Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is Long-Haul Trucking for Me? And Other Thoughts...

Trucking. So-called "Professional Tourism." I think it's really calling to me. Is it for me?

I wouldn't be leaving anyone behind, I don't really have anyone. I don't even know what I would do with "hometime," I'm really not attached to Reno sentimentally. I guess I'd probably pay my parents some money, for them to move into a bigger apartment, or start renting a house, and save me a room in that spot to come back to every now and then. I've read that you get about 4 days off per month to be at home.

I've ordered a couple of books on the subject of truck driving, one written by a man and the other written by a woman. They are geared toward making the decision of "Is truck driving for me?" And I'm going to read them before I do anything. There's also which has a ton of REALLY good info and message boards.

I want to see the country. I want to visit every state, and if possible, take my hometime in different places, stay in a motel or something and go exploring. I've read that many truck drivers without too much family obligations don't keep an apartment, house, or even car, and live out of their truck all year round, traveling. I don't know if I could really do that, I'm too attached to my art stuff to really give that up. Which is why I'd probably get a room with my folks.

I love my parents, I really really do. I don't want to live with them, and I don't want to see them all the time or even really talk to them all that frequently - it's painful for all parties for some reason. But they've had a really rough life, and I think it would be totally amazing if I could help them buy a house. Then, either it would be passed on to me, or if I decided to start buying my own before they pass, I could do that too. 34,000 a year- first year, to me, is a lot. It's more than twice what I've been making. And you get a raise after your first year and second year in most cases, I think.

And since I know how to live poor, I could totally save up tons of money in the bank. It would probably be a process, you know. I'd start by just trucking for a while - crashing on my parents' couch if needed for a couple of days here and there. Then once I'd feel I was making enough money, got enough in the bank, ask them to get a place with an extra room for me, and start shooting them "rent money" toward it, followed by the next step of helping them actually buy a house.

Things don't always happen the way they are planned, things often come up unexpectedly or things change and you end up changing your mind, and I understand that. But I really feel this. I'm 26, and I don't fit in, and I feel like this could be what I've been searching for. And the pay is good enough to help me start a REAL LIFE and have a REAL HOME somewhere, eventually.

At the same time, I don't think I necessarily NEED to have a home to go back to. If my parents... well, in complete 100% honesty here, if my parents continue to be total assholes like they have in the past, I may choose to eventually leave them out of the picture. I think we're beyond that, I think that now that my parents are in their 60s, and settling into themselves and their situations, them both being retired, my mom having her meds settled - I don't expect to see a whole lot of crazy drama from them any more. But, I could be wrong - I don't know.

Then again, it's hard because I can't really hold their mental illnesses against them. Just like I wouldn't want anyone to hold mine against me, especially not family. I don't know, it's a fine line with them between them being ill and them using me and being total emotional and monetary vampires and sucking me completely dry. So I'd really have to test the waters and feel out the situation.

Regardless of all THAT- I think the freedom of truck driving would be really refreshing. I need to find out a lot of things, I have sooo many questions about it. I'm not going to jump in, head first, without any real information ahead of time. I'm so glad I'm being smart about it, and taking my time to learn what I can.

I want to know what truck stops are like- what pay showers are like- what kind of space and how much room there is for personal belongings and clothes there is in the cab- if you have to take your hometime at the same place every time- what kind of info there is about violence against truckers- and about 1,000 other questions float around my mind.

I can't stop thinking about this. I have to find out more information or I will just BURST.


  1. Wow, what a change you are proposing, sounds like you have been thinking hard about it though. I admire your determination and creativeness. I think my biggest concern would be safety first, and leaving friends and pets behind (or can they go too?) Do you need to take special tests to drive a truck, we do here in the UK, we need something called a Heavy Goods Licence, (HGV) and then there are further tests for different cargoes, like armaments, nuclear, chemicals, etc. Will be interesting to see what you decide Beverley

  2. Persephone, hello! Do you go by another name or do I know you from somewhere? I'm just wondering. If not, it's so good to meet you!

    As far as safety goes, I am only slightly concerned about it. I grew up poor and although it sounds maybe a little cliche, I have a pretty good eye for danger and can usually avoid it long before hand, and if needed, I can totally defend myself. There is a thread on about this very topic, and I'm going to look into that more as well. I think that in recent years the general safety of truck stops has increased SO much, it used to be that they were infested with prostitution and pimps, drugs, violence, etc. but it has cleaned up quite a bit. I'm sure that stuff is out there but I can avoid it and keep to myself when I spot it.

    Some companies allow pets and some don't. A lot of truckers, from what I've read, have dogs with them. My dad told me once that many truckers have cats with them, although I don't know how true that is. I have two cats now, and it would be really tough on me emotionally to give them up, but I might be able to keep them with my parents, possibly. I really don't know what that plan will be like, yet.

    There is trucking school, which is 3-6 weeks or so depending on which school it is, and then you have to take a written and a driving exam to get your Class A license which is probably about equivalent to your HGV. Then there are other endorsements like you mentioned, for sensitive materials and other things.

    I will keep everyone updated on my investigations of this, and my decision in the end as well, and then, who knows, I may turn into a truckin' blogger and show you all the sights as I go along!

    Thanks for your comment Persephone and you have a lot of good questions!

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