A woman asked what she should do about going to trucking school and becoming part of a husband and wife team with her future husband when their dreams don’t match.*
Response from Vicki:
As someone who had had no previous connection with trucking — but who seriously contemplated the idea of becoming a professional truck driver who would be a team driver with my husband — I can certainly understand your concern. So please let me help you.
First, you did not say whether or not your future husband is already a trucker or if he is what kind of trucker he is (or wants to be). If he is already a trucker, he should already be acquainted with the hard work that is involved. Although there are many female truckers within the trucking industry, trucking isn’t for every kind of woman. Understand in advance the unique challenges that female truckers face.
Second, you said that you have a lot of responsibility with your home. You didn’t say what that responsibility is (such as taking care of elderly parents or children). Some people who are homebodies by nature but who see the money-making and money-saving potential of trucking have decided to put everything into storage and live in their trucks for a while (OTR or regional trucking only). My husband Mike and I did this twice, once when we teamed and once when I rode with him as a passenger. To successfully do this, one has to be willing to disconnect from at least some things at home and transition to the life of a trucker.
Third, your physical eyesight is going to be crucial to your success as a professional truck driver. Aside from your age, if you can’t see well at night, you will probably have problems in trucking. Familiarize yourself with the requirements of becoming a truck driver.
Fourth, if you find it “scary” to wake up in a different state every night, this is a big red flag for you. You may or may not be able to overcome this. But this aspect of your personality seems to underscore your desire to be a homebody. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is better that you understand yourself well enough to avoid what isn’t right for you than to spend thousands of dollars on truck driver training school only to find out later that you couldn’t handle the stresses involved. How will you know if you’re suited to be a truck driver? Perhaps you could connect with a lady who is currently driving professionally and go out with her for a week. Ask her as many questions as come to mind. Find out what she encounters and how she responds in the course of her work. Under no circumstances should you ever let yourself be exploited.
Fifth, there is world of difference between being
– company drivers (who drive trucks owned — and their operation paid for — by a company) and
– owner-operators (who own or pay for their own trucks and their operation).
Even some veteran truck drivers are having a hard time making a profit as owner-operators these days. I recommend that before one decides to own and operate his/her own rig, that he/she becomes a company truck driver for at least one full year, so that he/she goes through a winter driving season to understand what is involved. There is also a big difference between being a solo driver and being part of a truck driving team.
Sixth, the title of your inquiry — “undefined dreams” — says a lot. Have you and your future husband sat down and talked about your finances, like a common budget? Have you talked about your income and expenditures? Are there areas where both of you have been willing to “give” a little? One of the biggest reasons why couples divorce (even outside trucking) is because they disagree on finances. Before you get married, you would do well to have a series of straightforward talks about your budget as a family.
Seventh, you said, “his dream is not my dream.” My dear, if you don’t have a dream in common on this, please ask yourself what you do have in common and whether or not this guy is truly the man of your dreams. Will you be free to pursue what you believe you’re meant to do with your life or will you feel like a prisoner who is only ever helping this guy fulfill his own dream at the expense of your own? There are other ways to make money in our day — some of them that can bring in a whole lot more than truckers ever could. We cover some of them for truckers’ wives (or really any woman) and truckers looking for second income opportunities from within their trucks.
I wish you great success in your decision making process and future. If you do decide to become a professional truck driver, my husband Mike and I wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.
* lifeasatrucker.com/undefined-dreams/ (no longer online)