10 Things To Love Or Hate About Trucking
I drive trucks. I drive for a living. I have been a truckie for most of my life. It has become part of who I am. I joined the Australian Army at 21, got my licence and trucked for over 10 years. When I left, I didn't think I would ever drive trucks again but somehow trucking followed me. It is who I am. Here are the 10 things I love or hate about trucking:
I cherish the mateship among us. You are never alone. There are always other truckies looking out for you. Watching your back.
I love the way Australia is my oyster. I see the outback how few do. Beautiful sunsets, breath-taking scenery, endless skies. Other people travel around the world to see this.
It sounds a bit strange saying this, but it is a nice feeling to have mastered a skill. To be able to do something others can't. To get into a 90t road train and move it with a light touch on the pedal.
I also make good money. Last year I earned over $90k. That is a lot of money in my books. There are many jobs in Australia that pay less.
And I love the freedom out there. You can't feel crowded when you scan the horizon and don't see another car, house or soul. I don't have to deal with office politics or a manager breathing over my shoulder. Between pick up and drop off I am my own boss. I can listen to audio books or music, talk to my mates or just think about things. What other job allows you to do that?
But there are also things I hate. Well, hate is a strong word. Things I struggle with.
The first one is the toll it takes on my family. Last year I was away for 209 nights. That is 66 nights at home to see your family. 66 nights in an entire year. That is not a lot. Most truckies struggle with this one.
Sleeping in the truck when it's hot can be challenging. My Viesa is not much good in humid conditions. Some mining sites like Moomba have 'camp' accommodation but truckies usually don't get to sleep there. I usually sleep in my truck and just use showers provided to truckies. Not showering everyday sucks but you get them when you can.
Another thing I really struggle with is my health. As a truckie you sit a lot and don't move as much as you should. I try to at least eat well. The food at servos is expensive and full of bad stuff. So I usually do my own barbecue by the side of the road. Cheaper and healthier. My weight got to 120kg at some stage but I now weigh 100kg and will never go back to being over that.
The constant risk of fines is also a tough one for me. Truck drivers are more regulated than pilots. Even an honest minor mistake can cop you a hefty fine.
And there is no beating around that trucking is a tough job. Tough and tiring and at times incredibly tedious and boring. Driving straight into the sun for hours. Having the truck break down in 40º C. Being eaten alive by flies whenever you get off. Staying alert on 100km of straight road without a single bend. It is not for everyone.
These are the drawbacks. Every job has drawbacks. No job is perfect.
Trucking is hard and tiring work and there are good days and bad days. On a bad day trucking is what I do to pay the bills. I don't enjoy it. I long for the trip to be over. I almost hate it. But on a good day trucking is what I do because I love it. I love trucks. The way they look and feel. I love driving and feeling the engine's power around me. I love being on the road and going places. On a good day I love being a truckie.