I know there are a lot of people who look at truck driving as being a rather cushy job. After all, all you do is sit behind the wheel for mile after mile. There is a lot more to truck driving than just ‘sitting’ behind the wheel. Truck drivers are responsible for ensuring their load is secure; they need to ensure their vehicle is maintained (and inspected for problems); and of course there’s the paperwork (especially log books). But, yes, sitting behind the wheel is a major part of their job.
It’s not all plain sailing. To begin with, truck drivers have to use the roads in conjunction with everyone else, and that can be a nightmare, especially on busy city roads. The real test of a truck driver’s mettle comes off the major roads. Trucks are driven everywhere across the nation, and that includes some small towns that are well and truly off the main highway. To get to these towns, truck drivers need to navigate narrow roads, sometimes unsealed roads that become slush pits with the first drop of rain. Talking of rain, there are times when truck drivers need to cross flooded roadways, with water sometimes coming halfway (or more) up the wheels.
Add in snow and ice, and in summer, very hot days, and truck drivers really do need to work hard to get to their destination. Since the days of the stagecoaches, drivers have always found a way through to ensure their load gets to its destination safely. These are the environmental factors that most people don’t consider when it comes to truck driving. Sure – you are sitting behind the wheel all day, but it’s hard work when you’re fighting that wheel to keep your truck on the road.
It’s not just far flung places that present difficulties. Consider dump truck drivers who navigate through construction sites when its wet and muddy; or garbage truck drivers who are out in all weather, including snow and storms; and even local truck drivers who restock supermarkets with fresh produce – again in all weather. Truck driving is not really a cushy job. It is interesting, it can be challenging, and whilst the pay can be good, the rewards are often less tangible – like beating the environment to get home.