ve been driving for 2 1/2 years and I still am completely drained the first day home. You get used to it, but you spend so much time in Go mode, when you are able to relax it is such a big drain. At least for me it is.

Bruce K.'s Comment
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Definitely need to pace yourself. Everybody is different with what they can handle. When I first started I was so performance motivated, I over did it and could see that my pace was too much to sustain. So, I slowed down to a more moderate pace after only a couple of months. Not only do I feel better over all, but I still get as much done as when I was running around like there was no tomorrow. A typical comment that is made by students in training is: "I can't wait to get out there on my own and run the wheels off the truck". I think most soon learn that such a pace is not sustainable and can even be very unsafe.

Maybe if you are so exhausted by the end of your tour, you need to moderate your pace. Just a thought.

Splitter's Comment
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If you're running recaps then you're only driving 8.5 to 9.5 shifts. That's a bit more manageable than running full on like I used to. As close to 11 hrs everyday as possible at top speed (62 mph for company driver). I'd love to say that I'm used to it but I get drained when I have to flip my clock from days to nights. It all depends on the load but yeah, that 0400-0600 drive kills me. Today I had to take a 1 hour nap instead of a 30 minute break. Just couldn't shake the groggy feeling no matter what I ate or drank.

Donna M.'s Comment
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One thing u may be over looking is the importance of eating good. Junk food and such will make u much more exhausted. If u can handle protein drinks many drivers swear by them.

Pete B.'s Comment
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Hunter, you are putting your body through an incredible amount of mental and to some degree, physical stress, every day you drive. The reaction of being tired is natural. Consider everything you are mentally processing while you're driving: mirrors, gauges, what's in front of you, what's merging, work zones, weather, road conditions... the list has no end. Do you have a working radio in your truck? It's probably on, adding to the stimuli. A week ago I had a particularly grueling drive: 6-7 hours from PA down into KY, the entire time in the longest, hardest, driving rain I've ever experienced over such a long distance. Cars had been hydroplaning off the road like there was snow and ice covering it... upside-down pickup in the median... car in the woods... The next day my arms and shoulders were exhausted. It's not something you're going to 'get used to,' that is i'm not sure you'll build up a tolerance against, but you can put yourself in the best possible position to deal with it. How? SLEEP. Let me repeat: SLEEP.

There are times when your 10-hr break is only 5 or 6; it happens, but it is rare. This 10-hr break is your opportunity to allow your body to recuperate, re-energize, recharge. Making that happen sometimes requires as much focus as driving in heavy rain or thick, fast-moving traffic. I read about drivers' toys constantly; everyone has a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Many have tv's with direct tv or some satellite package. Then there are the gaming electronics. We all travel with an abundance of distractions, all of which can shorten your 10-hr break by several crucial hours. There's also hygiene and meals to consider. If you're showering during your 10 as well as eating dinner, the time you have left over to sleep becomes even less. Do you exercise during your 10? What about laundry? Who hasn't squeezed in a load during their 10? You sometimes have to focus, and it may take great effort, to just not give in to all that external stimuli and take care of what's absolutely necessary... food and hygiene, to give yourself enough time to get a good night's sleep. A full 8 hours. Nothing beats it. No amount of caffeine the next day trumps a good night's sleep. Do this regularly enough over a long period of time and I believe you'll find yourself less tired than what you are experiencing now.

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