trucking lifestyle

5 Ways the Trucker Lifestyle Impacts Families

Some people like the trucking lifestyle. They might own an 18-wheeler, or they may only use one when a company hires them. Either way, if you’re a trucker, you might find the time on the road appeals.

With 11 million commercial trucks on the road yearly, you can often find industry jobs without much trouble. You must get the proper license, though. You must also practice the necessary skills if you’re pursuing this career. Some try driving huge trucks and find they have what it takes, while others don’t have the hand-eye coordination this profession requires.

If you’re a trucker and live alone, you can come and go with absolute freedom. If you’re a trucker with a family, though, you should know how the job can impact the other members. We’ll talk about that in detail right now.

1. You’ll Usually Have a Steady Income

There’s a good deal of economic uncertainty right now. Automation keeps making its way into various industries, and that’s bothersome. Some individuals who have had a steady job for years may not have one going forward. Their position might disappear if there’s a way their company can automate it.

Self-driving trucks might hit America’s roadways at some point, just like self-driving cars. Many companies have prototypes on the roads, though they mostly use closed courses. In time, they may feel the technology can pilot these vehicles, and they’ll get them out in high-traffic areas. For now, though, no one can buy a self-driving car or a self-driving 18-wheeler, either.

That means if you get into the truck driving industry, you can probably enjoy job security for many years to come. Once you get your license and can demonstrate your skills, you can sign on with a company and have steady work.

Steady work means a steady paycheck, and your family should appreciate that. You can put clothes on their backs and food on the table. Other parents who are out of work and scrambling might feel envious. 

You can predict how much money you’ll bring in each week or month if you keep driving the same routes and follow the established routine.  

2. You’ve Got a Huge Vehicle in the Driveway

You can either buy an 18-wheeler truck or use one your company gives you. If you do the former, then you must keep it somewhere.

In some neighborhoods, you’ll see an 18-wheeler’s front portion sitting in the driveway. Even without the trailer full of goods attached, you can’t help but notice these massive vehicles. Shorter people can barely scramble into the driver’s seat without a boost.

Your family might not appreciate this behemoth sitting in the driveway. Most garages can’t fit these monsters. They don’t have either the overhead clearance or the necessary width.

It’s usually a minor inconvenience, but if your spouse or partner has a regular-sized car, they may have to park it on the street because your truck hogs most of the real estate. If they keep their vehicle in the garage, you must move the truck’s front portion any time they’re going out.

If you have teen drivers in the family now, they may complain as well. You can usually figure out a way around these issues, but for families with a truck-driving head of the household, they’re a minor nuisance.

3. You’re Not There for the Kids as Much

You may have a steady paycheck if you’re a truck driver, but you’re not physically there as much. That might mean more in some families and less in others.

If you have kids, you probably want to watch them grow up. You should also have a physical presence in the house when the youngsters need homework help or when someone has romantic questions or a bullying problem at school. If they’re in Little League and want to play catch with you in the evenings, you can’t do that if you are not there.

The fact remains that truckers spend a lot of time on the road. It’s part of the job. If you do this for years, your kids might resent you. They may like that you’re bringing in a steady income, but you may miss a lot of special moments. You should consider this and think about whether it’s worth it.

4. You’re Not There for Your Spouse or Partner as Much

You will also not be there for your partner or spouse as much. Even if you don’t have any kids, if you’re in a committed relationship, your other half may feel neglected if you’re on the road several days out of every week.

Like having a family member in the military, they may grow used to it eventually. Still, it can strain a relationship. It’s like dating someone long distance. If you’re not around very much, your partner or spouse may feel lonely. They may even start looking elsewhere if they have emotional or physical needs and you’re barely around.

5. You’re Setting a Good Example

Some possible negatives may go with the trucker lifestyle, but you shouldn’t ignore the positives. For example, if you’re putting in some long hours every week and making money, your family members can see that, and it might inspire them.

If you have kids, you’re showing them that you’re a good provider, and in the future, they may do the same thing. They might not have the same job, but they’ll know that if they work steadily, they’ll provide a stable environment. They may forgive you for not being around so much because of that. They’ll appreciate what you’re doing for them and the family unit.

Trucking can help families but also potentially harm them. You must weigh the potential positives and negatives if you have a family and you’re getting into this profession or at least considering it.

If you don’t have a family, that makes the decision easier, as you can come and go as you like. With a family, you must weigh this choice more carefully.

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