Some Background

It was the same old question that only varied by the region, ethnicity and age of the person doing the asking.  “What’s a purty little thang like you doin’ drivin’ that big-rig?” says the big, burly driver at the fuel desk of the truck stop.

“My goodness!  Did I just see you get out of the drivers seat?  Of that truck!  How on earth did you learn how to do that?” says the little old lady in the restaurant parking lot in VT.

The answers I wanted to give depended on my mood and how tired I was.  Like, “Because I guess they ran out of big, fat, ugly guys at all the truck driving schools”.  Or, “Screw those pin curls in that blue hair a little tighter ma’am, and welcome to the 20th century where women actually can do the same job as a man”!

It’s a fair question.  One for which I don’t have a definitive answer.  At the time I made the decision to go to truck driving school I was about to lose my job, was having marital troubles and possibly going through a mid-life crisis.  I felt smothered and dreamed of jumping on my motorcycle with a change of clothes and taking off to… where?  I had no idea.

I don’t even know how I first had the idea of driving a truck.  When the idea hit my brain I couldn’t think of a better way to escape than to combine two things I loved – traveling and driving, and still bring home a paycheck.  As naïve as this sounds, I really thought I could make it all work, my marriage, my new job.  Turned out not to be the case.

What’s hard to explain is that truck driving is not just a job, but a way of life.  Not just for the driver but the driver’s family also.  I loved what I did but it took its toll – on me, my husband at the time and my parents and siblings who had to deal with the fallout.  But after driving over-the-road for several years, it was because of trucking that I met someone new.  And after a year or so of cross-country dating, I decided this person was someone worth coming off the road for and having some semblance of a normal life… whatever that is.

So now that I’ve been off the road for several years, people still want to hear “road stories” and find out what the trucking life is all about.  And they still ask that same question – why on earth did I ever want to become a truck driver.  After telling some of these stories I’m usually told that I should write a book.  I’m not too sure about that.  But since I’ve always enjoyed writing, I have decided to take the time to write a bunch of them down and post them on this blog.

As you read these, keep in mind that they are still in “rough draft” form.  My objective is to just get as many of these stories out of my head and down on paper.  To that end I don’t do too much editing.  They are in no particular order as it has been over 10 years since most of these stories happened.  I also usually use initials instead of names to protect the identity of people who didn’t ask to be a part of this.  All of these stories are true but I have embellished to the point of combining two or more events in order to explain some of the intricacies of the trucking industry.

Keep in mind that up until the last few years that I drove there was no such thing as cell phones.  Calling my dispatcher, the shipper or receiver meant finding a payphone.  That was the only way to find out where I was going, get directions, and each call was on my own dime.  There was no such thing as GPS so maps were a must.

If I’ve piqued your interest then this is your invitation to climb into the jump seat and ride along.

Feel free to leave comments and ask questions.  I’m also open to critique.  If there is something that doesn’t make sense please let me know.  I do use “trucker” phrases and terminology in most of these stories.  I plan on writing down the definitions of these at some point.  For now just ask me.  If you like what you read you can sign up to receive new posts by email.

Content posted in this blog is for my use only and cannot be used, quoted or copied in any way, shape or form without my explicit written consent.

Responses

  1. What a great new project!!! I’m ready to read all you have ready. I know it’ll be a success. Love from Buster and Sandy…

  2. I enjoy hearing these stories, keep em coming
    Linda


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