Truck driving is more than just driving long distances and being away from home, but that is part of it, especially for Over-the-Road (OTR) truck drivers. That’s why it’s important to find creative ways to learn, grow and keep yourself entertained.
Thankfully, if you’re asking, “what do truck drivers do for fun on the road?” there are millions of truck drivers who have asked the same thing and come up with great answers.
We’ve asked drivers, scoured trucking forums and compiled a helpful list just for you.
11 fun hobbies for OTR truck drivers
1. Listening to audiobooks, podcasts and radio.
Most truck drivers are listening to something on the road, both behind the wheel — as long as you’re staying alert while driving — and during time off in their sleeper berth. If you’re getting bored, find a new audiobook series, explore fresh podcasts or upgrade to satellite radio if you haven’t already.
2. Exploring the outdoors.
You don’t have to stay cooped up in the tractor. Many truck drivers have explored a variety of outdoor hobbies, even finding nature spots near truck stops to hike and camp at. Traveling the country gives you lots of access to places others would have to take vacation to get to.
3. Taking photos and videos.
Smartphones allow each of us to have a recording studio in our pockets, and drivers have the privilege of traveling to unique places. Capture photos or videos of those places in creative ways — never while driving, of course. Take inspiration from Elliott, a Schneider driver who captures his adventure through photography.
4. Collecting mementos from the road.
It can be easy to get caught up in the work you’re doing as a driver, but when you think about it, you’re being paid in part to be a tourist. Maybe it’s a keychain, a mug, a CAT Scale Collector Card or even a postcard you mail home — in any case, leverage the unique opportunity to grow an inspiring collection from the road.
5. Exercising and working out.
It can take some creativity to stay in shape on the road, but many drivers have found a way to do it — inside and outside the tractor. Check out these ideas for your truck driver workout to help get you started, then carve your own path to health and wellness.
6. Using technology to connect with home.
Technology makes it easier than ever to feel at home while you’re on the road. Plan some time when you’re in the back of your truck to connect to WiFi and video chat with family and friends. The possibilities will only grow as technology improves, so keep finding powerful ways to be present even as you’re making a great living on the road.
7. Developing yourself professionally.
Learning and developing isn’t limited to a classroom anymore. If you’re passionate about something, you can easily find a free or paid online class to teach you about it and/or how to do it. Maybe you’re intrigued by one of the tips above — photography, exercising, etc. — so find some YouTube videos or online resources that can get you started. Also consider building your brand on LinkedIn.
8. Cooking in the truck.
You might not be a gourmet chef, but the nature of the job opens amazing doors to creativity in how you prepare meals for yourself — both to save money and eat healthier. Many drivers have mastered the art of cooking in a semi-truck, and you could be next!
9. Watching streaming services.
Whether or not you have a TV in your truck, streaming services are available on any device now. Get hooked on a new Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu or Disney Plus show, or bring a video game system with you and play some online games. The possibilities are endless to have fun through what you watch.
10. Exploring new creative pursuits.
The opportunities are endless. We’ve seen truckers become musicians, crafters, writers, non-profit volunteers — you name it. Make the most of your time away from home as you develop new skills, talents and passions.
11. Journaling and sharing your journey.
Many truck drivers have put their thoughts into writing, either as a therapeutic escape for themselves, or to benefit other drivers. Truck driver YouTube channels abound — including Schneider’s YouTube channel — as drivers share their life on the road for fun and to help others.
What will you do for fun on the road?
Take some time to think through some ideas that might work for you, and if you’re looking for a little more inspiration, check out other truck driver hobbies.