Here is why I love being a trucker

Being a trucker is more a lifestyle than an occupation. Everything you do revolves around the company and the truck. Demanding an upward of three hundred days annually on the road, trucking can have severe repercussions especially on relationships with those closest to you. However, if you're attracted to solitude, flexibility and constant change then you will definitely love being a trucker. To fill you in on what to expect in this line of work, below are some of the reasons why I love being a trucker.

Paid to Travel

The biggest advantage of being a trucker is arguably the opportunity to travel the world, and still get paid while doing it. Depending on the type of company you're contracted to, the travel itinerary can either be local or international. Regardless, it still translates to a new adventure as you're likely to land in new places you've never seen and heard of, with the opportunity to spend any layover time exploring the same. Adopting a more proactive approach in acquiring a guide to plan and point out all the interesting sites to visit ensures each stopover has been thoroughly appreciated. Basically, the experience is what you make it, but it is crucial to be realistic. Similar to many others, trucking is a job, and thus means you have obligations. However, you are not only being remunerated to traverse the country, but you also have enough time and money to indulge yourself than could ever be possible at a regular desk job.

Job Security

If you're in the market for a new career it might as well be a stable one, right? Due to the shortage of drivers, job security in trucking is surprisingly high, particularly in today's disconcerting economy. Seeing as it's a necessity for goods and raw materials to be transported, truckers are an important cog in the machine, and right in the thick of the action. While things may slow down sporadically, if you become a dependable, responsible trucker then your job security is guaranteed. With only a license from an accredited school, you can be a truck driver anywhere.

Freedom

If you work best under no supervision, then you will love being a trucker. Trucking provides independence at work, as out on the road, you're the boss. On condition that your performance is reliable, trucking gives you freedom to go about your activities and indulge your proclivities. You hate wearing the uniform? Great. Ride naked. You need a break, you take a break. You are pretty much just given a deadline for arrival at your destination. Thus, it's up to you to manage the time prudently in order to reach the destination on time and within the legal guidelines.

Meet New People

Besides travel opportunities, trucking affords you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and forge new connections in different trades. With networking imperative in this contemporary society, these connections could be invaluable in some of your future endeavors. Trucking is like a breath of fresh air with each trip, and ideal if you're the type who flourishes on being unencumbered and free to mingle.

Solitude

The peace and tranquillity of the haven that is your truck gives you the opportunity to profoundly reflect and contemplate. Trucking allows you to spend time with yourself and is perfect for those who don't require constant human interaction. It offers respite from a number of challenges common in regular office jobs such as gossip, a hostile work environment or even micromanagement. Additionally, you can create your own environment, listening to positive vibes and working towards making improvements to your personality, habits and character. You can only identify your flaws and weaknesses through keen introspection, and this is only possible by understanding your person. Life as a trucker gives you ample free time to do this.


Choosing the Right Tires

How should you choose the right tire for your track and your track conditions? I’ll also talk a little bit about tire compounds. Before I get into tire selection and the whole process I just wanted you to know that I have literally reached out to a few different all my friends that are top pros and I've asked them their opinion and at the end of the day this is really more of an art than a science.

You'll see that some pros like, for instance, on a short course you’ll notice that some pros like to run the same tires front and rear where some pros will try to run a much tamer tire up in the front of the car to just smooth it out. So at the end of the day there is a lot of art in this. There is science behind it, but there's a lot of personal preference that goes on. So I'm just going to give you some basic rules of thumb and some guidelines and hopefully it'll help you out in general. Probably the best way to find out the tire that seems to work the best is just to go look up the fastest guys at your track. Generally those guys have done their homework and they've done some testing and even if they don't have the best possible tire usually it's a pretty good starting point. So in general checking with your fastest guys is best but here we go.

So a pro line tire is for low dust usually a damp track indoor. I have seen these used in different compounds outdoor like a hot rod that shoots out when it's grooved up. Another one is a pro line suburb. This is for the same thing it's for like an indoor, a little bit more dust, a little bit less wet, toward the dry side and then you have a holeshot. Now this is generally an outdoor tire although I have seen guys put these on the front of short course trucks to smooth out the steering. Other tires you're generally going to be using in a clay compound especially indoors.

When you go outdoors and you would go out to like the M2, M3, M4 or the X2, X3, X4, that type of thing. So the holeshot is going to be for very little dust outside and then you have the stunner.

The stunner is the type of tread pattern, which is one of my favorite types of tread patterns because it's somewhere in between the holeshot and the blockade, but basically this is for very, very little dust. These tires can all be used in different conditions or for different driving styles or different set ups, different driver preference. I wouldn’t swap between holeshot or blockades.

I actually asked a top driver a few questions before writing this article and he said basically he confirmed what I'm sharing with you now, but he did say that there are a lot of different conditions that you might want to change how the vehicle responds or sometimes you get tracks and have really big ruts in them and so a softer tire might catch ruts so you might actually run a harder tire even though they don’t have the best lap time just because it makes the car easier to drive more consistent. Like I said tons of personal preference going on right here, but those the general rules.

I want to talk a little bit about tire compounds for minute. For the most part when you're indoors you're generally going to use clay tires, although, I have seen guys use M3 and M4 with good success depending on the track conditions as they change. Believe it or not on my own home track when we first put the track in everybody ran M4 and super soft tires inside, but as the track came around now we all run clay tires. So I'd love to tell you guys exactly what to do, but there are only guidelines, there are no hard and fast rules. So outside as a general rule when it's up at 95 or 100 degrees you're probably going to want to run on something like an M2. As it cools down a safe to say 75 to 85 degrees you're at a M3 and then it cools down even below see 75 degrees and into the sixties you definitely want to be on something like an M4 as a general rule.

So that's about all I have to share with you guys and in general tires are by far the most important part of your set up there, bar none. I mean there is absolutely no question that tires can make or break your race program and having a good selection of tires in a variety of different compounds is always nice, but if that’s not something that you can manage I would definitely go talk to your fast guy to see which tires he's running and that is a good starting point

Hopefully you guys learned something from this article. See you guys next time.


How to Get Box Truck Leasing

box truck leasing

When you’re looking to get a box truck, one of the top questions is always can I lease a box truck?  The correct answer: yes.  In this guide, we will show to you that even if you have less than perfect credit, you can still get a box truck lease.  If you have excellent credit, you can lease a box truck.  If you’re looking to learn more about box truck leasing, this guide is for you!

For part 1 of this series, please see What if you're trying to buy a box truck.  Thanks again to On Specialty Truck Finance for providing the help for this guide!

In this guide, we will cover:

  • Leases for Box Trucks
  • Costs to Consider for Leases
  • Information about Box Truck Lease Programs

Overview

Whenever you’re looking to get a new box truck for your company, you will often see finance companies online instantly push you towards their box truck loan programs for a variety of reasons, though, many of the other giant financiers don’t provide the option for you to benefit from a box truck lease.  In this guide we will show you that there are multiple ways to get your new box truck in operation-mode, and one of the ways you can get your box truck is with the lease option.

Box Truck Lease to Own Option

In the world of specialty trucks, like, box trucks we know a lot of people prefer to lease a truck rather than buy a truck.  Though, if you’re not as familiar with box trucks and other commercial vehicles, you might not know that the lease option is available for you!

Choosing to lease a box truck can be a sound option for many business owners.  Whether it’s a standard box truck or something more specialize, like a refrigerated box truck, lease options provide more flexibility for you as a lease frees up capital which might be better spent on other core business activities in your company.

Of course, the “devil is in the details”, so you will want to assess your options carefully to ensure that the box truck lease to own option truly is in your favor, though, you might be surprised at how common this financing option is more many small to medium size companies!

Cost to Lease Box Truck

One of the considerations for you choosing to lease a box truck rather than buy a box truck certainly deals with the numbers: the cost factor.  Since there is no perfect information available out there on the web for the average cost to lease for box trucks, we wouldn’t want to mislead to report otherwise.

The cost to lease a box truck is based on a variety of factors, including, your credit score, the price for the box truck and payment schedule.  Box truck lease rates have a tendency to fluctuate, too, based on interest rates.  The way to know what is possible for you in determining the exact box truck lease cost for your specific circumstance is to talk with a lender to help you understand what it would take to provide box truck leasing for you today!

To talk with a specialty truck finance expert now, fill-out the simple online application.

Otherwise, you’ve got to trust that the misleading information providing you accurate “box truck leasing prices” out there on the web is just hogwash.

Box Truck Lease Programs

What you might want to consider, though, are the box truck lease programs available for you.  There are many companies which provide box truck lease deals for people considering buying a box truck.  These types of programs often change all the time, though, some of the truck lease programs can provide very favorable rates.

Many of the box truck lease programs available also don’t require you to have excellent credit!  Just do a search for “lease box truck bad credit” in a search engine and you will come across a variety of programs (both good and bad); so you’ll have to do your homework!  Though if you’d like to eliminate a lot of the heavy lifting on the front-end for finding a box truck lease program which meets your goals, we’d be happy to help you now.

Summary

Getting box truck leasing really isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be, and sometimes there are huge benefits for choosing to lease rather than buy your box truck!  Though there are advantages to going with a lease, some people choose to buy a box truck.


7 Ways to Upgrade Your Truck For Off Roading

 

Here are 7 ways to upgrade your off road truck for optimal performance.

Tires: better tires can give you significant traction and handling when you're off road. That's because they have better traction. They also will increase your clearance when you have bigger, beefer, taller tires. And because of the curvature they will be able to impact obstacles at a higher point on the circumference, which gives you better climbing ability over obstacles like rocks and logs in the trail. Also they look great so you’ll find yourself flying down the interstate with testosterone flowing through your veins just after pulling out of a tire shop.

Lift: Of course it would be great if you got a lift. There are two ways you can get a lift with your truck. The first Is a body lift. You actually get in between the frame and the tub and you add space. This means the driver and passenger sit higher. The entire tub is lifted higher off the frame. Not a big improvement of off road performance because you don't gain any clearance. The axles and the frame are all still at the same point and underneath there’s not much space added. You do get a little bit because you add in some space in the wheel well so it can be a cheap way to help add much bigger tires. The second way is a suspension lift. That’s higher, bigger shocks, bigger springs, which will allow you to lift the entire truck frame engine, all of that, higher off of the axles. The axles are still staying in the same place, but everything else has now been lifted. Specifically your breakover point spot in the middle underneath your truck. That will be higher giving you the ability to climb over and clear bigger obstacles.

Axles: any good off road build will at some point evaluate the axles you have. Largely because you’re going to be pushing those bigger tires you need to make sure you keep spinning, but also because there's ways to enhance your performance. So should you upgrade your axles, should you replace them all together? Two common upgrades are in the differential. You can add lockers, which can greatly improve your traction off road you see essentially a four wheel drive vehicle is only two wheel drive with standard differentials. In the upgrade you improve your traction and performance of your truck. Also the gears inside the differential or set of gears need to be matched to the tire size you have and to your transmission to make sure that you're gonna keep everything in sync and keep the engine running at optimal RPMs. Also it's crucial that the gears in your front axle match the exact same ratios the gears in your rear axle. You have to keep all that together so any good build you need to evaluate do I keep these axles or do I need to upgrade?

A great way to improve look and functionality is through armor like a bumper. Beefing up your truck and protecting it from obstacles off road on the trail will make it last longer and help keep maintenance down and actually allow you to do more stuff. A winch fits in the front hole in the bumper and it gives me the ability to recover if you get stuck in the mud or if you get up an obstacle. It allows you to ride along with others and rescue them. It also allows you to do trails that are probably beyond your current skill level because you have a self rescue device. When hooked up correctly a winch can be used to pull you forward, which can be used to pull you backwards. One of the best upgrade you can do is add a winch.

Another great upgrade is not what you do to the truck, but what you put in it. Make sure that when you go off road you've got a full set of tools and spares to help get you out of a tight spot. I got a parachute bag loaded with a bunch of stuff that I might need. Spare tire is obvious, but I've got a jack, I’ve got recovery gear and straps and shackles. I've got the jumper cables. I've got a bag just full of tools that I know work really well on my truck, the right sizes and stuff for most the common tasks. Spare fuses, I had a problem with a lot of fuses going out for awhile so I bought a whole bunch of them just to make sure I always had plenty. I got a gas can with a bunch of extra fuel in it. Stuff that'll help make sure that if I get in trouble or if a friend on the trail gets in trouble I can help get them back to where they're going.

Another great upgrade is not to the truck at all and it’s not what you put in it, it's the driver. If you know how to drive the truck well, what it's limitations are, what your limitations are, and what it's capable of you’ll be able to go a lot further safely and you know when you need to stop. I've seen people that have pretty basic stock vehicles do some amazing stuff. I've also seen people that have really tricked out rigs get stopped by some of the silly stuff just because they didn't know how to properly drive for that obstacle. Spend some time learning how to do that. One quick tip, it's pretty basic but when you're driving off road the goal isn’t to have the big off road obstacles go right under the middle of your truck. The goal is actually to put your wheels on them. Your tires and drive up over them. That's what the truck is designed to do. Lift you and everything up over that obstacle. That takes practice and know how to know what you can drive over and what you can't, what’s too big, what’s not.

Keeping your truck in peak off road performance is crucial by maintaining good maintenance. You don't want spark plugs going out when you're up on a pass somewhere deep in a trail. That’s not the time to find out the you should just change the oil or clean out your air filter. I want to mention a little bit more about you mechanic. Whether or not you're comfortable working on your car there are always jobs that are best left to professionals. Let your mechanic handle jobs out of your comfort zone.


What if you're trying to buy a box truck?

buy a box truck

We get it.  This blog is filled with ideas to give you an idea for life on the road as a trucker.  One of our friends in truck financing came across an unique twist -- could we help people who are considering actually considering buying a small to medium size truck?  We decided to give it a shot!  Here's a first of a series -- specialty truck financing - thanks to our friends at On Specialty Truck Finance.

Buying a Box Truck

When you’re looking to get a box truck, you'll surely be wondering about how to obtain the financing for the truck, and whether you should buy or lease the box truck. In this guide, we'll assume you've made your choice in wanting to buy a box truck with a loan.  If you’re looking to buy a truck with box truck loan, this guide is for you!

In this guide, we will cover:

  • What to Think About With Box Truck Loans
  • What to Consider With Box Truck Lenders

Overview

We will assume at this point that you have identified the type of box truck you want to buy, and are ready to learn more about getting a loan for your box truck.  To get a box truck loan, keep in mind that several factors will be considered in your loan application, including:

  • Your credit history
  • Your revenue (in the business)
  • Other factors (eg assets for collateral)

With these factors in mind, let's dig into the process to get a box truck loan.

Box Truck Loan Down Payment

Oftentimes when applying for a loan, you will be asked to provide a down payment.  Though the down payment varies, usually a financier will want to see some amount put down on your end to know you're serious.  Since there are many loan types available, we won't get into the details for down payments, but it should be a consideration when you are considering the mechanics for getting a box truck loan.

Box Truck Loan Interest Rates

As it often does in the finance world, interest rates for box truck loans depends on a variety of circumstances.  Wouldn't it be great if there was just a standard rate?  Depending on the type of loan you choose, you will want to consider the interest rate when getting a loan for your box truck.

Box Truck Loan Lenders

Okay, in case you weren't already aware: all box truck lenders are not the same.  You can do a search online to do your own research, but lenders come in a variety of flavors.  Some lenders provide favorable rates, while others won't.  Some lenders specialize in providing loans for commercial trucks and equipment, while others just enter into the business because they want to expand their offering.  You will have to sift through all of this if you do your thorough research to find the lender for you.  All we ask is that you give us a chance to let you know why we might be the perfect lender for your new box truck!

Summary

Securing a loan for your box truck is very important for acquiring your box truck and putting it into operation, but you want to ensure that you're going about it in the right way.  If you have determined that applying for box truck loan is the right move for you, we look forward to reviewing your application and providing you with a fair deal.  Get in touch to speak with a qualified box truck loan specialist today!


It's Time for Trucking Vocabulary

I figured I'd do some vocabulary for some pretty trucking specific terms that elsewhere in the world have a different meaning than what they do specifically for trucking.

So the first term is a twin screw. What that is, it’s essentially a truck that has two drive axles. It doesn't mean the truck is supercharged. The gearheads out there know that a twinscrew is a type a blower, it isn't that. It’s usually referred to as a three axle truck because it has to drive axles.

Next up is a lot lizard or retread, which is pretty much a hooker that that hangs around truck stops.

A weed burner is a big rig that has the exhaust that dumps underneath instead of the stacks that go up over the cab.

A chicken coop is a essentially a weigh station.

Ice skates or the term throwing iron is just snow chains.

A mud duck is a weak CB radio it is not a racial slur so if you hear mud duck over the CB it means your CB is weak.

A day cab is a truck that doesn't have a sleeper on it.

Next up is caps, retreads or recaps. in most states that I know of they’re illegal to have on your steers. Some companies will put them on your drive axles and you'll definitely find them on your tandems on your trailer. What they are is a tire that's been worn out and that they've either grooved or they’ve put a new tread section on. A lot of truckers don't like that because if they run low on air because no truckers like to check the air pressure they'll heat up and the new tread will separate off the tire.

Next up, a term that you'll hear with great frequency on the online forums is a supertrucker. Pretty much what it means it's a jackass. It's a guy that you know goes 35 miles an hour through a truck stop just parks right in the fuel lane after he fuels up and goes inside and takes a shower. Those trucks you know take up the fuel lane for 45 minutes. He's a guy that you always see at the terminals and are always talking about Yea when I was teaming we did 8500 miles a week and then he's also complaining at the same time that he’s not making any money. Every time you go to the terminal he’s always sitting there. You know he's the guy that says he’s always driving through the snow that’s undriveable. He's just a blowhard that's a jackass. Pretty much a steering wheel holder with a big mouth.

A steering wheel holder is just a truck driver that’s either new or doesn't know what he's doing.

A hot shot, it's not a firefighter, although it is for the US forest service. I was a hell shot at one time, but what it is is the guys that you'll see with the medium duty or like a 1 ton or 1.5 ton truck with a 3 or 4 car hauler on the back of it. They’re referred to as a hot shot. Sometimes over the CB you'll hear the term hot shot you know one guy to another guy that just means you know he thinks he's hot stuff.

Wiggle wagons, a set of doubles or triples is all that is. Most times it’s referred to as doubles or triples, but you can also use it for flat beds.

A low boy, you’ll usually see it hauling heavy equipment or large oversized stuff. A lot of low boys, the tongue part of it, will be detachable so you can take the heavy equipment off the front of so you can drive it off the rear or the sides of the trailer.

A step deck looks a lot like a low boy, but what a step deck is, it's essentially a flatbed truck that has a full deck in it and it just goes from a truck to step down a little bit and then the rest of it goes back.

A skateboarder, from what I understand this term used to refer to a trailer that's a lot like a step deck only in the very back. Instead of having the smaller set of tandems they had a full size set of tandems so the trailer would step back up at the very end of it, but nowadays you hear that term used for pretty much any type of flatbed or person pulling a flatbed they call themselves skateboarders.

Well hopefully that gives everyone some understanding of the terms truckers are using on the CB. This is by all means not an all inclusive list. Feel free to send me other words you hear on the CB and I’d love to hear from you.


How to Meal Prep for Trucking to Save Money and Be Healthier

Today I want to go something that helped me get through years of trucking. I was an over-the-road truck driver and I used to hate going to truck stops. It is too expensive and you spend a whole lot of money on food. That's what I’m going to talk to you about today is food.

A lot of us truck drivers, we gain a whole lot of weight because the stuff that they give us at those truck stops is just garbage. You got all the fast food, Subway is probably some of the best food you can eat but it gets expensive to eat it for every meal. What I used to do and what I still do now is I prep my food. One of the things as an owner-operator-- the best things you can have on your truck is a refrigerator and a microwave. You can go get a refrigerator from Lowes and you can get yourself an inverter. You should have no problems and you should have a freezer, like a freezer compartment up top and the rest is the fridge.

I’m going to tell you about some of my local meals I prepare during the week. I’m a local driver and I still prepare my meals for the week. If I make too much and the meals have been in the fridge too long I’ll throw them up in the freezer so they’ll keep longer.

I like to make a seafood gumbo on the weekend and then portion it out for my meals throughout the week. I put them in Ziploc bags and seal it up. When it’s frozen that will last me for months. When I’m ready for some more gumbo and bring it down and put it in the fridge to thaw out. I like to put crawfish, lobster, octopus, and white fish in the gumbo.

I also make a Caribbean jerk and teriyaki chicken with rice. I made this all on Sunday. Put the chicken on the rice in a Ziploc bag and it’s ready to go.

Another meal is tacos. I fix up the taco meat and cheese. Put them in a Ziploc bag and heat it up. Then just put it on some hard taco shells and it’s an easy meal.

I even prep breakfast. I made some eggs with some potatoes and turkey sausage. And I don't have to go out and spend a bunch of money.

I make a frozen frittata as well. Just freeze it all and bring it out for dinner of any heated up and it will taste just like when I made it.

This is something I tell a lot of the over the road truckers, even if you’re a local guy. The best thing you can do is get you a Nutribullet or a juicer. If you’re on the road and juicing it’s probably going to be too much of a problem so I would say go with a Nutribullet. Prep what you’re going to juice in individual Ziploc bags. That way you can simple dump the contents in the bag and turn it on and you’re ready to go.

This right here has been prepped, it’s got bananas, peanut butter, and avocado. You prep this up and put it in the freezer and take it down the day you need it. And plus the Nutribullet is pretty easy to clean up.

Another one is kale, spinach, raspberries, and bananas. Another one is more of a tropical blend, pineapple, cantaloupe, and oranges. Finally one with apple, strawberry, kale, and bananas. Just use fruits and vegetables you like.

It’s easy to prep and I don't have to go spending my money in a truck stop and this keeps you more healthy because all the processed garbage they have available. Fast food is terrible for you so you prep this stuff up you have it ready to go. You don’t have to spend a lot of money and a lot of time in the truck stops.

The only reason I go to the truck stops is to use the bathroom and to get diesel, that’s it. I don’t buy the food.

Last but not least, buy an inverter. Get you a 2000W inverter. Get you a refrigerator. You can get from the Lowes and they’re about $200. The 2000W inverter will probably be about $179. You can get yourself a microwave from a thrift store. Matter of fact you could possibly get the fridge from a thrift store also. Make sure you get one with a top freezer compartment and the fridge as a separate unit.

You'll be able to store all your food and you'll be happy. I hope this helps a lot of people and hopefully you won’t be one of the truck drivers that has a big ole beer belly that's hanging down past his knees because you have the power to eat what you want to eat on these trucks. You can eat better than people that's at home on your truck if you prep your meals. That's all I have to say. If you don't want to end up in a box think outside of it.


Setting the mood with the CB

George rides with the CB on, he always has and probably always will. He’s one of those drivers you will hear that comes on and says, “Eastbound, you got a city kitty shooting you in the face at the two-four-one yardstick, city kitty at the 241, come on.” Every great once in a while someone will shout back, and he thanks them and they tell each other to have a nice day and drive safely and it seems like we made a new friend. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen occasionally, and it usually seems to make his day.

I’m still fascinated with the CB. It has been my wish to talk on it with fluidity since my first ride in the truck. I was pretty disappointed to find the only fluid language spoken on the CB anymore is hate. I don’t judge people by the color of their skin. Like George says, there are so many other reasons to hate people – if you get hung up on their skin color, you may never get to the really valid reasons to hate them. No need to be impatient, it doesn’t matter what color their skin is, people will reveal to you whether or not they’re an asshole pretty quick, so you should at least give it a go for a minute or two.

The CB chatter sets the mood in the truck sometimes – if the “N” word is the first thing we hear when George flips the switch in the morning, it sets a pall over the mood in the truck. He always shakes his head and pulls out, giving deep sigh and a “Well, here we go” kind of look. These are the days he keeps the volume low and doesn’t tell his friends on the other side about much ahead. Thank goodness these days are usually few and far between. He’s had some amazing CB conversations — we’ve “met” a lot of people. It’s awesome to have a decent conversation with a stranger, especially when the stranger is an old-timer with a thick Texas drawl and a laugh like Crusty the Clown. Partner, we didn’t get your name, but you made our morning going through Austin with your lamentations about “Well I’d just about rather be in Dallas right now, er hey-yell, er anywhar else that serves cold beer.” He punctuated the phrase with a perfect Crusty laugh, and it made us both bust out laughing. Definitely the right way to start the day, even if it was in the “hey-yell” traffic of Austin, Texas.

I totally suck at CB chatter, I don’t know the rules and I sound like a dummy. I tried to answer a guy on 75, going through Georgia, and ended up boffing it completely. I hear: “Northbound, looking good back to the 62. Tifton’s got a city boy welcoming committee at the 59, but he’s got a customer on the ramp, come on.” I grabbed the mic.

“10-4, driver, appreciate it. You be safe out there.”

“Well thank you little lady, you got a copy on what’s behind?”

I froze. I had no pertinent information for this man. I had been reading an article about fruit bats and wasn’t even really sure where we were. I had no business on the CB, at all. I thrust the mic at George.

“You’re good to the line man — coops are open down there, like they always are. Be safe, driver.”

He turned to me with the “very disappointed” look.

“The CB is not a toy. It’s a tool.”

“Yes, I know. I apologize, come on.”

“You’re not funny.”

“10-4”


Beware the $89 Chair

Before I begin this story, I’d like to state that all names and places have been changed (at the request of my attorney) to imaginary and unsuspecting characters. Please note that all surliness represented on my behalf is completely real, and no furniture store employees were injured during the writing of this piece. (Apparently, furniture store employees are incredible athletes, who can run and hide like the Viet Cong when threatened with bodily harm.)

I was minding my own business last week, watching my daily fill of filthy lies and important drug infomercials on the television, when my senses were assaulted by a screaming fat man.

“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! TODAY ONLY!! GET YOUR BEAUTIFUL, CUSTOM-MADE BEDROOM CHAIR FOR ONLY EIGHTY-NINE DOLLARS – DELIVERED!!! COME TO MIM JILLER FURNITURE STORE IN ARMPIT, OHIO AND GET YOURS!! TODAY ONLY!!”

This huge, sweaty man went on to introduce himself as Mim Jiller himself, and proceeded to have what I can only describe as a grand-mal seizure about the quality and perfection of his gorgeous, eighty-nine dollar bedroom chairs. He wrapped up this entirely disturbing episode by flopping his walrus-like body into a giant, fluffy chaise lounge and grimacing at the camera in a futile attempt at what I suspect was a smile.

My interest was piqued on so many levels that I immediately forgot about the tardive dyskenisa my new medication promised to give me, and got in the car to head for Armpit, Ohio, to buy myself a beautiful eighty-nine dollar bedroom chair.  I was also emotionally prepared to assist Mr. Jiller with CPR, if necessary.

Never having  been the proud owner of a bedroom chair, I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping for something like the giant chaise lounger that Mr. Jiller had thrown himself into at the end of his commercial, but was excited at the prospect of a chair in the bedroom at all. This was a whole new concept for me – a chair dedicated solely to the bedroom. Crazy.

When I pulled into the drive, the peeling warehouse and empty parking lot should have clued me in, but my fervor was so intense to have a damn bedroom chair, I didn’t even notice the tumbleweeds blowing around the yard. The hand-lettered ‘OPEN’ sign gave me great joy, and I entered the portal to join my new horizons through bedroom chairs.

After my eyes adjusted to the darkness of an entire warehouse lit by one bare bulb in the center of the ceiling, the smell assaulted me with such force as to shake my strong intention to have a bedroom chair and quickly flee the premises. Unfortunately, I had given Jake, the official Bedroom Chair Salesman, time to get between myself and the door.

Jake looked as if he had been sleeping in one of the furniture boxes behind the building. His sharpie-written name tag hung loosely from a wrinkled gray sweatshirt, complete with grease stains and frayed cuffs. Jake apparently had no love for combs or razors and appeared to be wearing bits of the past three or four meals in his tangled beard. I was immediately afraid of Jake and wanted to exit the building with great force. As I moved toward the only visible means of escape, Jake stepped in front of me and stuck his dirty hand out.

“HI THERE! I’M JAKE!! HOW CAN I HELP YOU TODAY?!! DON’T TELL ME – YOU WANT A BEDROOM CHAIR, RIGHT?!”

I was frozen in fear and wondered if Jake was deaf, or if the screaming was some sort of terrorist sales tactic he had learned in Afghanistan. The last thing on earth I wanted to do was touch his hand to shake it, and the thought of a bedroom chair filled me with intense trepidation at this point. I put my hands in my pockets, and began negotiation for extrication from this intense situation.

“Uh, sorry Jake – just got over a cold – don’t shake hands, ya’ know? Um, yeah, I wanted a bedroom chair, but I really don’t see anything I like here. I’m just gonna come back another time.”

Like when I’m armed and with twenty other people.

“OH NO! YOU CAN’T LEAVE YET – YOU HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE CUSTOM MADE BEDROOM CHARIS!! JUST GIVE EM’ A LOOK, I’M SURE YOU’LL SEE SOMETHING YOU LIKE!”

His head bobbed up and down, and for a moment I was afraid that he might be trying to avoid sniper fire, but I eventually realized it was Jake’s way of physically intimidating me into looking at his frightening bedroom chairs. I realized that I was going to have to go along with this ruse in order to remove myself from this debacle without incident.

“Okay Jake, you’ve got five minutes to show me. I’m really not in a financial position to buy a bedroom chair today…”

“THEY’RE ONLY EIGHTY-NINE DOLLARS –DELIVERED! NOW TAKE A LOOK OVER HERE – THEY’RE JUST LITTLE GEMS – LOOK AT EM’!!”

With a flourish generally reserved for “The Price Is Right,” Jake flipped on a spotlight that illuminated six of the tiniest chairs I had ever seen in my life. They looked like Lilliputian replicas of regular chairs. There was nothing splendid or fantastic about any of them. I realized quickly I had been the victim of ‘bedroom chair phenomenon’ and immediately became angry.

“What the hell is this, Jake? These chairs are useless. Are they for cats? Really Jake, I drove all the way out here to get a bedroom chair, and you show me this tiny shit?”

Jake was truly shocked that I didn’t admire his ‘little gems’. He looked genuinely injured.

“MA’AM, BEDROOM CHAIRS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE SMALL, THEY’RE FOR BEDROOMS. PEOPLE SIT ON THEM TO PUT THEIR SHOES ON. THEY’RE NOT FOR EVERY DAY USE; THEY’RE MORE DECORATIVE THAN ANYTHING.”

I’d had enough of his screaming and I was determined to leave immediately.

“Quit that damn screaming, Jake, and get a grip. If someone sat on those chairs even once, they’d break into a thousand pieces. What the hell do you use a decorative chair for, anyway? What, do you put a sign on it warning people not to sit on it? Now get the hell out of my way, I’m leaving you and your stupid damn decorative chairs.”

Ever the fanatical cleric salesman, Jake gave it one last try.

“WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL DINING ROOM TABLES!! LET ME SHOW YOU THE NEWEST FABRIC AND BALSA WOOD SOFA ON THE MARKET!! THEY’RE GEMS, I’M TELLIN’ YA!!”

Jake’s fervent screaming continued on as I left, fearing physical contact with him or any other item in the godforsaken place. While adjusting my rear-view mirror on the way out of the parking lot, I caught a glimpse of Jake dejectedly smoking a cigarette by the front door. I made a mental note to self that I could mark one more thing off the “bucket list”.

No bedroom chairs for me, buddy.


Truckers wives and spouses – the silent voices of the industry

There are a lot of voices in the industry, some of which we’d like to hear less from and others we don’t hear enough from. The support system and backbone for over-the-road truckers often gets forgotten, because few realize it’s sometimes harder to stay home and take care of things than it is to leave and be away.

The marketing gurus of trucking are missing a vital section of their target audience by bypassing the spouses. Just because the wife or husband isn’t on the truck, doesn’t mean they don’t have input on purchases made regarding it. If my own experience serves me correctly, I’d venture to say a great deal of purchases are actually made by the spouse. I know George will often see something he would like to have, or needs, and I’m the one who does the research and ordering, because I’m the support system.

Not everyone has (or sees) the benefit of having a support system, but for those who do, they provide an invaluable service. Running your life from the road poses unique challenges, and attempting to run your life on the road and your life at home in tandem can be overwhelming, especially for those with children or aging parents who need assistance.

There’s no official “Drivers’ Spouse Appreciation Week,” and rarely do we hear stories of the support they provide, so I’m going to take a quick minute to thank all the trucker’s wives, husbands and families for the job they do. It ain’t easy, and it’s important to understand you’re not alone, you’re appreciated, and there are others who face the same challenges you do every day. Hats off to the support systems – THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO.