Even though I enjoy what I am doing and am learning so much every day, there is a down side to trucking. This will not affect everyone, but I wouldn't be honest with all of you if I didn't cover the tough part of relationships while on the road. Let me try to explain what I mean.
I started with my company's two day orientation on the 2nd of March. I then spent 6 days at the hotel (at the company's expense) waiting for a trainer to become available. The company puts two trainees in each room so I paid extra to have a room to myself. My wife was able spend a couple of nights with me. I have been on the road training since March 9. My trainer lives in Upstate Michigan. When he is on his home time I get to spend it in a cheap motel. Since it is paid for by the company I don't have any say in where I am staying. Every three weeks he has three days at home. I spent three days waiting on him in March, and I'm doing my second set of three days now. I was able to spend an hour with my wife last week - she drove an hour and a half to meet me at a truck stop. I felt like a teenager - sitting in the back seat of my wife's car in front of Wendys!
Since I've been on the road I have missed my birthday, the birthday of two of my grandchildren, the anniversary dinner for my son and his wife, and a few other family events. Not only that I have had to learn to text message! My long term romance with my wife has been reduced to phone calls, e-mail, and text messaging. Not only have I missed family events, but I fear that the daily routine I had before trucking is gone. I won't be home in the evenings and weekends except for probably two days for every two weeks on the road. Truly this has become my new life. The only thing that makes this bearable is that my wife doesn't work and can spend the time with me.
I have 68 driving hours left and my training should be complete in about 11 days - assuming we get good loads. It is my fear that one of two things will happen: there won't be a truck available and I will have to stay with my trainer or take an unpaid leave of absence; or that I will be assigned a truck and be given two weeks on the road. At the very least I should have a week home first. I also hope I can "test out" in Fontana, California. This is my home terminal and is only 60 miles from home. Am I feeling sorry for myself, and perhaps a bit melancholy and bitter? I guess. Fifty five years old and I get so darn homesick sometimes I'm ready to quit! :-(
What's the point to this dreary blog? Actually it's simple.I just want all of you who are checking out truckin' to know that there may be a down side. Of course these issues may not apply to you and if they don't, then consider yourself very lucky. You will still experience living a parallel life compared to your "pre-trucking" friends. You will still feel like a nomad, always on the move and rarely in the same spot more than a very short time. Be informed of what you are getting into, do your research, and make sure that this is what you want before you invest a lot of time and money.
God bless. Farmer Bob