Many people wonder what a truck driver’s life is really like, especially those considering trucking as a career. Many have misconceptions, but in fact, this job can be lonely, alienating, and unrewarding to drivers unhappy with their company. Here are some facts about life on the road with a big rig.
- This job is not easy. Driving a truck is not just about sitting on your butt all day. Drivers have to load and unload their cargo. They need to complete a O.T. Physical every two years. Trucking is not a job but a lifestyle to most experienced drivers.
- A trucker has much more responsibility than just holding the steering wheel and shifting gears, and trucking is not just a switch that one turns off at the end of the day. They have to deal with traffic, weather, dispatch, safety, life on the road, the DOT, and much more. It all falls on the driver to get the job done efficiently and safely.
- For regional and local truckers, who are home more often, trucking is like a typical 9 to 5 job. However, for long-haul truckers, life can be solitary and strange. They spend weeks on the road while hauling cargo from point A to B, covering vast distances on seemingly endless stretches of road. The main difference between short and long haul trucking is that long-haul drivers earn a lot more money.
- Trucking is like a game of chess at 60mph, which is not always exciting. Truckers have to be mentally and physically alert for any uncertainty. Plodding along a highway at 67mph can be downright boring in the middle of the night.
- There is more pressure on a trucker than you might think. Everything loaded on the truck has a customer who needs it as soon as possible. Drivers are usually on a deadline to arrive at the scheduled time or get goods to a supplier before they close.
- In many states, there is a limit on how long truckers can drive. They can drive 11 hours in a period of 14 hours. Distance doesn’t matter; they have to take a break of at least a half-hour. They may only drive 70 hours within an eight day period.
- There are many challenges that truckers face, including life-threatening situations. Sometimes the brakes get stuck, and the driver is not able to move the truck. One trucker reported a situation where he had purchased fuel in a southern state that wasn’t conditioned to withstand the cold temperatures of the north. As he drove through the north, the fuel changed to a jelly-like consistency that prevented the truck from running. With minus fifty outside, he could have frozen to death. There is no immediate help on the highways truckers They can only call a tow truck for assistance, or the police in the case of a real emergency such as a big rig accident.
- The friends of most truck drivers are also They stick together because they understand the lifestyle they have in common. Also, it’s hard to keep up with friends who aren’t part of this lifestyle.
- Trucking is not just a job; it’s a way of life. Truckers have their own language, both verbal and gestural when they drive. It is a skill that takes a lifetime to master. Truckers are always learning new tips and facing new situations.