Had you asked me 9 months ago if I would spend a great deal of mental energy contemplating Truck Stops, I would have absolutely believed you had broken out your oldest tequila. However, in my current full-time RV world, I am forever planning, reviewing, assessing and obviously visiting our nation’s truck stops regularly. There is a whole culture among this transportation /commerce world that I never even had any idea existed.
Alas, driving an 18 wheeler for a living has got to be an incredibly challenging career choice. We are driving around 65 feet between the F450 and the Fifth Wheel, which is plenty. The average trucker manages 80 feet. We are pulling 24000 pounds, while the legal weight of a tractor trailer is 80000 pounds. The midsized sedans we drove prior to selling the house in Delaware, were about 3500 pounds. So the truckers who drive hours on end each day, with enormously large hauls, frequent these places much the way we did hotels, in our former world.
So, on any given travel day- I’m looking for a clean restroom, decent coffee and reasonably priced diesel- knowing that my fellow drivers will have shower shoes and toothbrushes in hand inside. Understanding that we try to plan our stops and make our longest travel during the day, even at night, I have never felt the least bit unsafe in one of these truck stops. These folks can look fairly rough sometimes, but they are frequently helpful, polite and they always love Xena. We have asked for directions, and had to have someone show us the very unique scenario of getting fueled up in the truckers lane. I even had my debit card not work getting coffee once and some 40 something dude in a leather baseball cap, driving a trailer with a bright red cab which had“Big Red”painted on the side, insisted he buy my coffees. He told me his Mother raised him right and buying a lady and her man a cup of coffee would make her smile from heaven . Hence, trying to not let tears cover my cheeks, I let him and simply said, “ Thank you”. Truckers are some of my favorite new people in our life’s episodes of adventures.
So the next time you smile when the UPS guy brings you a package, remember that likely some man or woman ( forgot to mention that’s been really cool too- many women are driving now and seem very happy in the profession) drove that package across the country to get it there. They got paid, but likely miss family and friends to bring you that Amazon Prime delight.
So today, as we have spent what feels like endless hours on the south east highways of this country, I’ve been really contemplating the zillion trucks we share the road with and thought I’d write about my new found appreciation for them on my journey.