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Cross country in a semi truck

Desperate times require desperate actions. It was a desperate act. I desperately needed a job or story to sell.

Basically, I needed money and something to do. I was still looking for a second career and I was missing options.

It was Sunday morning and I had a bus pass, but nowhere to go. I tried to "think outside the box" in the hope that I could find a second career with the skills that some HR specialist always tells me are "transferable", but I never know of any company that hires someone with experience over 20 years in various industries. I was disappointed, tired, annoyed and just brazen.

I had to do something even if it was wrong. I've always done all the right things in my life, but even the stupid person knows that you can't keep doing the same things and expect different results.

Poor odds

Looking for a job didn't give me a job. The odds were against me. There are too many unemployed people with good skills, education and lots of experience and yet too few jobs to spread around. I thought that if I could ride in the second seat of a semi-truck, it would allow me to really learn what it was about before investing time and money in getting my driver's license (CDL) and looking for a company ready to pay over 40 year old woman to drive for them. I will still have to pass a Department of Transportation medical test (DOT). I was worried that age could be a barrier. With so much to worry about, it was hard for me to prioritize what to worry about the most.

Stop the truck

So, with that in mind, I went to a local truck stop to interview some of the drivers. I thought about driving a semi-trailer as a potential second career since my dad was a truck driver over the road when I was little.

Once, during a summer break from high school, my dad let me ride with him while driving locally. Then, a few years later, he taught me some simple maneuvers, like how to drive a tractor around a parking lot in a warehouse and attach a trailer so people in the warehouse could unload it. So I spent one Saturday afternoon.

So, this Sunday afternoon, I drove the bus to the nearest truck stop in Denver. I leaned back and watched. I watched truck drivers carry their luggage and shower kit from a semi-trailer through the back door reserved for "professional drivers" on the way to the 24-hour restaurant, coin-operated laundry, or to buy a $ 12 ticket for a solo shower.

I watched the drivers load their trucks. I watched them move through the parking lot and put their big platform back in the slot. A truck driver is not judging by how fast he can drive on the interstate, but by how smoothly he can return his trailer between two trucks. I watched other drivers look at other drivers.

Most of all, I was surprised by how many female drivers I saw getting off the truck. I was encouraged to see them climb out of the driver's seat. I spoke to several of the women as they headed for the back door. I asked them questions about their work and the lifestyle that comes with it.

Most of the women I talked to were OTRs, which meant they were driving long distances, cross-country, and so they weren't home often. They were all single; many of them traveled with a dog for companionship. One of the women was traveling with a dog and two cats in her truck. She was an independent driver with her own truck. She rode solo, she said, preferring her animals to humans as satellites. She has been driving for years and will not return to office work for the love of money. That's almost everything everyone said.

As I stood and watched truck drivers load their tractors, inspect their trailers, and looking for a place to park at night, I tried to imagine what it might be like to be a professional semi-truck driver. I hoped that my limited understanding of the basics of the semitrailer and the automotive industry could give me an idea of ​​a new industry where you could have a job for a 40-year-old, white woman without children and without having to go back to home, to visit your family or friends. That was my hope anyway.

Road to employment

I thought I might have found a new path to employment. I was expecting a new job that would allow me to work regardless of the convenience of a semi-trailer with a combination trailer complete with stereo surround sound, a portable 24-inch flat-screen satellite TV, a mid-size refrigerator, a microwave and, of course, a full bedroom. size. What more could a girl want? There was even a Global Positioning System (GPS) to help me map my way around the United States. At the touch of a 7-inch touchscreen, I could find the nearest rest stop, truck stop, or final destination.

The job was starting to sound perfect – especially given my current situation.

It was a job that would allow me to see the countryside without having to pay a plane ticket or a greyhound bus ticket. It was a job where I could eat, sleep and work in a vehicle. I could travel around the country with a paycheck in one hand and a steering wheel in the other. I wouldn't even have to go home to visit friends and family, because after being unemployed for so long, I had nothing better to do. I can work day and night and pack up my savings account.

I closed my eyes as I tried to imagine myself sitting in the driver's seat enjoying nature while listening to my favorite music while traveling the countryside from country to country. I had noticed some of the newer models that a man called a "condo cabin". He said they are called cabins because they are large and have almost as much amenities as a recreational vehicle. Some of the men told me that some of these interiors were custom-made and, of course, really good. However, I could not see the inside of one. However, I spoke to a woman driver, who called her standard-size bedroom a "sleeping set," because she liked it so much. She admitted to "dressing" him in pink with goose down pillows, hair jackets and floor rugs and curtains.

I liked the thought of driving a semi-trailer with the interior decorated in pink. I began to get into decorating while trying to think of the real driving job. It was starting to work for me. I could combine my desire for coziness at home with the need to earn a paycheck and not even have to give up my laptop.

Global positioning system

Also, I have not anticipated problems with learning how to use the Global Positioning System (GPS). The onboard e-mail system should also not be a big problem. Half of my problems were resolved. I just had to learn how to drive a semi-trailer and, of course, get a license for it. The thought of carrying around 80,000 pounds of cargo in an aluminum trailer during rain, hail, rainfall and snow had rarely occurred to me. I could drive by day and write at night. I thought that might be the perfect solution. I could solve two problems with one job. I could earn a day's salary and use my computer at night to free up my writing career. The secret lies in the decoration.

Black tires

Aside from decorating my combined vehicle with a trailer in calm, soothing colors, I could have my name painted on the side and look really cool. Most of the tractors can be identified by the driver's door, which identifies the owner or operator of each vehicle. Many drivers will have their name printed on the driver's door. Other drivers draw a favorite expression or script, which usually completes the custom paint job. All vehicles must have personalized numbers; however, they are supplied by DOT. The Department of Transportation (DOT) seems to be pushing for this. These numbers are always printed in black. I guess it's a regulation or something. But, that's good, black goes with everything. It never collides. In addition, it will make big, black tires more noticeable and provide a more "grounded" appearance to the car.

Nice hood

The newly designed, aerodynamic hood and spoon roof are also cool. Sellers will tell you that they help the air flow over the tractor and trailer and therefore reduce wind drag and improve fuel mileage. I think they just did it because it looks cool and gives more head space inside the cabin.

Most openings allow the truck to actually stand in the cab. More headroom also provides a pleasantly open feel for any space; which I liked and the feeling of being outdoors. The extra space also makes it easier for the truck to open and close the refrigerator door while watching satellite TV on its new, 24-inch flat-screen TV with a built-in DVD player.

Remotely

Most drivers say they particularly like the remote control, which allows them to switch TV stations while sitting in the bedroom. This allows them to remain seated and therefore no need to stand or move to change the channel or insert a new disc.

The refrigerator is usually located next to the bedroom, which is also comfortable. This allows the driver to open the fridge to grab a drink or a light snack without getting up. Only one would consider designing a truck cab that way. Men live in their trucks the same way they live at home; food in one hand and the TV remote in the other.

Automated Power Supply Unit (APU)

Most truck drivers are also considered a popular automated power feature (APU). He is responsible for making all these appliances and amenities work so easily in a semi-truck. The APU provides power to the refrigerator, microwave, lights and other electrical things that make truck life more enjoyable. All the trucks wanted an APU. APU makes luxury happen.

Scoreboard

The dashboard inside the semi-trailer is also cool. He has a gauge for everything. The inside of these trucks looks like the inside of an airplane. They have enough dimensions to monitor almost anything on a truck or trailer. They have dimensions to monitor fuel levels, oil levels, manifold pressure and even the gross weight of the trailer.

Weight Guages

State patrol inspectors are also fond of gauges. They particularly like the weight gauges that they can observe as they sit inside the "shed" at the entry entrance. The state patrol can now track the weight of the front and rear axles of a semi-truck on the move as it passes through the entrance to the entrance. Even the port of entry is automated these days. The highway department placed scales below the stretches of the interstate, allowing the state patrol to check the weight of the load while the semi-trailer passed the weight. Truck drivers no longer have to stop every time they arrive when entering a new condition; Instead, they can simply move around while the state patrol tracks the weight on a computer screen. If the weight of the cargo is too large, according to federal regulations, the state patrol still gets on its car, turns on the siren and chases the truck driver to give him a ticket. Some things have not changed. The trucks monitor the state patrol and the state patrol watches the truckers.

Commercial Driving License (CDL)

While I was driving in a semi-trailer, I learned a lot about the automotive industry. I learned so much that I decided to get a CDL license so that I could carry loads across the country. It's hard work, but the main benefit is not having a boss in the cabin. Having a boss inside the cockpit is like having a back seat driver who wants to tell you how to drive. This is an advantage that encourages many truck drivers to become truck drivers. They can control the truck, their routes and, if delivered on time, get paid to drive. They can also choose which radio station they prefer to listen to while traveling in the countryside. It is important when choosing a truck to drive that you choose someone with a similar taste in music. This is very important.

10K miles passed

I have been riding on one truck for over two months and according to his diary we have logged over 10,000 miles in his semi-truck. I think I crossed the United States five times in those two months. I enjoyed.

I liked it so much that I decided to apply for a job as a truck driver. However, after talking with several pickers and driving schools, I learned that there was no great demand for women; but they were ready to give me a chance. I applied for a car carrier known to hire inexperienced drivers. I borrowed money from a friend, took a bus on a greyhound to another country, and after an unsuccessful attempt, received my license to drive a semi-truck. Unfortunately, the school was not what I expected. After two days I quit, took a bus home and started looking for a job in my career field. I also went back to writing and decided to do what I had planned all along – to write a short story about my attempt to cross country in a semi truck for two.