By Heidi O.
There are many advantages to living over the road while being a truck driver. There are also many disadvantages. I will explain some of these here. I am sure there are many, many other advantages and disadvantages so this is just a small listing to give you an idea.
A) Getting Paid To Travel The U.S. – Being a truck driver, you get to see the states while you get paid. If you work for a company, you go wherever they send you. If you are an owner/operator you go where you book yourself too and sometimes you have time to stop in between loads and see some sights. You can see many things all while getting paid.
B) Meeting Many People From All Over – You will meet many people, some other truckers as well as many others amidst your travels. Sometimes meeting these people can actually change your life or at least have some type of impact on it.
C) No Boss For The Most Part – If you are a company driver, your dispatcher gives you the load assignment and they mostly leave you to drive. If you are an owner, you book your load and then you are left to load and deliver.
D) The Open Road – The U.S. has many states and they are beautiful and unique to drive across. From coast to coast you can find huge forests, mountains, deserts, plains and grasslands. It is an outstanding view and very informative to see how each culture lives.
E) Having your spouse or significant other, children or pets with you. – Some companies allow riders and pets to ride along, and some spouses or significant others obtain their CDL license so they can drive as a team. Check into what company you drive for to see if they allow passengers and/or pets. Some companies also allow children. Check with your company for the requirements of a rider policy. If you are an owner, you are the one to say who rides and who doesn’t.
F) Minimal Bills – When you live on the road, you don’t have the expenses of those who have a house or apartment “back home.” You can keep your expenses low so that you can spend money on what you want to, such as vacations or going to a nice restaurant every once in awhile.
A) Time Away From Home – There is a LOT of time spent away from home whether you are a company driver or an owner/operator because if those wheels aren’t turning, most likely you aren’t earning any money.
B) Irregular Sleep Patterns – While some drivers are able to sleep when and where they want to, many have to sleep when they can. Companies sometimes have split schedules which require day driving on some days and night driving on others, which can cause your sleep patterns to be very irregular.
C) Stress – This is one of the biggest disadvantages to living on the road. If you let the stress get to you, you can be putting your health and well-being at risk. This is the first thing you should do when living on the road is to reduce the amount of stress you suffer from.
D) Gross Facilities – Most truck stops are now trying to upgrade their facilities to make them better for the truck driver, but some facilities can still be just gross. There is no other way to put that. The facilities at a truck stop are just not like home. You also cannot always stop when you have to use the facilities or there aren’t any facilities around so you have to hold it. This can cause you long term health problems if you hold it too long.
These are just a small listing of the advantages and disadvantages to living on the road.
I don’t think I would ever call living on the road a luxury. I would call it a lifetime vacation with pay, but know that a LOT of hard work comes along with all of that! I also don’t think I would call it too rough of a life, but it can be a very trying life to live and it just isn’t for everyone!