For me, one of the hardest parts about OTR driving is the 34-hour reset, particularly when it is taken on the road.  As drivers we need to recharge after so many miles behind the wheel, and an extended break is very important.  When I'm at home, I do things around the house that I couldn't do when I’m on the road.  It’s nice to go on a date with my wife and sleep in too.  By the end of the break, I wouldn't want to go back to work, but my body and mind would both be refreshed and ready to drive again.  With that said, not every 34-hour reset is refreshing.

If I don’t have a plan of how I am going to spend my time when I take a 34-hour reset I may find myself consuming an overwhelming amount of sitcoms and crime shows and laying around in my truck at the truck stop.  I wouldn't have enough energy to walk or even do paperwork.  By the end of my 34-hour break I was much more tired and sluggish than I was after running hard for seven days. 



I prefer to be in an area where I have more flexibility.  My last break I parked across the street from where I was delivering.  I knew I wouldn't be able to shower, so I showered the night before. This made me feel more fresh on my day off.  The reason I didn't stay at the truck stop was because the closest diesel truck stop was over an hour from where I delivered.  By parking where I deliver I saved an hour on my next 70 hours of service.  I saved about three hours on my 14 hours because where I delivered it usually takes a couple hours to unload.  If I drove from that truck stop to where I was delivering and unloaded I would be about three hours into my day. The drawback would be the truck stop has a TV room, laundry room, restaurant and showers.  I knew ahead of time that the area where I actually did take my 34-hour was within walking distance of nice restaurants. There was also a large retailer only a block away so I was able to pick up some necessities and my favorite sunflower seed and vinaigrette salad.

My intention was to watch a couple of good movies on my day off too. The retailer did not have a movie rental vending machine, so I searched online and found there was one 1.6 miles away. This is perfect because I'm on a walking program.  Round-trip this was a 3.2 mile walk.  By the time my day was over I walked 3.2 miles to pick up the movies and 3.2 miles to bring them back, totaling 6.4 miles of walking.

During this 34 hour reset I accomplished my objective of getting re-energized.  I was able to refreshed my body by walking, eating good nutrition and getting plenty of sleep.  I also refreshed my mind by watching movies, reading and walking. When I started my next week I felt revived and ready to work again.

Image Credit - https://www.flickr.com/photos/rheinitz/

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I think taking the walks was a great idea. It is rare for me to take a 34hr on the road.The last time was in Yankton, SD. I was almost home and I got one of those PLEASE cover this hot load - one of our drivers couldn't finish. I got up thre with about an hour left on my 70 with nothing coming off the next day. I splurged on a $65? motel room and got my bike out to explore Yankton - a nice small city. I think that I took at least 3 showers - heck it is a luxury that we seldom get on the road.

September 11, 2016 2:59:58 AM

Nice article Bruce. It sounds like you did plenty of pre planning before stopping for your 34 hour reset. Being proactive is always better than reactive.

September 09, 2016 13:15:14 PM

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About Bruce Beckel

Bruce Beckel has driven over four million miles in his career and is still driving. In addition to his driving experience Bruce is a founder of ProDriver Placement, a career placement service. In his blog at prodriverplacement.com he touches on the topics of trucking experience, lifestyle and safety. While driving, and in the career services field, Bruce has noticed that the two most important factors that advance a driver’s career are safety and dependability.

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