Life on the Road 

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One of the main reasons I got into truck driving was to see as much of this country as possible. I'm pleased to say, I have been to all of the lower 48 states . Some states I've only been through small sections, and others I've covered extensively. But I've seen more of this country than most people see in their entire lifetime. I still become awestruck at the sights. Very few careers give people the opportunity to see so much.

Freedom From The Man's Hand

Another reason I got into truck driving was for the independence. This has been a mixed bag of results. On one hand, truck driving is not as independent as it used to be.

  • We are constantly tracked by GPS and our every move is recorded.

  • I am now on electronic logs so I can't simply drive when I want and fill in the details later.

  • My dispatcher always knows where I am, where I'm going, what I'm doing, how many hours are left on my logs, how long I've been in the sleeper, etc.

  • I'm told where to fuel, what route to drive, how fast I can go, and many more endless rules I must follow,

  • let alone what the Department of Transportation says I can and can't do!

 

 

So the freedom from that point of view is not like it used to be. However, unlike my last job:

 

  • I am usually 1,000 miles or more away from my dispatcher.

  • I really don't know who my "boss" is.

  • My dispatcher (or Fleet Manager) isn't my boss, he's simply a co-worker.

  • My dispatcher also doesn't really care when I drive, as long as I make it to my customer on time.

  • Some loads allow me to sort of take my time and wake up without an alarm clock.

 

 

There are times I totally set my own schedule. So the freedom is there. More than any other job I've had. But it's not as free as it once was.

Driving In Solitude

The driving still hasn't gotten old.  The solitude is also something I still enjoy, but the solitude in trucking is something most people have a lot of trouble adjusting to.  Truckers have a way of keeping themselves entertained. If you hid microphones in my truck, you'd probably think I was going crazy. 

Trucking Is No Bed Of Roses

I wish I had time to actually enjoy some of the places I visit. I was in Vegas last week, but only had 10hrs to sleep before I had to hit the road again. No time to go enjoy the sights. I also wish some shippers and receivers would be a bit more forgiving to truck drivers. There are a lot of things that are unfair in this industry.

Which brings me to my last point. To make it in truck driving, you have let things go. You have to be aloof. You can't let things get to you. Just take things as they come. This is just part of the trucking lifestyle, and it actually feels great to simply not care sometimes.

Trucking Is Not For Most People

I still say this career is not for most people. It is not a glamorous life and we are vastly underpaid for what we do. As an OTR truck driver, I am away from home 4 to 6 weeks or more at a time. I then go home for 4 days before I get back on the road for another 4 to 6 weeks. It's a tough life, both mentally and physically. The standard of living we have is much lower than most Americans. But this is a job I love. It's a passion. One year later, and I'm still going strong.

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