Paper Transport has some helpful tips for our drivers looking to budget better and cut out fast food. Former Company Driver and now Local Operations Manager Ross Christensen and Company Driver Paul Wasmer share their tips on packing for the road.
Before you begin packing for the road, be sure to consider your budget! Mapping out finances and routes can save a driver time overall. Here are some questions to keep in mind if you do stop for food:
How much should I pay for a meal on the road?
Spending $10 on one meal on the road may not hurt. Spending $10 for every meal 5 days a week is $80 spent on food in a week, $160 every 2 weeks, and $4,160 spent on fast food in one year!
How can I pre-plan my route more efficiently?
Route planning can help determine where a driver’s stops are and how much time it takes to get to your destination. You should not have to divert from your path too much to look for food options. By planning out your meals, finances, and routes, you can feel good about making health-conscious choices.
Truck Stops vs. Rest Areas
Truck stops can be busy and full of food to purchase (and expensive), whereas rest stops allow for a less crowded area and little to no food options. When you pre-pack food and meals, you will save time and money. More so, this allows for better flexibility in finding a parking spot.
Food and Drinks
Planning groceries for a driver’s trip will help with both physical health and budgeting. You can feel better about what goes into your body and what you are spending money on.
When choosing a prepackaged food item, think about how clean you would like your hands and truck to be. For example, having a choice between a) nuts and apples or b) oranges and salt chips. Choosing the nuts and apples option will keep your hands, steering wheel, and truck floor clean.
Nonperishable food items can also be a great option for drivers packing for the road. With a longer shelf life, nonperishable food items can be stored in a truck cubby, and you do not have to worry about the item going bad. Soup is a popular nonperishable food item that has a wide array of flavors that you could pack for the road.
If a driver has been home during the weekend, taking a home-cooked meal on their next road trip could come in handy. Bringing leftovers or prepared meals allows you to have a taste of home while on routes.
Having appliances in your truck can help save time and eat more health-conscious foods:
Mini-Fridge: These fridges can hold food items and cold drinks, although a cooler will also work as a chilling tool to keep certain foods fresh. Be sure to check with your company’s policy as in some companies a driver will have to get permission to install a mini-fridge.
Microwaves are an excellent appliance to have in a truck and can aid in keeping your belly full of hot food and drinks
Coffee Pot: A coffee pot is another amenity many drivers have in their trucks. This stops them from pulling off the road to look for a coffee destination.
Dishes: Having a plate, cup, bowl, and utensils can assist drivers in keeping their trucks clear of paper and plastic waste.
Thank you, Paul and Ross, for your tips and your experience on the road.
Looking for more tips for the road? Check out these 14 trucking tools, equipment, and gear to pack for the road: Click Here