Road Transport – Drivers’ Experiences
Another focus on road transport
“La Presse” published on July 1st an article about the life of truck drivers. Journalists followed two couples, Sonia and Benoît as well as Caroline and Romeo, during a journey from Montréal to Los Angeles. All along the way, a real insight into the life of people who are passionate about road transport.
The essential rule: enjoy being a truck driver
All is said right from the start: to do this job, you must really like it. As Benoît says in the article, if you only do this job for the money or travelling, you will find it very difficult in the long term. It is a hard and demanding job. Montréal to California is about 10 000 km for a return-trip to transport goods – it is an incredible distance and you must love driving.
After 44 years as a driver, Romeo remembers his first day as if it were yesterday. He believes that you must adapt to this job and then love it. He has never felt that he has had to go to work.
Road shipping with a partner is better!
Sonia – Benoît’s wife – told us that for her, road shipping is a change of career: to have more time for herself, more money of course but especially to have more time with her husband.
Caroline loves truck driving as a duo: it is safer for a woman, because, when she drives long distances, you never know what might happen. You must adapt: being 24 hours a day with your partner is not always easy. You have to have good coordination about meals, the driving and especially keep some time to be together.
Sonia likes those moments driving alone, but also sharing time with her husband when he joins her after relaxing in the cabin when she can talk to him about her one-to-one with nature.
Road shipping requires permanent alertness
Coffee is the truck driver’s best friend, says Benoît. Some truck drivers drink energy drinks, but not Benoît because when the stimulating effect dies out, people tend to fall asleep suddenly without realizing it. If his 16oz of coffee and little tricks (let fresh air into the cabin, stop the truck and walk) do not work and that he still feels sleepy, Benoît pulls up his truck to have a rest, even if he has not done his 11 hours of driving. For him the most important thing is to be safe and to rest when he needs to.
Truck drivers’ stops or « truck-stops »
Sometimes because of weather conditions or external events, the roads are closed. There is not always an alternative route and drivers are obliged to stop. There are specially designed areas for truck drivers whether it is for forced stops or simply to have a well-deserved break. They are like a super truck driver center. You can find everything from the hairdresser to a dentist and also clean showers. Practical when you are on the road all the time. There is also equipment and accessories to customize your truck. Romeo remembers that a few years ago, having beds in the back was a great luxury.
Not always easy to be a truck driver
When you are on the road, you must accept to be far away from your family and your loved ones. Truck driving, especially over long distances, means that you may not be able to attend special celebrations (birthdays, Christmas, etc.). And it is not always easy. You know when you are leaving but it is impossible to know what day and time you will return.
Far from the statistics and clichés, these testimonials help us to discover the daily life of these truck drivers: from their joys to their difficulties on the road, enough to change our view of the profession of truck driver.