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Truck driver guide to prepare your family for life on the road

How to prepare your family for life on the road

If you’ve signed on for or considered a truck driving career, you know success doesn’t come without sacrifice. You’ve probably weighed the pros and cons, prepared for or completed training and you may even be ready to hit the road. If you’ve started your career with Schneider, you can feel confident that we’ll be right beside you as you prepare for and set out to deliver your first load.

What can get overlooked is what’s happening at home while you’re away for days or weeks at a time. Preparing your family for life on the road sets everyone up for success in the long run.

4 ways to get business in order

Whether or not you have a partner at home to split responsibilities, there are a lot of tasks to account for when you’re going out on the road.

1. Mail and package pickup

If you don’t have a family member or friend available to check your mail or accept packages, the United States Postal Service can hold your mail at your local Post Office™ until you return. To schedule Hold Mail Service, you can notify the USPS up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. For hold times greater than 30 days, use USPS Forward Mail Service.

2. Bill pay

Be aware of due dates for any bills that would need to be paid while you’re on the road. Consider setting up an automatic bill pay through the business’s website. Some banks also offer a bill pay option through their online services.

3. Snow removal/lawn care

If you’re on the road in the winter, make accommodations for snow removal. If it’s during the summer, make arrangements for lawn care. This could be hiring a neighbor or setting up snow removal or lawn service.

4. Childcare

If you have kiddos, have a contingency plan in place for drop-off and pickup. Look into carpool options with parent groups at your child’s school.

4 ways to set family expectations

Preparing your family before you head out will help everyone stay on the same page while you’re away.

1. Share your route

Fill your family in on your route and deliveries, so they will know where you will be and how long you will be there.

2. Make plans to communicate

Let family members know how to reach you on the road as Schneider has a no-cellphone policy in the cab. Set up a call time in advance so you know when you’ll be able to chat next. Consider video chatting from your sleeper berth while you’re winding down from the day. Even send post cards or letters from your various destinations that double as mementos. For emergencies, make sure your family has your DBL contact information.

3. Plan for pay day

You shouldn’t have to wait to get to a bank to cash in on pay day. Coordinate direct deposit through your bank to accommodate automatic bill pay and allow your family access to funds for day-to-day expenses.

4. Discuss the weekly schedule

Particularly if you have kids, there will be doctor appointments, practices, homework and more. Set up a Google Calendar or keep a planner so you and your family can stay aligned on important dates. You may not be able to make it home in time for the big game, but this calendar can remind you to send a note of encouragement.

Your family is ready, and now you’re ready. Let’s get started.

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About the author
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Patty Seidl is a Driver Business Leader (DBL) specializing in supporting new drivers. She has worked at Schneider since 2001 in a variety of roles, including a training engineer, instructor and customer service representative. Patty has also worked as a driver and a Schneider team driver with her husband, Bob.

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