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Yes, I'm a trucker. Do I like it?... So-so... depends on when you ask me. Do I enjoy it?... at times... again depends on when you ask me. Do truckers make a lot of money? I can put an end to that myth right now LOL...

The truth is back years ago truck drivers were revered and well-liked. We were appreciated. Now we just seem to be a bad nuisance that gets in your way to work or wherever else you may be heading. I thought I might give a little insight on what the life of a trucker is like.

The truth is truck drivers made just as much money, if not MORE back in the 1970's than they do today. Trucking REALLY put a squeeze on the railroad. There are TOO many politicians involved in the railroad and they can't have their little investments going down the tube. The government stepped in and started regulating how much trucking companies can charge.. so not much has changed on the monatary end of trucking since.

Now we DO have benefits out the wazoo. My company has a free gym (as if I have time to use it, so most times it is used by those who work in the office in operations).. so much for the truckers gym. We have a wellness center where we can go for just about anything you would go to an Urgent Medical Care for... no co-pay... no charge at all. We have just about any kind of insurance you can imagine at pretty dang good rates including FREE life insurance. So even though the pay could be better, the benefits can be GREAT.

Have you ever really thought about the importance of trucking? Do me a favor and just look around you for a minute. Look at the clothes you are wearing. Look at the computer you are on right now. Take a look at the TV or stereo you have on right now. Think of that meal you will have later on. Just about anything and everthing you can see, eat, wear, or use in anyway outside of maybe your utilities in your home, at ONE point in time they were all on a truck. I have hauled beer, wine, bottled water, tires, canned food, pet food, even down to the cardboard to make the boxes the products are displayed in. There is a bumper sticker and or Tshirt... "If you bought it, a trucker brought it.... and NOTHING could be more true.

Now for the part on what it's like to have the life of a trucker.

WE GET TO SEE THE COUNTRY. Yes, this is true. Me and another driver went to Minnesota, The Land of a Thousand Lakes. His wife asked him what it looked like. He told her, "Go get in the car, go get on I-85.... THAT'S what it looks like. It is true we go all around the country, and some even to Canada or Mexico, but in the end we see mostly the highways and after awhile they all look the same. If we DO end up somewhere interesting most times we can't stop due to deadlines OR the fact that you just can't park a 65 foot vehicle just anywhere.

We get to meet all kinds of people. Actually, for the most part a truck driver will be alone about 99% of the time. Our interactions with people will mostly be going into a company and finding out where to drop our trailer or which dock door we need to back up to. Outside of that it's pretty much so being shot the bird from some dillweed because he or she thinks we aren't moving fast enough. Honestly folks we aren't going slow on purpose. MOST truckers (outside of a few owner operators) have governed trucks. This not only controls our top speed, but it also controls how fast we can get up to speed.

The truth is that a high percentage of truckers suffer from some level of depression. We are away from our families. It is real hard to eat healthy on the road and exercise is always a challenge. You see VERY few men or women that start out their working career as a trucker and retiring from it 45 years later. We are away from our families and friends. We have such little home time having friends is almost impossible. Now I WILL say I am lucky. I am out 5 days or 4 nights. I am home Sundays and Mondays. That gives me two full days in which to wash my clothes, get more groceries for my next week out, pack my truck back up for the next week, spend time with the wife, kids, parents, and do whatever else I need to do before leaving again. Folks, there are some guys who are out for 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and some even MONTHS before getting to see their families again. SOME prefer it that way. I for one ADORE my wife, love my kids and have some amazing parents and in-laws. I love spending time with them.

Truck drivers work 14 hour days. That allows us 11 hours of driving time (that's about 600 miles in a truck), and 3 hours on duty. On duty time is time spent pre-tripping your truck, dropping and hooking trailer, and time spent backing into docks). We then get a 10 hour break to eat, shower, wash clothes (if you stay out that long), oh yes... and sleep.

Ever get tired of seeing the Highway Patrol, Local Police, or Deputy Sheriff sitting waiting on ya? Yeah... we do too... BUT... did you know if you get a speeding ticket and say the fine is $300 and 4 points... for a truck driver... it's a $600 fine and 8 points. That's right... all our fines and points are DOUBLE.

We also have the beloved Department of Transportation (DOT) breathing down out necks and CSA scores to worry about. At anytime a DOT officer can pull us over, most times in a weigh station and give us a 3 hour inspection. If we have ANYTHING wrong with our truck we can be put out of service until it is fixed. That means we can't move and the truck has to be fixed where it sits. If we do have a violation, we get what is called CSA points. CSA is like a report card for truck drivers. From something as major as an accident to a burned out light goes on our CSA report. If you get a certain amount of points guess what... you're unemployed.

Now let me try to give you a little of what it's like living in the sleeper of a truck. Do you have a half bath in your house? OK... put you a SMALL mattress... I mean smaller than a twin bed in the floor of the bathroom. Now... put you a cooler in there... don't forget you need about a weeks worth of clothes in there with ya too. Now.. you sleep on that mattress. Need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night?... Sorry... can't use that one there beside you. You need to get up and get fully dressed and go to the bathroom in the truck stop or rest area. You didn't find a parking place in the truck stop or a rest area?... You got a PROBLEM LOL.

I don't want to sound like I am complaining about what I do. I do it willingly to build a life and future for me and my family. I just wanted to give a little insight to what a truck driver does. It has it's ups and downs. Turnover at trucking companies are HIGH. Some companies have a turnover of over 100%. That means if they have 1000 drivers... they lost and rehired 1000 drivers last year. Some get into the business and it ends up being NOTHING like they planned. Trucking companies LIE and paint a pretty picture for prospective drivers.

In closing I want to touch on one more subject.... FEAR. Please know, my truck and empty trailer weighs 34,000 lbs. That is about 10 mid-sized cars. Loaded my truck CAN weigh up to 80,000 lbs... if you see an "Oversize Load"... these fellas can weigh... well... WAY on up there. We CANNOT stop on a dime. If I am empty and going about 50 MPH... I need the length of a football field to stop... if I'm loaded... probably up to two football fields. Folks, if we back into something or hit something even at a 3MPH, we do a LOT of damage. If we are doing 55 MPH and a car pulls out in front of us... not only will the damage be catastrophic, but somebody will die. That is the MAIN fear we live with ever minute of every day. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE I BEG you.. give us room.... dont cut us off. Keep in mind if we are almost at the top of a hill.. once we reach the top we are going to pick up speed REAL FAST.

We are not asking for special treatment, just a little respect and know... what we are doing helps keep the economy going... and makes it to where you can go to any store and get what you need to keep your life going.

Maybe I'll see ya on the road sometime... Godspeed.

OnlineI let my mind wander... evidently it's not coming back.
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