Truck drivers are a unique group of people, a group of men and women from all races and religions. The one thing that they have in common is that they spend their days and nights driving the highways of the world. There are drivers that only drive close to their home town, which allows them to be home with their families most nights. The group of drivers that I wish to tell you about are the ones that are only home a few days a month if that.
The world of over the road truck drivers has improved over the years mostly due to technology. My grandfather retired in 1969 after spending 32 years in the cab of a truck. He drove before the invention of cell phones or small portable computers; he would call home only once a day from a pay phone. But the fact was he spent most of his time alone, with only a radio for company.
Truck drivers today have cell phones, computers, and nice sleeping quarters in their trucks. This makes their days a little more comfortable. The truth is they still spend the majority of their time alone. The cell phones allow them to talk to loved ones whenever they feel the need, computer technology even allows them to see their loved ones. Unfortunately this technology does not make it possible for them to hug their spouse and kids before they lay down to sleep each night.
You must understand that most of these drivers love what they do; it is this love of the open road that allows them to be happy living such unconventional lives. Loving what they do might make it a little easier to leave their families for days or months at a time; however, it does not make them any less lonely. The cell phones make it easier to help solve problems at home, make business decisions, or just have daily communication with family members; but they do not replace the needed hugs and kisses.
Loneliness is just one aspect of a truck driver’s life; they also deal with a heavy stress load. They pull large heavy trailers through bumper to bumper traffic, sitting for hours in traffic jams, as well as driving in terrible weather conditions in order to make a delivery deadline. They deal with irate customers because a load is an hour late due to a wreck that had the highway shut down.
There are good things about a truck driver’s life, they get to meet many interesting people and learn of many different cultures. One of the most wonderful aspects to the world of over the road truck driving is that they get to see places and scenery that most of us can only dream about.
The men and women leading these unconventional lives are responsible for transporting and delivering the goods that most of us just take for granted will be on the store shelves when we need them. These are the people that we depend on in an emergency to get the necessary supplies to those that have been ravaged by Mother Nature. They are responsible for transporting the building materials that make it possible for our large cities and small towns to grow. Basically, they are the heart of our economic growth and prosperity.
So the next time you are sitting at a traffic light grumbling about how slow the truck in front of you is moving, please remember that the driver of that truck makes it possible for you to have access to most of the things that you have around you. Remember that driver might have been away from his family for weeks or months, so instead of grumbling or making mean gestures, smile and wave. You might just make their day, and let them know that the unconventional and lonely life that they lead is appreciated.