Life on the road…


…on 18 wheels that is.

What kind of office do you have? If you have a desk with a view, does the scenery change on a minute-by-minute basis?

Consider all the jobs that people have. What comes to mind? For example, if you think of a teacher, do you think of an overlord type of person ruling a bunch of rowdy kids? Or, do you think of the rotten people who happen to teach and end up in the headlines because of being arrested for abusing their position? How about something positive? Do you ever think about hard-working men and women who not only care for other people’s children, but create innovative and exciting things for children to learn and grow on?

What’s that got to do with driving a truck? Well, it’s simple…people don’t always hear about the amazing men and women who not only work hard every day they are behind the wheel, but also the kind of work that goes into prepping for a trip across the country. Teachers prep every night for the next school day just like truckers prep for each trip. And, the good ones put a lot of themselves into their job.

Ok, so maybe I’m just a tad biased…yes, this is a story about my truck-driving MtnMan husband.

Prep time

On Sunday, the day before his next trip out, my husband decided he wanted to prepare ahead of time for his trip out. So, I tagged along, since we only see each other every 7 to 14 days. And because I am just as impressed with his work attitude as he is with mine, I thought I’d document his prepping through my lens.

The truck’s cab is not only part of his office, but also his home away from home. Breakfast, bed and entertainment are a part of his office/home…

Safety awards, a Valentine’s Day card and a wedding photo adorn the walls to remind him of accomplishments and home…

After getting information from the dispatcher on which empty trailer to hook up to, we head West on the highway to pick up his load headed for Lubbock, TX.

We pass co-workers on the road as we approach the distribution center. He drops his empty refrigerated trailer in one lot for the distribution center to load and prep for the next driver and then we head to the lot where full trailers await their pick-up.

This is where the next set of safety steps comes in. Each trailer has a different amount of cases or pallets inside, making the weight and weight distribution varied. So, he has to balance the load and watches the air pressure on a gauge to make sure the balance is just right. Today, balancing the load meant he also had to use his chock blocks. The backing up and pulling forward required to balance out the load wasn’t working out properly because the landing gear on the trailer wasn’t catching the way it needed to. For more info on what I’m talking about, check out the video tutorial from this long-haul trucker…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After getting the trailer safely balanced. We head over to billing pick-up to pick up the company’s bill.

And then, wave good-bye to the distribution center and head back to the company lot to weigh the trailer and park the truck for another 12 hours before he heads out.

Like I said, my husband is a hard-working trucker. The mileage he has on this particular truck tells all. His total road miles in the 22 years of being an over the road trucker (OTR), is approaching 3 million miles.

What does he haul? Well, as he puts it, he hauls party supplies…beer and beef. This time out on the road is gonna be a long one…about 12 days worth, and will take him from Colorado to Texas and then back up north to New Jersey… a little more than 4,000 miles round-trip.

 

Total prep time on this particular Sunday morning, including grocery shopping for his home away from home = 3 hours.

Being married to an OTR trucker?

One of these days, I might join him on a trip out. But, for now, the two of us truly appreciate time together and time away.

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