A few years ago, the British publication The Guardian published an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) interview with an over-the-road truck driver in the United States as part of their “A day’s work” series.
Below are some of his observations about the trucking lifestyle that our readers might find interesting.
Truckers get up early
Most days begin around 5 or 6 a.m. If the trucker spent the night parked in a truck stop, they can manage their morning ablutions there. Otherwise, they will need to fire up their big rigs and drive to a spot to use the restroom and wash up.
They drink a lot of coffee
Caffeine gets truckers up and motivated, but as coffee is a natural diuretic that increases urine output, they must be strategic about their consumption. Too-frequent bathroom stops erode truckers’ bottom lines.
They have a lot of paperwork
Most people wouldn’t think of trucking as an industry with a lot of record-keeping, but there are logs to keep and records that must be maintained. Technology has shifted the input method for many records to digital systems, but it all must be kept up-to-date and accurate.
They have a lot of down-time on the job
Truckers are paid for the miles they drive, so when labor-intensive live loads and unloads are taking place, they must busy themselves with other tasks and activities. That can come in handy if they need to grab a nap to abide by Hours of Service (HOS) rules, but an annoyance if they are ready to head back home for some family time.
They don’t make a lot of money
Solo truckers who lease their own big rigs may barely break even after expenses. This trucker tried that but now works for a trucking company and gets paid 40 cents per mile. On a good run, he might drive 600 miles per day.
However, that can vary by company, as some companies compensate drivers with “paid miles,” i.e., “as the crow flies” compared to actual miles driven.
They wish motorists wouldn’t text and drive
The trucker noted in the Q&A section of the piece texting was something that he glimpsed often from the cab, as well as the accidents that resulted.
Were you in an accident with a big rig here in Houston? You may be able to file a claim for damages to recoup some of your losses.