How do you make trucking enjoyable?

Discussion in 'Shippers & Receivers - Good or Bad' started by TimothyLoves, Nov 17, 2022.

  1. Knightcrawler

    Knightcrawler Medium Load Member

    Apr 10, 2017
    Mpls, Mn
    I drive an 80,000 pound stereo system.

    Oh, and my dog. IMG_20131128_110028.jpg
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  3. Buc

    Buc Medium Load Member

    Nov 17, 2012
    The fact that this ☝ was promptly followed by this ...

    ...Underscores the point of the first.

    Twelve-plus years into this game, I can say that yeah, there are DEFINITELY things about this life that suck, some days/circumstances that may lead you to question why you decided to get that $6000 piece of plastic with a letter A on it. BUT, the thing I've learned is this: if youcwant ti enjoy the road life, eliminate any and all sources of negativity, then learn to manage your thoughts and emotions accordingly. Once you do, then realize that there are definitely a lot of negative nancies out here; that way when you do come across the negative boo-hooing you can see/recognize it for what it is thus not letting it bother you, and keep on rolling. Also, if you remember why you're going what you're doing and you can see the positives that it brings, keep focused on that. (Now, on the flip side, if you're not getting any authentic enjoyment out of this job, then go ahead and make the change for the sake of your own mental and emotional health.

    Beyond all then find ways to make it fun. There's too many different styles of trucking jobs and a whole lot of different companies that run different ways so there may not be a one-size-fits-all strategy to maximizing your enjoyment. Speaking for me, though, I'll say this: the last full-time OTR job I had, almost two years ago, was with a great smaller company (that's since merged into a slightly larger one) that had an even smaller flatbed side. We ran probably 50% preloads and maybe tarped 30% of the time. Average length of haul was probably 1100 miles or so, meaning lots of transcons--which I preferred. And they didn't run the dog out of us; for the most part, we had reasonable deadlines to work with. They told us where to load, where the load went, when it had to be there, and then left us to it. (Oh, and no driver-facing camera, either.) That definitely helped things, considering I started with TMC where it was drilled into our heads to maximize/use every available second of your 14/70 to get as many loads in per week.

    So I had that work ethic instilled in me...and then began to relax it some once my sister talked much sense into me imploring me, while out on the road, to enjoy the sights and sounds as much as possible. Once I finally began doing that, everything changed. If I overnighter or 34'd in or near a city or town that had something to do, I was out the truck, in the town, checking it out. I made points to enjoy different foods where I could find them shoot ad many pics/videos as I could, spend as much time in nature--oh, and once you learn the routes/areas of the country where you can safely do this, get off the big roads and go run those back country roads. It may take an hour or two longer, and you may run into some more stoplight towns, and you WILL get stuck behind Farmer Joe or Bessie Mae back there on those two-lane two-ways...but just checking out the scenery and the roads less traveled will yield some pleasant surprises.

    So that's what I'll add to this discussion...
  4. drivingmissdaisy

    drivingmissdaisy Heavy Load Member

    Jun 10, 2019
    For me the only thing that makes trucking fun is exercising every single day if at all possible, being able to take nightly showers and getting home on time.

    I also find my job much more enjoyable when I have a dispatcher who has a few IQ points more intelligence than the doorknob on the Loves bathroom stall door. I've discovered the enjoyment of my job is 90% dependent on him and him alone.

    I find that I'm not a negative Nancy at all when I have a great dispatcher. Unfortunately, great dispatchers move onto become great fleet managers, vacating their dispatcher positions to be filled by, most likely, a doorknob.
  5. ducnut

    ducnut Road Train Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    100%, on dispatchers.
  6. LoneRanger

    LoneRanger Road Train Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    I live the life style through others without Incurring the costs of ownership.
  7. Willy Wonty

    Willy Wonty Bobtail Member

    Feb 3, 2020
    PNW, almost Canada
    Be medically retired for a year or two. I was pretty happy when I was rolling but I never fully appreciated it at the time. Right now I would LOVE to be stuck in the Seattle traffic jam with a load of kiln dried cedar for Compton. Although the prospect of a night or two at the Ontario TA curbs my enthusiasm a bit...
  8. ducnut

    ducnut Road Train Member

    Dec 31, 2010
    That’s a rough one. Daytime only!
  9. PureLeafTea

    PureLeafTea Light Load Member

    Mar 21, 2013
    Let’s be honest. A lot of whether I enjoy driving comes down to you people reading this.

    do you lift the toilet seat each time? Leave a pile of toilet paper on the seat? Just not flush?

    jump out in front of a truck coming up in the left lane when nobody was behind him and you could have waited?

    do you park on the fuel island all day?

    Are you the deaf driver who is blasting their stereo/tv all night?

    do you randomly blow your horn at 3am in the truck stop parking lot?

    Do you pass and then immediately slow down on the interstate to take an exit rather than just stay behind that person?

    do you tell someone to “shut up stupid” on the cb when all they did was share a bear report?

    do you almost run a driver over when they are walking back to their truck?

    do you steal anything off another man’s truck in the middle of the night like a valve cap, a plug covering the screws in their mirrors, the hub plug…?

    Or do you go out of your way to piss people off?

    on and on.

    instead of asking what can I do to make my day more enjoyable how about asking what can I do to make someone else’s day better? Hmmm.
  10. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    Well I think the first thing psychological for me is I’ve accepted a long ago there’s gonna be good days and there’s gonna be bad days out here. There’s gonna be days that are way more challenging than others and days that are super easy. A few things I do every day to make it more enjoyable? I exercise and I do that pretty intensely. No matter how tired I am I’ll jog in place in the truck and lift some weights if I have time. I also cook my own food pretty much exclusively. This helps me wind down after the end of a long shift. If I know I’ve got a long break which usually happens about once a week or so, I’ll try and get off the truck and do something. If I know I’ve got a long break coming up I’ll start researching the day before and pick a nice area to stop or I can get out of the truck and act like a normal person for at least a few hours.

    I don’t think you can really do much more than the above. I just kind of go with the flow.
  11. Northeasterner

    Northeasterner Medium Load Member

    Apr 1, 2018
    How do you make trucking enjoyable?


    You don't!

    Now, if you want to make it tolerable, there are strategies to do that...
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