There are three major categories of driving jobs: over the road (long distance), regional, and local. Each has some similarities, but there are several MAJOR differences that will be key in choosing which is right for you. Let's start with over the road.
Over the road driving usually entails staying out on the road for at least three weeks at a time. Let me say this right off...if you have a family, and you would like to KEEP that family....stay away from this option. It's a family killer. I've seen it a million times. If you're single, don't have any children, and like the idea of traveling the country and actually living a nomadic lifestyle...this is for you.
When I started driving I was 21 years old. I had never been married, had no children, and hadn't traveled much. The idea of living on the road and seeing the entire country coast to coast sounded awesome! So off I went. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
Over the road is much more than just a job...it is a lifestyle. Traveling the country, living in the truck, and never knowing where the next load might take you becomes your life. Yes, you get to go home every few weeks, but you'll find that you are no longer part of the everyday lives of your family and friends, so you will be treated more like an acquaintance than a loved one. This was one of the most shocking parts of traveling for me. After you've been on the road for a few weeks you're thinking, “hey, I can't WAIT to get home and see everyone! Wait til they hear all of these stories! It's gonna be GREAT!”
Well, no, it probably won’t.
You see, people have their own day to day lives that don't involve you anymore. They haven't seen most of the places you have, they haven't driven a truck, they haven't lived on the road, and they simply cant relate to anything you've been through. They have their own concerns at work, at home, and with their friends. Your stories will interest them for a short bit, but they will soon want to get back to their own lives, of which you aren't really involved in anymore.
The other thing that surprised me right away about living on the road is the ENORMOUS amount of time you spend alone. And I mean ALONE. I'd estimate 20 out of every 24 hours each day you will be by yourself. You will pretty much never come across even one single person you know. It's a life of solitude and strangers. Waitresses, dock workers, and other drivers will be your main company.
The nice part is that truck stops are open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. You can go inside anytime and have somebody to talk to. Anytime. There will be waitresses and other drivers in there and someone is always interested in a talk. Funny thing is, after years of being on the road I got used to this. I came off the road and bought my own house where I live alone.
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