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Travels of a Trucker The Life of an Underrated Trucker!

December 2, 2011

The Life of a Trucker

Being a trucker is sometimes so underrated. It may seem at times that we are overpaid, or at times that we are most certainly underpaid. Perhaps there will never be a wage parity with those who do less work and get paid more. Perhaps there will never be the respect that should be given in this industry for it to come true. Being a truck driver requires commitment and perseverance. It requires dedication and yes nerves of steel. It requires long, long hours with very little to eat and no one to talk to. It is the perfect job if you are an isolationist and like being alone for extended periods of time. It is a great job if you have a limited appetite. It is a great job if you have toothpicks in your eyeballs. It is a great job if you love driving in snow, ice, freezing rain, black ice and other elements. Being a trucker is what I am all about! Is it you?

Few bathroom Breaks and few Showers

Being a trucker means keeping a strong bladder. For every stop you make it is estimated that the gearing down, stopping and gearing back up can cost as much as 15 minutes per stop. If on the average you stop 2 x a shift you have lost half an hour of driving time. Couple this with stops for food and fuel and any other minor setbacks and your day is wasted with only a few short hours to drive. This means you either drive illegally or you make little money that day. This means your showers usually wait until you have time. Imagine having to sleep in the middle of nowhere without a shower or any other amenity close by. Imagine if you were caught in an avalanche area with a highway shutdown that lasted three days? These things happen quite frequently in the area that I travel and they are quite common. Don’t laugh or think it;s gross, it happens commonly among truckers. I love my showers too, but sometimes sacrifice so you have the latest electronics, booze or clothing keeps me unshowered 😦

Log Books and Pretrips

Being a trucker is not without doing paperwork. We of course have an office too and although we may not sit behind a desk or a computer all day we have our logbooks and pre-trips to take care of. Imagine if you forgot to cross your t or missed a dot on your paperwork. You simply rewrite it and try again. In our industry, missing the t or forgetting to dot the i can literally cost hundreds of dollars in fines. Logbooks and pre-trips are a legal binding instrument through which the D.O.T. keeps tabs on our location throughout the day when they check them. hey are our way of saying the vehicle is safe to drive and that we have performed a thorough check of our vehicle…both inside, outside and under….the vehicle. I don;t know about you, but when was the last time you got under your car to check it? We as drivers are expected to notice every little flaw and every little mistake even if there is 100 pounds of snow hanging underneath the truck or pissing down rain so hard everywhere you go is a puddle. Naturally I don’t carry scuba gear so getting wet is an occupational hazard.

Chain Ups

Being a driver and driving in the winter definitely has drawbacks. If one lives in the midwestern states or in midwestern Canada they can forego this, but in the area I am in, almost every angle except to the West which is ocean is mountains. That means inevitably I will be chaining up. Placing chains on a truck is a crappy job. Getting out, being wet by snow, getting cold and laying down in slush is crap. But hey someone has to do it. I’d rather you than me, but it is sadly not the case.

Very Little Food and a long way to go

Being a trucker means eating less frequently than if we are at home. A large majority of drivers do not have fridges or they work for companies that don;t provide fridges in the trucks. This means they have to spend money for food on the road and we all know what that is like. An arm and a leg into the cash register. Preferentially I would just prefer they take my arm or leg. At least I could have a nice insurance payout and job retraining to do what you are doing as you sit here and read this! But the bottom line is we can and have to go for hours without a decent meal or we binge when we are finished driving and sleep with full bellies which statistically has been proven to be unhealthy.

Little excercise

Occasionally I do get exercise. I get out of the truck, walk to the Tim Horton;s Coffee shop, order my coffee and Donuts to go and walk back to the truck. This is the extent of my exercise. Once in a while I may get to have a longer period of rest when I have to wait in the lineup but usually it is no longer than 15 minutes in a day. I do this about 2 x a day plus stop for fuel. However, joking aside, truckers get very little exercise. If your married to a trucker make sure he at least gets a good sexercise!

Not being paid

Sometimes we as truckers are just not paid decently enough. Those times when the truck has broken down. The hours spent waiting for a tow truc or the truck to be repaired are unpaid. Picking up a load at a shipper is often unpaid for the wait. Dropping a load off at the receiver is often unpaid. Generally and typically truckers are paid for the miles they do. And this doesn’t mean what it says. My mileage for example from Vancouver to Toronto is most certainly not the same Mileage that the dispatch would have. Especially if they go from Postal Code to Postal Code. Some Postal codes can be huge areas. And delays that are caused by weather are often underpaid or not paid at all. As a matter of fact, I saw one company publish it’s waiting times that if a driver was sitting on the road due to his logbook, he would be paid $50 after 24 hours of standby time. $50! I would rather stay at home than be stuck somewhere for a stinking $50. A person needs to earn at least $150 plus per day in today’s economy in order to feed himself let alone his family. A decent company should pay NO LESS than $200 per day regardless if the truck is turning or not if they cannot find a load.

Well that’s enough for this post. I am sure you understand that when I say truckers are underpaid, I mean it. We have a lot of responsibility when it is microscoped. More so than meets the eye on the surface. And Thanks for reading. If you like my blogs please feel free to sign up by email, leave a message or use Google connect. Until next one. Drive safe and keep er sunny side up!


If your a sponsor and want your item mentioned promotionally, please feel free to send along samples, trial versions or test versions. I will try them, and let you know my opinion before I blog it. As always, when you send it, I’m keeping it 🙂

Send to:

Roger Simmons

2130 8th ave

New Westminster, BC V3M2T8



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