The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen in my life was on Highway 495 heading northbound into Towaoc, Colorado. There were colors shimmering within the clouds that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. The light was magic, and fleeting. Even if I could have pulled over to snap a few photos I doubt I would have been able to capture the experience.
I’m sure I’ll see more impressive sunsets somewhere, but probably not from the seat of a big rig traveling through Colorado. As of this writing, I’ve been off the road for almost a month. I initially intended to take only one week off to meet my wife at the airport as she returned from being abroad for three months. A few days to clean our house which had essentially been unlived in for three months, and a few days to catch up with my love after being apart all summer. That was the plan, anyway.
It is a bit complicated how that one week turned into four, then turned into maybe forever. The very short story is that my father passed away a few years ago, and his estate has been stuck in probate for most of that time. Concurrent with my wife coming home, we finally got a hearing in probate court. After sailing through that, I made a decision to stay home to finally close accounts, transfer titles and shuffle all the paperwork that had remained unshuffled these past years. Hello Notary Public, I haven’t talked with you in a while, here’s the newest stack of forms we’ll need to go through.
That said, I will be honest, I have not been that excited about truck driving for a while. I know it’s only been five months. The shine came off that rose awfully fast.
Here’s a quick sample of some the reasons I didn’t want to continue to be an OTR trucker after only five months:
- I like sleeping in my own bed too much.
- That’s not to say I had bad nights in the truck, often I slept really good. But if you look at trucking like you are camping out every night, which essentially you are, it becomes a drag. And, it’s nice not having to walk the length of a football field in the middle of the night just to go to the toilet. Or, having to piss in a bottle. Which brings me to….
- Truck drivers are disgusting.
- I don’t want to come off all Felix Unger here, but there’s only so many times you can brush your teeth in the same sink that a hundred other truckers just spit into that morning. Or, you know the thing where someone plugs up one nostril to blow snot out the other? Then cough and hack up phlegm into the same sink. Then I’m supposed to brush my teeth and/or shave in this same sink that Patient Zero just used? Pass.
- The money wasn’t really that great
- Don’t misunderstand, the money was good, and that was just starting out. And from everything I know, the money in transportation only gets better, often much better. But….
- I got tired of working 14 hour days
- And that was the rub. When you factor in working constant 10, 12 and 14 hour days, and begin to actually look at it with a “per hour” metric, with no overtime ever, then it really was a poor return on your work day.
- I never want to be stuck in L.A. traffic ever again
- Never. The 60, the 710, the 210 and the 405 freeways can all go rot as far as I’m concerned. And I promise never to complain about “traffic” in Vegas ever again.
- I wanted to get off the road before winter
- I’ve never even driven a car on a slick, icy road in winter, let alone a 75,000 lbs big rig. And don’t even get me started about my lack of understanding about chaining tires. No. Just…no.
- I’m a big pussy
- Without question, no argument here.
- I love Las Vegas
- This is the one that surprised me the most. Everywhere I went wasn’t home. I visited some very cool places, and some that I will actively try to visit again soon, but over the months, I began to live for those days when the assignment finally took me back to Las Vegas. Back to home. I never thought I would feel this way about this city. And I’d rather just stay here.
I’m on the job hunt again. I have my CDL, it’s still in good order, so I’m primarily looking for local driving jobs. The catch is that most require at least one to two years experience. We’ll see what happens.
I think I might evolve this into a “job hunting” blog, actually. The trials of a 48 year old with only a Bachelors Degree in Art and outstanding Excel skills who is just trying to make his way through a stagnant economy.
Turn all the wheels, indeed.