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The Impact OTR Truck Driving Has On Families

Being an over-the-road truck driver is a profession that can have a huge impact on families.

A Daughter’s View of Her Dad Being an OTR Driver

My father was an OTR truck driver from the time I was in diapers to my early 20s. My early childhood and teenage memories consist of the smell of diesel fuel and coffee at 4:00 in the morning. I remember being wide awake with excitement when it was time for him to come home. My mother and I waited in the truck yard for him to arrive. He would pack his things and come home with us for a few days. Living life as the daughter of an OTR trucker wasn’t always easy, but it was deeply rewarding.

61 years trucking — and counting

How Did You Cope with Your Father’s Absence?

Many people mistakenly equate having an OTR trucker for a parent to having an absentee parent, and there are really few similarities. When I was younger, I missed my father very much. But when I was old enough to understand, which was about the same time I began to resent his being gone, my mother explained to me his role as provider for our family.

Did Your Father Ever Let You Drive His Truck?

Yes, once. To me, such a huge truck was a monster. I started the truck, all the while looking to my father for guidance, wide-eyed and terrified. He told me to lift my foot from the clutch slowly, which I did not do, and the truck lurched as I killed the engine. I made it but a few feet in a parking lot. He definitely wasn’t supposed to let me do that. It was an exhilarating, shocking experience that I do not recommend to anyone that doesn’t have a CDL! However, I walked away in awe that my father could operate such a magnificent machine. Once again, my heart was bursting with pride for what he did for a living.

Is Over The Road Trucking a Good Option for Families?

My father lost a tough battle with cancer several years ago and every memory I have of him is precious. Most of them are laced with the sights, sounds, and smells of the trucking industry. Although he was home infrequently, the times he was home were special and treasured. OTR trucking allows many, like my father, to provide for their family in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. It is an option worth exploring. It’s not right for every family, but it was for ours.

Even though life as a trucker can be difficult with less family time, it can be a rewarding career pursuit. Think OTR truck driving is a good option for you and your family?

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