Pros And Cons of Being a Truck Driver in Dallas
Peace and Solitude
The Pros of long haul trucking to me included the peace and solitude. There was nothing more pleasant than pulling into some huge distribution facility, teeming with forklifts running everywhere, staff and laborers running around like ants yelling park here, load this, do that, sign this…and there I am scurrying around frantically getting things on board, secured, paperwork organized and lots more. Then, stressed out, tired, ears ringing, I finally, crawl into the cab, crank up the big diesel, roll majestically out the gate and begin a pleasant four day or more trip across the country. Ahhh. yes. Peace and quiet.
I would organize my day so I would wake up first thing in the morning at daybreak, and go brush my teeth. I’d clean up a little, go to the john, and then while awake, but not super motivated, I would slowly head out on the highway. After a couple of hours, I would feel fully awake, rested and feel the gnaw of hunger. Break time. I’d go eat breakfast, fuel up, check out the truck, check in with dispatch, get a shower, and otherwise do all the routine things a trucker needs to do.
Listening To The Radio
Then I would truck on for several more hours – listen to the radio, chat on the CB, listen to a good book on tape or just enjoy the countryside and the pleasure of handling a large heavy vehicle as I trundled from town to town.
Later, I might feel a down time – a nap attack – where I would get a little sleepy. I would pull into the next rest stop, and collapse into my bunk. They had big heavy drapes which when closed shut out all light – even in the harsh deserts on a bright day. I would nap for thirty minutes or so and then get back to driving. From just that short nap, I would be alert and doing good until dinner time. I usually skipped lunch since I would have a late breakfast and then snack during the day.
I would pull into a truck stop and have a nice dinner, relax, play a video game, watch a TV show or two in the lounge, then with the hours remaining on the log, and not ready for bed, I would head out in the cool darkness for a few more hours of night driving which can be really pleasant out west in the big sky country. There are few vehicles out and on a clear night, the stars are bright and clear. Sometimes, in the rolling hills of Arizona, alone in the truck, no one around, it would feel to me similar to what it would be like to handle a space ship deep in space surrounded only by stars. Alone in the vast universe. Very nice. I listened to a lot Stephen Hawking’s books while I rode out there.
Time Away From Home
I had a lot of satisfying experiences while driving that I will not soon forget. It is a very different job and very challenging, The average career for most over the road drivers is less than a year. The time away from home is depressing after a while There is much to do at home and little time to do it. Family needs, personal needs, all seem to pile up.
You also need to be good at budgeting and understanding exactly how you are paid. Too many drivers get angry because they feel they are being ripped off. Many are, but the biggest problem is they often do not fully understand how to maximize their pay. Even as a company driver you are really your own business man and you need to think like a business. Your dispatcher is your customer, You need to make him happy and try to cooperate. Plan ahead, let him know what your needs are days in advance. Don’t wait until he gives you your next load to tell him you want to go home. But you also need to know when to say no. If they are under pressure to get a load delivered, but to do so means making you break a regulation such as hours of driving or some such, you can either agree or stand up and say no. Whatever you decide, you are the one who gets the ticket if you are caught.
In the end, the most important thing and it is really, the only reason you are out there is because of what is inside or on your trailer. That load is your income, your security, your livelihood. Take care of it, do it safely, and do it on time.