When I started driving truck 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 long haul trucking insurance it probably wont.
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 can’t 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.
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. Trucking is 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 truckers 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. I found myself going up to the local truck stop quite a bit because I was used to having people to sit and talk with anytime I liked. I missed it. So it just goes to show that you can learn to enjoy almost anything once you’ve gotten used to it.
Now the money part of over the road driving is great. With most companies you will get paid by the mile(there are some exceptions I’ll discuss later) and will almost never, ever have to unload any freight. If you are willing to do a lot of driving and would like to make as much money as you can without burning yourself out, you can expect to make around $35,000-$45,000 your first year, and anywhere from $40,000-$55,000 from your second year on. The days are long, but all you really do is drive.