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We have been from one end of the United States to the other and everywhere in between. Being a truck driver with my husband was the best job I ever had, but it is not an easy life. The truth of life on the road is that it’s a double-edged sword. The great side of it is all the sights and the different places we went. I know we would never have seen as much of it throughout our life if it wasn’t for this job. Being together was the best part as well. We get along so well that it can be scary at times.
It was the scariest time of my life. One hard part of life on the road is the lack of respect people give to truck drivers, whether it is on the road or in a store. We all know there are a lot of truck drivers out there that are really bad, however there are people who are good, honest and polite as well. They DO care about what they do, and it shows. It’s the little things, like they wear clean, presentable clothes, appropriate shoes, and have deodorant on. They talk properly and with respect.
That’s Not So Bad, Right?
Unfortunately, the real world trucker in this day and age isn’t always this way. They are disrespectful, angry, smelly, and wear flip,flops (yeah!). Then they wonder why they get an attitude. The places where you get loaded and unloaded want them in and out quickly, and who can blame them? You can smell them coming before they step out of the truck! No, I’m not kidding. I wouldn’t want to smell them either. To save time on the road and avoid stops, some of them fill a bottle of urine and throw it out the door or window to get rid of it. Sometimes, they step out of the truck in their tighty whities to pee, (Yes, tighty whities) On two separate occasions, I personally encountered this with men who, once they saw me out walking my dog, decided to get back in their trucks. I’ve even seen people dump a bucket of urine and feces out the door, and YES, they were reported.
So What’s It REALLY Like On The Road?
The cars on the road (4 wheelers) and the people who drive them often have no respect for truck drivers. (Um, I wonder why…) They will cut you off, stomp on the brakes, flip on their high beams, and flip you off because they did no wrong. I wave hi or give them a thumbs up when it happens. Starting out, I was always afraid that someone would cut me off or stomp on the brakes, and it did happen. I had one that even passed me on the right in the breakdown lane because they were mad lol. I always made sure I had room whenever possible, but the drivers of the cars do not think about what could happen. If they did, the roads would be a much safer place to drive.
How Can We Make A Difference?
I think truck driver education should be mandatory. In driver’s ed, kids need to be taught not only how to drive their cars, but also what is safe around tractor trailers. They need to learn what they can and cannot safely do around the big trucks. If they take a driver and let the kids getting their first driver’s license ride in a rig before they can pass, maybe it will give them some perspective on what can happen if they are stupid. I have seen so many accidents and so many people did not survive. It still scares me today when I watch people on the highway cut off these trucks because they don’t want to wait just that few extra minutes until it’s actually safe to get around them.
It Takes All Of Us To Be Safe
My thoughts are: we should all take just a little more care on the road today. Slow down and give some space, and have a little more respect for each other and the countryside. Don’t throw gallon jugs of urine on the side of the road. Be careful or you might end up on Twisted Truckers. If you want to read up on some of the things that the truckers go through every day, just grab a trucker magazine sometime and read a little.
Please stay alert and slow down. Take your time. A load is not worth your job, your life, or the lives of the other drivers, people, and children that may be in the car in front of or on the side of you. Ask yourself if you can you live with yourself if you kill a child or a family?
When people think about getting into the trucking business, you are told so many cool things. In reality it can be a very cool and rewarding profession. With this job comes lots of rewards, stress, and laughter. If you are respectful, dress well with clean clothes, and shower (or at least wipe down with baby wipes), not only will you look presentable, you will not repel anyone with your smell. If you slow down and are respectful to other drivers (and yes, I know it is a hard thing to do sometimes), it really pays off in the end. Don’t do as others do. Don’t pee in the parking lot. Find a bottle or a cup and dispose of it properly. We all walk in the parking lots and our pets as well. In the summertime, the parking lot smells so bad it will make you sick to your stomach. So, I guess you know why drivers get a bad rap, why some places are forced to shut down, why places have posted for no parking for big trucks. The showers in the truck stops are there for all of us to use, use them at least twice a week. This is for your health and that of the people around you as well. Don’t be afraid to tell dispatch that you need to take a shower. Brush your teeth, too. Bad breath is not good for you or the person you are talking to. You can get some water in the store and use a cup if you don’t want to go into the truck stop bathroom.
Truck drivers have a big responsibility to watch everything they do. We have to try to guess what could happen a few seconds ahead of us. We all need to watch the weather and the road conditions, other drivers, and obstacles in the road, We are the movers of products so the United States will keep moving and growing. Just food for thought: if you think this is a glamorous job, then you need to do your research. It is not, however, it is a great way to see the United States, to be your own boss, and stop to smell the roses.