Posted on 1:32 AM

Sunday, Sept 14... Living OTR

By Lynette at 1:32 AM

Living OTR… was I in for a surprise or what?

Trucking is much more than a job. This is an entire new lifestyle. OTR Trucking is a lifestyle of it’s own. It is it’s own little world that the majority of us, not associated in trucking, would never understand until we tried it.

When you have a typical “normal” job, you arrive at work at a designated time, do your job with it’s normal aggravations, get up walk around, go to a meeting or two, talk to your co-workers and leave. On your way home you decide to stop at the grocery, stop at the post office, and run by the drug store, being sure to park close to the door. You drive home and see your family, cook dinner, throw the dishes in the dishwasher while the laundry is doing in the laundry room, watch tv, take a shower and go to bed. You start it all over again tomorrow. Typically, your day and routine doesn’t change much.

Now… put all that into a day of traveling down the interstate from state to state. Your day never starts at the same time. It depends on how many miles you have to travel that day or what time you deliver. You wake up, throw some clothes on, and either take a hike to the truck stop or rest area facilities. Don’t forget to take the toothbrush with you! Hike back to truck and check the map to remind yourself of exactly where you are and where you’re headed! This has been challenging for me! I can read a map, but the software is driving me crazy. Trapper is much more accustomed to knowing where we are. 7 days, 10 states, 2 time zones, and a hurricane… ask me where I am…????

Stops need to be planned miles in advance. Not all truck stops are created equal. Some are large, some are very small and not very trucker friendly. We carry a few little handy books with us to assist in finding truck stops, rest areas, and yes… Wal-Mart! Wal-Mart is a truckers best friend. No parking close to the door... a hike through the parking lot is in order. Good exercise.

Housekeeping is the best part. Make the bed… 2 minutes, straighten up… 2 minutes, vacuum… 1 minute… that’s it! House is clean. 5 minutes, did it all.

Cooking is great. You can prepare a half decent meal with only a knife, wooden spoon, and slow cooker. The best part is the balancing act you get to do in the back just to get it in the slow cooker. Interstate only cooking for me! 65 mph, straight ahead, and no stopping and going. 40 miles you can have lunch fixed and dinner started. 10 miles you can have it all cleaned up, all the dishes secured in their place, and back in the passenger seat.

Laundry, well… we haven’t done that yet this week. This is on the list for tomorrow and it shouldn’t be too bad. You just have to carry everything inside the truck stop. Maybe I can get the laundry done while I take a shower. Well… I doubt it. We’re not in a huge hurry and we don’t deliver until Monday… so… I will be in the Shower 2 for a few!

Maneuvering in the cab is, at times, a little tricky. I’m relatively tall. I told Trapper today that I might be too tall for this ride! I don’t mind getting up to get drinks out of the fridge..s t r e t c h time for me! He says I have the harder job, but I can’t see how. He drives several hours a day and only gets to move around when we stop. That’s tough.

Living on the road is a balancing act. The same as you do when you’re living in a house together. It’s a complete lifestyle change. You have everything you need, just in smaller quantities. You live different and you have to think differently.