Both Sides Of The " Home Time" Coin

Topic 17587 | Page 1

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Seminole Wind's Comment
member avatar

Found this write up & thought I would share to help everyone see both sides : By A.H. Bosley

Being home can be just as, if not more, stressful than being out on the road.

Some company drivers only get 3, maybe 4 days off after being out on the road for 28 days or more. You have some owner operator’s or lease operator’s that can’t afford to be home more than a couple of days.

This is all totally unacceptable, but is the way of the road warrior.

For those of you who don’t drive for a living think of how you feel after visiting friends or family members for a few weeks, in their homes – never really able to relax. It’s not your kitchen, it’s not you bed, and certainly not your bathroom.

You get home and you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. You have to clean the car, do all that laundry, and all you really want to do is take a nice hot shower in your own bathroom, where you don’t have to make sure you have all your shower stuff with you. You can shower in comfort, door-open so it’s not all humid, and all your stuff is right where you put it – and where it shall remain. – Then sit in your recliner or favorite couch and turn on AND CONTROL your T.V.

You can fix anything you want in your kitchen where the refrigerator isn’t the size of a cooler and you have an actual stove and oven. Those that stay out more than a day or so know exactly what I’m talking about.

Since I have been on both sides of this scenario, maybe this can help your loved ones understand how you feel when getting home. I like to be left alone, as in: No demands the first day I’m at home. I just ramble around the house in some comfortable clothes. I don’t want to eat out, go for a ride, or entertain anyone. I don’t want to make decisions for anyone or be responsible for anything. I have been on the job away from home and camping in a tin box for 28 days. I just want to enjoy my house, my stuff, and in my space. Whether I’m mowing the grass or laying on the couch – it has nothing to do with how I feel for my family and friends. I just need to decompress.

Sometimes this takes more than a day.

I have also have been on the other side of the coin – being at home all the time. No one there to help with anything as the honey-do list grows. Responsible for making all those calls, for the appointments, repairs, scheduling, planning, deciding, cleaning, handling all the day-to-day humdrum. Then for those that have children there is the discipline, homework, ballgames, the list is never-ending. All you can think about is: “When is he coming home?” and “What/where are we going to go?” – Which is the total opposite of what he has planned. Thus, the family feud begins.

The life of a trucker or a truckers wife is a hard life, a very different life, with different pressure and responsibilities than most couples have to deal with. There is very little family time and it is the hardest to deal with. The person who stays home has everything heaped-up on his/her shoulders and the one on the road is feeling detached at times, never being able to go to the children’s games, plays, award ceremonies, etc.

– Maybe feeling like he/she is just a paycheck that passes through.

RESPECT each other and try to give and to understand each other’s roles. There are always two sides to every story, neither one more important than the other – but it only works when both halves come together as a whole.

That is why trucking is a way of life not just a profession

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Wow this is really good stuff. Thank you for sharing!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Conversely, some people love to be put on the road and don't see it as "camping in a tin box". Some stay at home spouses enjoy that role also. There's quite a bit of freedom. Some drivers come home and enjoy spending time with their friends and family in a variety of activities.

The article was good, but certainly doesn't represent all drivers or their spouses.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for sharing that Seminole Wind.

I agree Sue. That was only one way of looking at trucking, but a rather common one.

Myself - I was 21 when I started trucking, single, and no children. I was in it for the adventure! I wanted it to be hard. I wanted to stay on the road for months at a time. I wanted to see the entire country 100 times over.

Heck, I even own a camper now and I'm likely going to sell my house and live in the camper til I find another one. That's how much I loved living on the road. It was amazing.

There are a ton of people who would agree wholeheartedly with that article and fortunately for them there is no shortage of local jobs that can get them home every night. Trucking does indeed have an almost unlimited number of options available.

Jason G.'s Comment
member avatar

I've been thinking about this issue a lot because I have three kids and a wife and logically i know when I get home I may want to unwind and veg out on TV, but as a family man I know my mindset will have to be different than that. I've told my wife that once we get into it, my goal on home time will be to be accessible and giving to their needs when I am home. If they want to go to the aquarium we have a membership to or go out for dinner one night, I'm all about it because I know I'm gonna be missing doing that all the other weeks I'm not there. There will probably be things I will have to do when I am home that I won't want to do. Like making sure my wife's car is in good shape. She doesn't normally do the oil changes and such, so I do dread the times where I might have to do the honey do list instead of relaxing and just playing with my kids, but I'm thinking of ways we can make it easier so that she doesn't have to bear the burden of all the home stuff and then I don't have to bear a lot when I'm home for a few days. Like right now I rent so I dont have to do yard work. But I guess if we eventually own that is something I'd have to do on home time or she would have to do. But maybe there's some neighborhood kid who wants to make some money and you can pay them to do this for your spouse and then not having to pay higher price of a landscaper. Same with car stuff, I think my father in law would be willing to help with if she ever has to take the car in for repairs and he know more about that stuff. And he's retired, so told my wife is be willing to pay him for his time if he ever had to help her out taking the car in while she stays at home with kids. She can't take the kids to a mechanic and wait on repairs with three young kids tearing the waiting area up.

So maybe it's just a nice picture in my head that our hometime can be entirely devoted to just family time and enjoying being with each other, but I think it's doable.

My wife was curious with how it would work when our one daughter needs to get eye surgery, like will I be able to get hometime when I want it for those dates. So I assume for a surgery, and it's one where she doesn't have to be in the hospital long, that I'm sure my company would help me get hometime to where I'm not missing out on being there for that. Thats what I told my wife. And then she is also curious about when we want to start looking to buy a house someday, how do we do all that when have to work around my schedule of just a few days each month. But I think that's one of those things we'll figure out.

Overall I think home time can be mostly fun and all family time, but ill try not to get my hopes up too high in the event that my hometime end up being a mixture of chores and family time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

We actually have a group of articles tagged "Family Matters" which talk about this stuff extensively. Some were written by drivers, some by driver's wives, and they're all really good:

Articles Tagged "Family Matters"

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

Found this write up & thought I would share to help everyone see both sides : By A.H. Bosley

Being home can be just as, if not more, stressful than being out on the road.

Some company drivers only get 3, maybe 4 days off after being out on the road for 28 days or more. You have some owner operator’s or lease operator’s that can’t afford to be home more than a couple of days.

This is all totally unacceptable, but is the way of the road warrior.

For those of you who don’t drive for a living think of how you feel after visiting friends or family members for a few weeks, in their homes – never really able to relax. It’s not your kitchen, it’s not you bed, and certainly not your bathroom.

You get home and you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. You have to clean the car, do all that laundry, and all you really want to do is take a nice hot shower in your own bathroom, where you don’t have to make sure you have all your shower stuff with you. You can shower in comfort, door-open so it’s not all humid, and all your stuff is right where you put it – and where it shall remain. – Then sit in your recliner or favorite couch and turn on AND CONTROL your T.V.

You can fix anything you want in your kitchen where the refrigerator isn’t the size of a cooler and you have an actual stove and oven. Those that stay out more than a day or so know exactly what I’m talking about.

Since I have been on both sides of this scenario, maybe this can help your loved ones understand how you feel when getting home. I like to be left alone, as in: No demands the first day I’m at home. I just ramble around the house in some comfortable clothes. I don’t want to eat out, go for a ride, or entertain anyone. I don’t want to make decisions for anyone or be responsible for anything. I have been on the job away from home and camping in a tin box for 28 days. I just want to enjoy my house, my stuff, and in my space. Whether I’m mowing the grass or laying on the couch – it has nothing to do with how I feel for my family and friends. I just need to decompress.

Sometimes this takes more than a day.

I have also have been on the other side of the coin – being at home all the time. No one there to help with anything as the honey-do list grows. Responsible for making all those calls, for the appointments, repairs, scheduling, planning, deciding, cleaning, handling all the day-to-day humdrum. Then for those that have children there is the discipline, homework, ballgames, the list is never-ending. All you can think about is: “When is he coming home?” and “What/where are we going to go?” – Which is the total opposite of what he has planned. Thus, the family feud begins.

The life of a trucker or a truckers wife is a hard life, a very different life, with different pressure and responsibilities than most couples have to deal with. There is very little family time and it is the hardest to deal with. The person who stays home has everything heaped-up on his/her shoulders and the one on the road is feeling detached at times, never being able to go to the children’s games, plays, award ceremonies, etc.

– Maybe feeling like he/she is just a paycheck that passes through.

RESPECT each other and try to give and to understand each other’s roles. There are always two sides to every story, neither one more important than the other – but it only works when both halves come together as a whole.

That is why trucking is a way of life not just a profession

I hated OTR. Spending the weekend away from home at a truck stop, away from my wife and kids, spending money. Only got layover twice, never got detention. It really sucked. I am doing local intermodal now with JB Hunt and I love it. Home everyday, off 2 days a week, PTO. It's awesome. I was able to attend my sons first band concert. If I need a day off, I just ask my boss. And the money is great.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

Intermodal:

Transporting freight using two or more transportation modes. An example would be freight that is moved by truck from the shipper's dock to the rail yard, then placed on a train to the next rail yard, and finally returned to a truck for delivery to the receiving customer.

In trucking when you hear someone refer to an intermodal job they're normally talking about hauling shipping containers to and from the shipyards and railyards.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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