When Steve Viscelli decided to write his 2016 book, The Big Rig: Trucking & the Decline of the American Dream, which he explained is an academic work that many readers have found informative, entertaining and mainstream, he knew he had to get behind the wheel of a Class 8 to truly understand the driving profession.
“I drove in 2005, ” he noted. “I had to do that work in order to legitimately interview drivers. You can’t get a sense of what truck driving is like just talking to people. You have to live it. It’s so physically challenging; it takes over your whole life. You can’t just go do it for a few hours. You have to, like, be on the highway for that 4th of July weekend. It’s hard to understand what that’s like until you actually do it.”
Viscelli found his way into a cab full-time.
“I signed up like anybody else, through one of the big companies. I filled out an application and they sent me a bus ticket, then went to their training school.”
Facts About the Truck Driver Way of Life
There are select occupations you ought to first discuss with loved ones before even considering applying for a job in the field. Truck driving is one such occupation.
In many ways, being an OTR (over-the-road) or CDL driver is more a lifestyle than a job. Its demands, particularly upward of 300 days per year on the road, will certainly limit what time you spend at home, thus impacting relationships with those around you. And because it may be two years before you can move into a regional driving position that allows for you to return home weekly, instead of once every three weeks, spouses or partners deserve some say in your deliberations before you decide if driving a truck for a living is for you.
Be prepared when you need emergency truck repair in Minot, North Dakota
But if you’re attracted to flexibility, 20 hours of solitude each day, and following a different routine from the rest of the population, then this career is definitely worth exploring.
In Minot, Early Birds Only
Days can begin really early. Many drivers like to move with the light; others prefer to drive through the night. OTR truck drivers don’t have set starting hours, unless they’re calling in to dispatch after returning from “time off.”