We make every attempt in our CDL training through Premier Truck Driving Schools to help new students understand the kind of lifestyle they are embarking on as new truck drivers. A question we hear quite frequently is that of how much time over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers have to actually see and experience the places they visit. That is a good question. After all, most of the sightseeing truckers do is through the windshields of their tractors as they run down the interstate.
One of the things we like to relay is that when they are on the road, wherever they are is home. This concept is easier to embrace for drivers who do not have families waiting for them to come home, but even family men and women can make the road their home for as long as they are away. It is a simple matter of mindset. In fact, that’s where sightseeing comes in.
See the Country
It is not uncommon for companies such as C.R. England to start new drivers with OTR jobs – as long as they meet minimum age requirements as mandated by federal law. It is during these OTR experiences that the drivers begin to understand that they will spend the next several years of their careers seeing the country. They will have opportunity to visit places that would otherwise have escaped them had they not joined the trucking industry. That alone can be quite motivating.
The question then becomes one of actually spending time sightseeing. We tell drivers that wherever they are is home, and we tell them that for a reason. If they were not truck drivers, most of them would have 9-to-5 job. Would they sit in their living rooms watching TV for two days straight? Most would not. They would get out and do things.
The truck driver is no different – even when he or she is on the road. There are days off. So on those days, why sit alone in the tractor or a hotel room watching television? Why not get out and enjoy the local area? There are things to see, places to go, and experiences to be had.
Find a Way to Make a Way
We understand that truckers face certain kinds of challenges in the realm of sightseeing. First of all, they have no means of transportation other than the rigs they are driving. If they are independent operators, they want to limit the number of non-work related miles they drive on days off. That is understandable. However, drivers who find a way to make a way can succeed in getting out and enjoying their surroundings.
Sightseeing while working over-the-road requires a certain amount of creativity. Those drivers willing to think outside the box can do what they want to do. They can park the truck at a hotel and catch a cab to a local nightclub. They can catch a bus to a local beach and spend the day soaking up the sun. They can go shopping for the kids, enjoy a fine dining experience, and even go catch a baseball game.
Over-the-road trucking does offer its challenges, no doubt. But it also offers a long list of benefits. One of those benefits is being able to see the country. As a truck driver, wherever you happen to be on any given day is home. So make the most of it. Get out there on your time off and see the local area. You will be glad you did at the end of your career.