How Long Before You Worry

By Heidi O.

Many spouses are at home while their loved one is over the road. Many are without their spouses for days sometimes weeks on end. These spouses keep in constant contact with their partner by telephone, Skype, Facetime, or the various other available ways. However, sometimes, their spouses are unreachable. So, how long do you wait before you panic and call either your spouse’s dispatcher or company or even the police in their last known location?

I have questioned several stay-at-home spouses and received the following responses:

• “Expect the unexpected at all times.” And “Don’t panic!!

Communication with your trucker is definitely the key to a good, healthy relationship, and the worst thing to do when you can’t reach him or her is to panic.

The majority of the spouses at home have come up with the following “Rules of Thumb” to go by before you begin to panic:

1. Before calling the company, try calling anyone you may know he/she is friends with to see if they have heard from them.

2. Check debit/credit cards to see where the last place the card was used (if you have a joint account and can do this).

3. Check phone records to see when or where last call was placed.

4. Some spouses have an app called Life360 downloaded on their phone and their spouse’s phone and they can see where their driver is or has been and this is a helpful tool to keep their loved ones at home calm.

5. After exhausting the above, if (and only IF) it has been 12 hours or more, then the spouse would contact the company or dispatcher if haven’t heard back from their driver. If 24 hours or more has passed, then police would be called with last known whereabouts of their driver.

6. Whatever you do, DON’T panic for at least 24 hours!

Now, if you know your driver has complained about any type of chest pains or breathing problems or any type of SERIOUS medical condition, then it may be time to worry and contact the company. If the driver has a simple cold; however, it is NOT time to contact the company right away. I was told by my spouses at home that they call the company or police as a LAST RESORT ONLY because it truly makes their driver look bad with their company and possibly unprofessional.

In case you ever do have to contact the police in the case of an Emergency, the spouses have given me a good list of what you should have on hand:

• Name & Age of Driver

• Identifying Marks – Such as scars/tattoos or any type of birthmark.

• Physical Description (Height, Weight, Hair Color, Eye Color)

• Any Health Conditions and/or Allergies

• Make, model & color of the truck, along with the unit number, company name, and license.

• Style of Trailer (i.e. Flatbed, Van, Reefer, RGN, etc), Trailer Number, and License Plate

• DOT and VIN numbers for Truck/Trailer

• Recent Pictures of the Driver

This is a good list to have available in case anything were ever to happen to your spouse or loved one. We always pray and hope for the best for the drivers on the road and wish them all safe travels.