Truck Driving Tips for Staying Alert on Long Hauls

Truck Driving Tips for Staying Alert on Long Hauls

Jul 22nd 2022

People often wonder, how do truck drivers stay awake for such long drives? As a truck driver, you must take good care of yourself, follow the rules about required breaks, and learn some truck driving tips for staying alert on long hauls.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause fatigue. Our bodies are primarily water. When you run low on that life-giving fluid gets, your body is under stress.

Taking small sips over time is better than chugging the whole bottle of water, as they’ll reduce the urge to find a restroom a bit and won’t make you feel bloated.

Avoid caffeine and energy drinks. It sounds counterintuitive, but caffeine wears off, and it’s also a diuretic. This means it will make you need to stop to relieve yourself more often.

Energy drinks may be full of sugar, which will boost your energy for a little while. However, a crash that can make you sleepy will follow your surge of energy.

Maintain Regular Sleep Hours

Experienced long-haul (over-the-road or OTR) drivers plan their routes carefully, estimating the time needed to get from one point to another while considering weather and traffic. With a plan, you can choose truck stops in advance and stick to a regular sleep schedule. Training your body when to expect sleep can help you stay alert when you need to be wide awake.


Regular exercise makes you feel energized and can help you avoid drowsy driving. Your body’s systems get energized, and your brain gets a good dose of healthy oxygen to help you maintain vigilance about safety. Keep a set of dumbbells or a resistance band in your truck, or plan to visit truck stops with exercise areas or that are adjacent to preserves with walking trails.

East Small, Healthy Meals More Often

Fast food is tempting when you’re on a deadline, but it’ll wear you down. Small healthy meals and healthy crunchy snacks are better for keeping alert. You know the drowsy feeling you get after a large meal. On top of this, the sugary sodas, high sodium content, and unhealthy fats of fast food coupled with long hours sitting can wreak havoc on your health.

And speaking of sitting, a supportive truck seat with proper suspension and adjustments can make your long-haul life easier and help you stay alert. If all you’re thinking about is your aching back and your sore bottom, you might not be paying enough attention to the road and the drivers around you. If your seat is worn, look for commercial truck seats for sale online and replace your old seat with a new and better one the next time you’re back home.

These are just a few of the many tips on how to stay alert while driving. With proper planning, some healthy food in your truck’s mini fridge, plenty of water, and a good mattress for regular sleep in your cab, you have a better chance of staying healthy and safe on the road.