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Gagandeep Baidwan advises long-haul truckers on how to make the most of their travels

6th January 2021 Print

If you are a new long-haul trucker or are planning to enter this growing and lucrative career path, then freight transportation executive Gagandeep Baidwan has some practical advice to help you make the most out of your travels, whether they take you across the country or continent.

1. Create Realistic and Detailed Plans

It has been said that a failure to plan is a plan to fail, and this wisdom certainly applies to long-haul truckers. To avoid delays, consider all of the variables such as traffic conditions, road type, urban vs. rural driving, current and forecasted weather, border crossings, and so on.

“These days, it is vital for long-haul truckers to plan ahead using various tools, such as multiple navigation smartphone apps,” commented Gagandeep Baidwan. “This is because the 14-hour consecutive driving window rule does not start when a driver necessarily gets out on the road, but starts when they begin performing any type of work for a carrier, and continues even if the driver is loading or unloading freight, or waiting at a border crossing. Without comprehensive planning, drivers could find themselves only a couple of hours from home but unable to move without a mandatory 10-hour rest period. Not only is this stressful, but it can be quite costly as well.”  

2. Communicate Event and Family Gathering Plans with Your Employer

One of the most challenging aspects of being a long-haul trucker is the fact that the workload is seasonal - there are periods when you may have more than enough time to attend family gatherings and events, and there are periods when the closest you may get to home is a phone or video call. During these busier times, one of the ways to increase the likelihood that you can personally attend these special moments with family and friends is to communicate with your employer and see if a mutually beneficial arrangement can be made. 

“At our company, we work with our drivers to plan out their preferred routes, which allows them to stay relatively close to home to attend family gatherings or other events,” states Gagandeep Baidwan. “By supporting and helping our drivers, we foster loyalty and a positive work relationship. In my own life, spending quality time with my family is a top priority, and we must do what we can for our drivers in this way.”

3. Take Immense Pride in Your Work

This advice should go without saying, but sometimes it is the simplest things that get overlooked and --forgotten. As a long-haul trucker, you are making a valuable contribution — not just to your team but to stakeholders — and performing a job that requires a great deal of skill, knowledge, and experience. 

“I had the privilege of watching my father, who was a long-haul trucker, carry and conduct himself,” commented Gagandeep Baidwan. “He always took tremendous pride in his work, and I believe that this had a major impact on his overall attitude and unwavering professionalism. Now, as the owner of a growing freight transportation company, I have the opportunity to demonstrate these characteristics in my work and encourage them in all of our valued drivers.”

4. Don’t Neglect Your Health

Many long-haul truckers opt for fast food due to its convenience; however, they should attempt to maintain a balanced diet while on the road. 

According to Gagandeep Baidwan, “Each driver has to figure out an approach that works best for them. For example, some drivers opt for a breakfast that has plenty of protein because it makes them feel more alert, and also means they won’t be craving a snack before lunch. Alternatively, some drivers prefer a very light breakfast of fruits and grains. What matters most is that the choices are healthy, and drivers do not compromise their health. If they do, then sooner or later they will regret it, and may even have to take an extended break from driving —or leave the profession altogether.”

5. Remember to See the Country

Last but not least, long-haul truckers can enjoy something that the vast majority of people will never have the opportunity to do: see the country, and relish some breathtaking scenes, such as a beautiful sunrise, a golden sunset, a rainbow peering across over a valley, and the list goes on.  

“Obviously, truckers are not tourists, and their focus is on moving freight efficiently, effectively and safely,” commented Gagandeep Baidwan. “But at the same time, truckers can and should take the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise climb over a valley, watch the clouds break against a mountain range, and the list goes on. Every day provides the opportunity to enjoy at least one — but sometimes several - postcard-perfect vistas.”