I like Lucinda. Not only is her name really close to The Evil Overlord’s name (Lorinda), but she was also kind enough to drop by, read “Go to bed angry” , and leave a comment. I love getting comments, largely because it means someone other than my mom is reading the blog. So here’s what Lucinda wrote:
What are your thoughts on a wife joining a husband on the road when the children are grown, more as a companion not as a co-driver? This is what we have been thinking of doing. We have our own authority so we would be free to schedule loads to places we want to visit and stay as long as we want.
Well Lucinda, that’s a good question. My initial thought was, “Wow. This lady must be really bored.” However, after some deliberation, I thought, “Wow. This lady must be reeeeeeeeeally bored.” Seriously though, I see what you and the hubster are after.
The little critters that used to laugh while peeing in your face soon evolved into pesky ankle-biters, who eventually matured into know-it-all teens. Before you know it they’ve changed into human beings. That’s when they move out and the freedom begins; both yours and theirs. Better hurry! They’ve got four years of college before the inevitable move back into the parents house. Time for some fun. Time for a job that pays you to travel. That’s what we’re talking about here.
I think that the last sentence of your comment is the key. If the hubby was a company driver, I’d have second, thirds and possibly even fifteen thoughts about this, primarily because you have little or no choice regarding your destinations. Company drivers know this well. So do Owner/Operators. A what?
Now Lucinda has been a trucker’s wife for a long time, so I’m not telling her anything new here. I’m speaking to my non-trucking readers now. A quick lesson for ya. Company drivers are simply hired hands. We do what the company tells us to do. Sometimes we even do it without whining. We drive company-owned trucks. Although there are exceptions, typically, company drivers have little choice over what loads they get and where they go.
Owner/Operators, or O/O, are a step up, or down the rung, depending who you ask. They own or lease their own trucks, and can set them up any way they want. Although they are their own company, they usually associate themselves with a larger carrier. That carrier gives them a bunch of loads to choose from. So in that regard, they’ve got more choices as to where they go.
But Lucinda’s husband has his own authority. When a trucker has their own authority, they’re in complete control. They own their trucks and they have the “authority” to book their own loads. They can do this through sources of their own or load brokers. They can go anywhere they choose whether they’re loaded or empty. Of course, if you’d like to see Niagara Falls, it’s always best if you can find a load to Buffalo. May as well get paid to go there. (Thanks to @lawsonbulk for his help with the different types of trucking.)
Now back to Lucinda. The last line of your comment was the most important. If you’re truly looking at this as a way of working and vacationing, then having your own authority is the only way to go. I give you my blessing, not that you needed it. Still, there are some things you should beware of, especially since it doesn’t sound like you’ve spent much extended time in the truck.
When I started responding to your comment, my mind immediately went to a couple of my Twitter friends. @luv18wheels has been a passenger riding along with her husband for a long time. I asked her advice and here’s what she had to say:
First of all she best make sure that her and hubby get along really well in their relationship. Because as you know first hand, there’s a lot of stress on the road and arguments about decisions made while on the truck can really get heated. I rarely get bored as I have my PC, Twitter, Facebook, and navigate directions for hubby. I also use the Qualcomm for him to speed things along, and I like to read. Also, having a pet on the truck can be very entertaining, and they are good stress relievers. Plus, you have to take them for walks, which is good for the both of you. When I’m back on the computer we rarely interact, so when I do come up front it’s like a visit, and then we can talk about what’s on our mind. Heck if she wants alone time she can pull the curtain and go in the back to read or watch a DVD. There’s a lot to see in this beautiful country so boredom has never been one of my issues. We also have Satellite Radio, which keeps us up to date on what’s going on in the world, and it entertains us as well. Just being in a truck with only the space of a large closet can cause problems in the relationship if you don’t get along well in the first place.
Thank you Pat, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Although watching a DVD in the bunk while we’re bouncing down the road would probably make me blow chunks from here to Hawaii. But as I said in “Go to bed angry”, getting along with your potential co-rider is paramount. Being married for several years doesn’t necessarily mean that you can be stuck in a tiny space with them for weeks on end, especially if you’re not used to being around your long-haul-truckin’ spouse. This goes for Lucinda and anyone else thinking about doing this.
I also think Pat’s advice on finding a hobby is important. Pat’s thing may not be your thing, although I expect her having multiple hobbies has kept her from going stir crazy. Just find something to keep you busy.
Another passenger-only Twitter friend, @CB_SnowAngel says that she doesn’t have to worry about getting too much of her boyfriend. She says he’s so focused on the job, that it sometimes feels like she’s not even there. So if Mr. Lucinda is a focused-kinda-guy, maybe finding alone time won’t be an issue. Sabrina also backs up Pat on two things. If you need to get away, escape to the bunk area. She too, thinks that a computer is a great way to wile away the miles.
So, Lucinda. Other than what you’ve already heard, I’d suggest one more thing. Take it slow at first. Only plan on staying out on the road for a week or two at a time. If things get stressful, you can look forward to getting home and away from that annoying person.
However, if you and the hunk-of-burning-stud are having a blast, stay out and have fun. And if you ever get to Niagara Falls, look around and see if you can locate my buns. I’m pretty sure I froze them off there one cold January day.
*So, do I have any riders out there? Have any additional advice for Lucinda? Or maybe you’ve got a specific question. Leave a comment and we’ll see if we can’t get it answered. Thanks.*
Tags: co-driver, company policies, forced dispatch, home time, relationships, rider policy, team trucking, The Evil Overlord, truck, truck driving, trucker, trucker stories, truckers, trucking, trucking industry, trucking jobs, trucking life, Twitter