Why the Long-Haul Trucking Lifestyle Attracts So Many Free Spirits

Long-haul trucking has been an American tradition going back many decades. Since these huge vehicles first appeared, they have dominated interstate commerce.

If you have an 18-wheeler, you can load it up with nearly anything, and you can travel across the country and drop it off at a furniture store, grocery store, or wherever else the recipients need it.

You might consider getting into this profession. It is steady work, and automation probably won’t take it over anytime soon.

You must adhere to the rules since truck drivers can drive 11 hours carrying cargo, and then they must take an extended break. There are a few other regulations you must follow, but generally, there’s a sense of freedom that comes with this job.

We’ll talk about why the long-haul trucking lifestyle attracts many free spirits in this article.

You Can See the Country as Part of Your Job

Much like airline pilots and flight attendants, those individuals who get into long-haul truck driving can see the whole country as part of their jobs. You can visit most states and many parts of America, assuming you are not sticking to a three-or-four-state radius.

You can see the Pacific Northwest and its massive primeval forests. You can visit the East Coast and its many wonderous cities. You can travel across the dusty Midwest plains, where you won’t see any human habitation for miles.

There’s something appealing about that. It might call Jack Kerouac or Hunter S. Thomspon to mind. You’re on the road, just like they were, and you’re experiencing America. If you’re not much of a patriot, you might become one soon if you take this job.   

You Can Stop at Odd Roadside Attractions

You can also stop along the way if you’d like. You need your breaks, even if you have a deadline you must meet. You might check out some of the oddities and strange roadside attractions that make America’s highways and byways so much fun.

You can stop at little souvenir stores and get a magnet or a shot glass from every state. You might display them in your home or bestow them as gifts if you have a spouse or partner. You may buy fun and frivolous trinkets or more thoughtful presents.

You can see the world’s biggest ball of yarn or a bunch of dinosaur statues. Maybe some fresh pies or corn you’ll buy at a roadside stand will break up your time in the truck.  

You Never Have the Same Day Twice in a Row

Some people don’t like their jobs because they can’t stand the monotony. If they’re flipping burgers or standing behind a cash register all day, they may find that restrictive. They might feel bleak and want a change.

You should never have the same day as a trucker, and that’s often appealing if you have wanderlust. You can take different routes every week if you like. You can visit different states and cities. You can stay at tacky hotels and motels.

You won’t know quite what each new day will bring, and some people love that. The sense of adventure that pervades when you’re a truck driver might make this an appealing profession.

You Can Encounter Other Free-Thinking Individuals

You will also most likely meet some interesting people while you’re exploring the country. You will doubtless meet some fellow truckers who, like yourself, eschew traditional or boring jobs. You might also encounter other individuals who haven’t embraced the trucker lifestyle, but they like traveling or wandering around, just like you.

You can talk with them while at truck stops and rest stops. You might sit down in a diner and meet someone who will tell you their JFK assassination theory or that they’re confident Elvis is still alive. They might let you know all about the time aliens abducted them or about how many politicians have lizard doppelgangers.

You may feel like an outsider sometimes, but when you meet some of the free thinkers who frequent truck stops and rest stops in the middle of nowhere, you might feel positively normal by comparison.

You’re Not Stuck Behind a Desk

Some truckers feel they want this job because they’re not behind a desk. They may feel a white-collar job pays more, but it’s soul-crushing. Many truckers like working with their hands, feeling the steering wheel vibrate as they go over a bumpy road, and smelling the vehicle’s exhaust when it downshifts.

There’s a feeling when you get up every morning that you’re helping America run. You’re doing a socially responsible thing, bringing commodities across the country. Maybe you’re getting car parts to those who need them, or perhaps you have the vital food items that American families require.

The trucker lifestyle certainly won’t attract everyone, but some who try it never want any other profession. They may enjoy getting up early, brewing some strong coffee, and hitting the road before the sun rises.

These intrepid souls join a long-standing tradition. They know that even as they make their way toward Milwaukee or Saint Louis, others all around them do the same. When they cross paths, they tip their caps or blast their horns. They’re adventurers who won’t conform, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

All the romanticism aside, you can also usually make a pretty decent living this way. You can make money and save it up till you can buy a house. Once you have that, you’re set up nicely if you feel like starting a family. You can tell someone you’re dating that you have a steady job and you’re bringing in a good salary every month.

Long-hauling trucking marries the intangibles with the practical. That’s why so many people pursue it. If you get into it, you’re joining a fraternity and sorority that welcomes misfits and outsiders. Feeling like you belong can make a huge difference in your life, and you may appreciate that most of all.

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