TruckingTruth logo

Why Do People Decide To Become Truck Drivers?

by TruckerMike

It seems like nearly everyone has considered the trucking lifestyle at one point or another. For me, it started back when I was just 4 or 5 years old. I can still distinctly remember looking out the window of our old family van on road trips, wondering what it must be like to drive those big trucks. Where are they going? What are they hauling? What is it like to span the entire country in less than a week - and then do it all over again? Why do they look so darn cool? There was something so mysterious and romantic about truck driving.

stevens5.jpg

Of course, as a kid, I was more than a decade away from being able to drive a big rig. So to wet my appetite in the meantime, I’d play with my toy trucks on the living room floor. Well, that was until I discovered a Radio Flyer wagon tied to the back of a Schwinn bicycle was much more realistic! Yep, I was hauling around cargo (anything I could find in the garage) with no destination in mind. I was just a kid having a blast pretending I was a trucker. If you’re interested in truck driving, chances are you have childhood memories like that, too.

Sometimes Life Goes In A Different Direction

But my life, like the lives of so many others, took a different path. Somehow the dream faded. I stopped thinking about truck driving entirely. Instead, I followed the path that was laid out before me, just like all the other kids where I grew up. It was a path that took me in the opposite direction of truck driving. The end result? I became a truck driver anyway.

Times They Are A Changin'

In late 2008, I was laid off from my job. No more income and no more security. And that was during the worst economy since the great depression. Panic time! What was I to do? Luckily, I remembered my childhood dream. I was certainly qualified and the timing was right. Am I crazy enough to do it? Do I take that leap? After quite a bit of research, I decided to go for it. That ended up being the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I now know that I’ll never go back to a corporate office job ever again.

But not everyone gets into trucking because of a layoff or because it was some dream of theirs as a child. In fact, some people don’t even consider it until they are well into adulthood while holding perfectly stable jobs. A huge number of truck drivers are retirees or those who just want to experience the unique lifestyle. Some see it as an opportunity to travel the country and better yet, get paid to do it. I’ve met everyone from high school dropouts to former dentists and commercial pilots. Everyone has their own unique reason for trucking.

Trucking Is A Lifestyle

One thing to remember is that truck driving is not a job. It’s a lifestyle. You will work long hours and be away from home for about 3 to 6 weeks at a time. The money isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great either, especially considering the number of hours you’ll be expected to work. This should not be a “last resort” type of job. If you do this for the money and do it because you simply need a job, you’re setting yourself up for a big disappointment. This has to be a lifestyle you truly want. A challenge you’re ready for. And an experience you crave to have.

If the lifestyle sounds like your cup of tea, then get ready for a wild ride. Get ready for that first day behind the wheel while your leg shakes from nervousness. Get ready for your first mountain pass with 80,000 pounds pushing you downhill. Get ready to see some of the most beautiful sights in the world as well as some of the most rundown parts of our major cities. Get ready for independence and solitude. Get ready to meet some incredibly unique people in some even more incredibly unique places. This is truck driving. It’s a crazy lifestyle, but it might just be the change you’re looking for.

Until next time, drive safely!

TruckerMike

by Brett Aquila Brett Aquila

More From TruckingTruth:

Related Articles:

My Recent Trucking Adventures - Quite A Challenge

by TruckerMike

Sometimes trucking trips go very smoothly, and others are incredibly challenging. This is the reality of truck driving. Are you up for the challenge?

How A Husband And Wife Became Interested In Trucking - Part 1

by rbradyjohnsen

When our business began to really struggle due to the economy and our children were raised and on their own, we decided it was time for a change.

Questions And Answers For A Truck Driver

by TruckerMike

Here are the answers to 17 questions about being a truck driver I'd like to share with anyone who may be interested in becoming a truck driver.

When Will I Know If Trucking Was The Right Career Choice?

by Brett Aquila

Becoming a truck driver is a big career choice. When will you know if you belong in trucking, or if you should walk away? Read on - we'll let you know

More Boot Camp Stories From My Time In A Company-Sponsored CDL Training Program

by SharBear

Going through a company-sponsored CDL training program is no bed of roses. Here are some of my experiences and some challenges you can expect to face.

A Trainer's Perspective On Teaching Students How To Shift

by TruckerMike

I recently became a certified CDL instructor and I was given my first students to train on shifting gears. Here's the story, and some advice for newbies

CDL Testing Day From A Trainers Perspective

by TruckerMike

After four weeks on the road with my student, it was time for him to take his CDL exam. We were both very nervous. Testing day is incredibly stressful.

OTR Training- Week 1: Patience And Perseverance

by lucky13

CDL training will test you in so many ways, and it will go far beyond your ability to drive a truck. It will also test your patience and perseverance.

The Unexpected Call

by TruckersWife09

Home time is precious to an over the road driver and their family, and it's painful when it gets cut short by an unexpected call from the company.

Important Truths For Rookie Drivers: Surviving Your First 6 Months

by lucky13

So how does a new driver survive their hectic, stressful, tiring, demanding, and incredibly challenging first 6 months on the job? Here's my advice...

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only are they fantastic, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! So sign up now and get instant access to our member's section, including:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Private messaging for more personal questions
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

About Us

Picture Of Brett Aquila
TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare you for a great start to your trucking career.