This post was inspired by a fiancee of a trucker who asked for any advice or tips on joining her trucker on the road. In this post I am generalizing that the truck driver is a male and the potential accompanying passenger is a female. That being said, I do want to give a shout out to all female truck drivers, you are all a badass bunch of women, and who knows maybe one day I will join the likes of you! If you read this post, please share with your friends and family. I would love to start a movement for more partners to join their drivers out on the road when they can, I feel this experience will help keep relationships close!
The Internet is where most people’s information comes from these days, when my husband first started to drive I wanted to know everything I could about being the partner of a truck driver and every now and again I would get these little nuggets of crap from people talking about how terrible truck drivers are, how they’re all on drugs and they cause all the accidents on the road. It is this type of misinformation and ignorance that gives truck drivers a bad name, because in our society we tend to be fueled by negativity and if we don’t know the true facts we are unable to educate these misfortunate individuals (who were obviously not hugged enough as a child!) As Donny Osmond said “one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch girl” but more often times than not, a few irrponsible truck drivers seems to be the “poster boys” for all others. Just be there to give him support, help out with little tasks he might have, make sure he’s getting enough rest and eating healthy enough and you should be fine!
Any vehicle with four wheels, your standard cars and pick up trucks and even vans are considered four wheelers by truckers. When my husband became a truck driver to found myself far more aware of semi trucks on the road therefore I made sure to keep safe distance wall behind them, be sure not to cut in front of them and when I needed to merge into their lane to make sure to give myself plenty of distance. When a truck was in front of me and needed to merge into my lane I would give a quick flash of my lights to let them know it was safe to move over. However the general public on the road is either unaware of these things or chooses not to acknowledge them, so be prepared to see how 4 wheelers usually treat big rigs. My husband has gotten flipped off for inconveniencing people by going too slow (ie; he is required by company to not exceed 62 mph on the highway and people get stuck behind him). The first few times it happened, I took it personally because there was no reason for that gesture, however it seems to just come with the job. Being elevated in a truck gives you a less obstructed view of the road than small vehicles, like traffic stopping up ahead or accidents on the side of the road. While we all are supposed to move over or slow down for disabled vehicles, trucks are required to move over one lane, however it can be very difficult to find motorists that will let you in or move over themselves to allow you the room, this is something that frustrates my truck or to no end. For those drivers who are trying to do their part to keep the road safe they sure do find it difficult for 4 wheelers to do their part. You will find many times especially in traffic that your trucker will have to slow down quickly even though it will take him longer and you will have to go with further distance be prepared to take deep breath and hold on to the door handle is necessary. I have learned to stop gasping (like my mom used to do when my sister and I first started to drive and she had to be in the car with us), it is just distracting to your trucker and at that moment he needs all concentration on his driving.
Truckers Are Gross!
Again I quote Donny Osmond and his apples… you will learn to ignore the “full bottles of apple juice” (or trucker bombs as they are called) that tend to be littered around truck stop parking lots , I promise. More often than not when we are at the few islands I will see truckers exit their truck with bags of garbage and place them in the proper receptacles.
Lot Lizards: if you have not heard about them yet, that might be a good thing. I learned about what they were from random groups online. Basically they are parking lot prostitutes and unfortunately there are truck drivers who are either single or do not believing monogamy and will succumb to these women. I have personally never even seen one but my husband says he has seen a few from afar in other states. There are drivers will put stickers in the window that say “no lot lizards”. I told my husband I want to get one for our truck, mostly for those females’ protection because believe me I will do more then kindly ask them to leave us alone.
Drugs & Alcohol
Companies do random screenings. My husband got one 2 weeks ago just because. If they find out the truck driver has been drinking or doing drugs, whether through screening or otherwise they will lose their job. My husband has not had a sip of alcohol since he left for his CDL training, the responsible truck drivers wouldn’t go near the stuff.