Advice On Being A Trucker's Wife?

Topic 7364 | Page 1

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Jacalyn P.'s Comment
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Hi!

My husband is thinking of getting into trucking, so I'm looking for any advice on making the best of it. He is SO unhappy at his current job; he's been thinking of making any change at all for a long time, but trucking has only popped up as an option recently. We have been poring over this website and it has been SO helpful!

We have two toddlers, almost 2 and almost 4, so I know it's going to be tough with Daddy gone. I have a good friend who has been a trucker and we even got to meet him for lunch on his way through over the weekend and he pointed out that it's a really hard lifestyle for a family man. We think he's going to be a good fit for trucking otherwise though. Is staying in contact that hard? Will video chatting be enough since they won't see him in person very often? If we can talk on the phone and video chat regularly, can we make that work?

We are both really nervous about such a big change (he's been at the current job longer than the 8 years we've been married), but I think it's going to boil down to unhappiness at his current job or the unknown of making the change and hoping for the best.

Any and all advice/tips/suggestions welcome!

Thanks!

Katie G.'s Comment
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Honestly know how you feel I have 5 kid all under the age of 9 and to answer a few of your ?s yes it's hard on the kids and even harder on you it's something you have to get use to and video chat does help but not all the time plus he won't be able to video chat a lot because he will be busy hope this helped a little 😎

Amy P.'s Comment
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It is pretty hard on family life. I've seen some miserable drivers with small kids. However, it is possible to spend a year or so OTR getting his experience, and then jumping to a local or regional route that would put him home weekly, if not daily. Most local or dedicated route companies want experienced drivers because of insurance premiums. They want someone proven to be safe. Is he pays his dues in OTR for even 6 months without incident, it increases his hiring chances at companies that would keep him closer to home. This is what my buddy did. He had three small ones, babies and toddlers, and the OTR made him feel he was missing out on everything. But after 2 years, he got a dedicated route with a company that delivers to Family Dollar and now he's home every night. He's happy as a clam.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

Hoofinit's Comment
member avatar

Hi Jacalyn,

I saw you post the other day and just ran across this page and thought of you. Please read this one page in this book. This spells it all out for people with family's with or without children. Hopefully you can make the right choice for your family.

https://www.truckingtruth.com/book/page23

Good luck to you both, Maggie

Linda U.'s Comment
member avatar

Well Ive got to say being a truckers wife is not easy. I dont know how involved your husband is with the daily running of your household and raising the children. but once he is OTR your doing it all. Do you have a great support system near you (family or friends) to be able to help with any issues. My husband is a truck driver, however we have 3 teenagers, two in college and one in highschool. So the amount of time I have to spend in mommy mode is very small compared to you with toddlers. When I cook I make double patches and freeze smaller portions in metal tins for hubby to take with him. Right now I'm trying to get all the spring clean up done in the yard so when he does come back we can spend time relaxing together, however it seems to take me 3x as long as it would him. I also try to keep busy so I wont have time to think about how much I miss him, it doesnt work I still miss him. My husband always wanted to be trucker but while the kids were small he worked in construction while I stayed home with the children. Four years ago when I went to school to become a nurse he decided to go to school and become a trucker. It works for us, hope what ever choice your husband makes it will work for your family as well.

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.

Red Birds's Comment
member avatar

Fiancé of a trucker here. It's hard. Every day is different. Some days it feels easy; I feel optimistic and upbeat and I can handle it just fine. Other days, however, are harder. We've been together for almost 7 years and he is absolutely my best friend. We have no kids so at least we don't have that factor working against us, but it's hard to go day after day after day without your partner and best friend by your side. Here are a few lessons that I've learned about loving a driver:

1.) Trust him. This is probably the single most important thing I can tell you. You've really got to have a rock-solid relationship built on mutual trust and reinforced with open, honest communication for this to work. Your husband is going to meet a lot of people, and many of them will be women. You need to be OK with this and not constantly be on his case about it or I can promise you it will destroy your marriage. His job is going to be stressful enough without having to deal with constantly being questioned by you about who he's hanging out with/talking to/etc. If you have trust issues, trucking may not be a good fit.

2.) Be patient and don't sweat the small stuff. It will be hard to get ahold of him. He will be working 70+ hours/week and his free time will be limited. If he doesn't answer your call or text you back, don't give him a hard time about it. There will be days when he's exhausted, irritable, and isn't feeling good, and he may not be able to help you deal with things going on at home or be the partner you need him to be. Be supportive and understanding during these times -- not demanding and pushy. Being a trucker's wife will definitely test the limits of your patience, but just remember that you're not the only one. He's struggling with it too.

3.) Learn to handle things yourself. Your hubby won't be able to help you when things break. My water heater broke down recently and I had to deal with having it replaced and installed myself. I've had to learn how to fix a sink and to do my own car maintenance too. It's actually kind of empowering. :)

Also, as a side note, video chatting may be a rare thing -- you have to use wi-fi to video chat, and that gets expensive really fast. Plus wi-fi service is often slow in truck stops. Phone calls and texting will be your primary means of communication, so make sure he has a decent phone. My fiancé and I text a lot of pictures back and forth to each other. If you have smartphones, SnapChat is fun too.

Here's a tip if you want to be the best wife ever: Buy him some nice bedding for his truck bunk. I'm not talking about Walmart's version of nice either. I'm talking *NICE*. I did this for my fiancé and he's told me that every night, when he gets in his bunk, he falls in love with me all over again lol. :) Think of how wonderful it feels to get into a soft, warm, comfortable bed after a stressful, exhausting, 14-hour work day.

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