Since I started the blog, I wanted to make sure it was as real as it could get for a new truck driver. A lot of the blogs have been really positive. Getting through the first few months has been fun, interesting and tough all rolled up into one! One thing about me is that I'll tell it like it is, so this blog will also include some of the frustrations I have felt - especially the last few weeks during this long run I've been on since just a couple days after Christmas.
I have wanted to run the truck as long as I could with me writing the blog and not having a significant other (I will have to change that soon!). I am finding out quickly that the mental part of trucking is a drain as well as the stresses your body goes through in the truck seat every day. After this latest stretch, I have found myself wanting to take some time off. I just want to get out of the truck, relax and enjoy a few days away from the road. In the 3 1/2 months I've been doing this, I have taken just 2 "home times" (2 days apiece) and another short 1 1/2 day break. Needless to say, I'm ready for another break.
One of my biggest frustrations has been making sure my directions to the place I'm going to are good and that I'm confident that I can get there with no problems. I swear, the biggest stress of my day comes within about 5 miles of the place where I'm going to pick up or deliver. The best directions are when I'm able to get ahold of the customer to get directions and/or listen to a recording to get directions. I'm telling you, I have learned the GPS can get you close, but if you rely on the GPS to get you to the place, every time, all the time, you'll be in trouble! I guarantee it. I also always ask if there are good truck signs for the entrance. They're usually pretty helpful with that. I have had to spend some "quality" time looking up a phone number to call the customer to get good directions as the number I have is a number they won't answer or a fax number. This can be very frustrating, but after spending some time digging through things I can usually figure it out.
I have also learned how to better deal with my Fleet Manager. When I'm on a long run like this, it's very interesting what small things will start to irritate you. After the 100th time a 4 wheeler passes you, cuts in front of you only to proceed to slow down, your nerves can really get rankled! And it's always about that time your Fleet Manager will send you a message...LOL I just always remind myself that I'm the one deciding on these longer runs and if I'm getting irritated easily, then I need to ask for some "Home time." 4 wheelers are another totally different animal and getting frustrated with them would put you in a pretty bad mood all the time. So most of the time I just shake my head at what they do and keep an eye out for what they're going to do next!
Overall, I think I'm adjusting pretty well to the lifestyle. I have moved so much in my life that the traveling isn't bad at all. In fact it's fun. Another frustration though that has come from all the moving is not having a microwave or cooler fridge yet. I can't afford to pick these items up yet, but I'll be getting them soon I hope. I know I need to start eating better and making healthier choices. But small steps for me at first. I'll get there.
I have seen so much of the United States already and there is nothing better than cruising down I55 on a sunny day, with the window cracked, your favorite CD or mp3 tunes playing and then you realize you're getting paid for it. That feeling is very nice indeed...even with the small frustrations.
Take Care and be safe.. Wayne
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