Truck driving is not the most dangerous job in the world. That dubious honour is probably held by people who defuse bombs for a living. But, it has to be said that driving a truck is not exactly the safest profession in the world either. Some truckers—the Ice Road truckers being a good example—regularly take their life in their hands each and every time they set off down the road. However, if life as a truck driver appeals, here are a few other things you might like to consider before you sign up for a life on the road.
Meandering around your local street network should be relatively safe since the roads are well maintained and the average speed is low, but there are some stretches of highways and by-ways around the world that are mad, bad and dangerous to drive along. Falling rocks, hairpin bends, inclement weather and restless natives can all make driving these roads a hair-raising experience, even if you are safely cocooned in an air-conditioned cab with a machete stashed under the seat.
Delivering a load of mattresses from A to B is not going to kill you, unless you happen to accidentally drive off a cliff en route. However, transporting a cargo of toxic chemicals or dangerously flammable materials might just cause you a few problems if you have an accident. Not to mention everyone else who happens to be in the near vicinity at the time.
Long Working Hours
Truck driving is characterised by very long working hours. Truckers are expected to drive long distances with very few rest breaks. Driving is also a monotonous activity, especially when you are travelling up and down hundreds of miles of featureless highway with nothing more interesting to look at than ten million trees and bushes on the horizon. Many truck drivers also have to drive through the night, which can be very tiring, so it’s hardly surprising that some of them occasionally nod off behind the wheel and cause a pile-up.
Often the most dangerous part of driving for a living is the other drivers on the road. You may be a careful driver but it doesn’t mean that others are. All it takes is for one careless idiot to pull out in front of your truck and cause you to swerve off the road and into a ditch. Factor in a cargo of sulphuric acid and you can imagine the carnage.
Truck driving is a lonely job, so it can be tempting to pick up a hitchhiker to alleviate the boredom of a long journey. But what happens if that person has homicidal tendencies? Well at least you won’t be bored for long.
Whilst life as a trucker can be dicey at times, working in the road freight business can be a rewarding career choice for those who enjoy driving and are happy living a fairly solitary existence. It can also be well paid if you don’t mind long distance driving.
James Nesbitt has been a long distance trucker in the road freight business for many years. He writes a blog and regularly updates it with stories of his days (and nights) on the road. Writing helps to keep him entertained when he’s away from home.