Life as a truckers wife SUCKS! 23 years now. And the pay is even WORSE!

by Just call me D
(On the road, as usual)

I think that a lot of emphasis needs to be made on the "LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE compared to hours actually worked" I've read in numerous places that the "average" over the road (otr) salary is roughly $30,000 per year.

Sounds decent? Well, after one calculates ALL the hours worked, it breaks down to about SIX DOLLARS per hour. An otr driver basically has to GIVE UP their relationship, family, basically their LIFE for 2-4 weeks at a time (or more) and go from being a part of their family's lives to JUST A VISITOR.

It's not hard to understand why the turnover rate is 128% and the divorce rate amongst otr truckers is in the high 90's. It's not just a job, it's a LIFESTYLE and a tough one at that. It's NOT for everyone and has certainly NEVER been for ME.

The ONLY time my husband EVER made decent money was in local driving, either getting paid by the trip, or by the hour for all hours worked. But unfortunately he's has too many years worth of otr stints too, and my income only provided what he lacked, not extra income (which we needed.)

After many years of him going back and forth between local and otr and my losing my decent job due to the company going out of business and after the local company he worked at for several years went out of business he found the 1st job he could find, which was over the road, of course. And which he (we) are currently having to do right now.

It didn't take long to be FORCED into LIVING in the truck for the past 3 years. His average pay for actual hours worked last year was about $7.00 an hour and $6.00 an hour the year before.

Although we may still be "together", 34 years now, we have NO relationship. It has basically ruined my marriage, caused him to miss most of our children's childhood, caused me depression and chronic headaches due to continually clenching my teeth because of constant stress, I felt like a single parent (which I pretty much WAS when he was gone), caused lots of evictions, vehicle repossessions, loss of personal items to pawn shops, and totally destroyed both of our credit.

Did I mention destroying our relationship too? When two people continually grow APART they GROW APART. His "visits" while doing his otr thing were pretty much a day and a half to two days to catch up on paperwork, rest, play on the computer, etc.

No quality time, no quantity time, he was too tired to do anything.

He was focused and driven to be a good provider. But being a “provider” isn’t all about money, it’s also about “providing” love, attention, support, inspiration, compassion and guidance.
It's about PRESENCE, not presents.

Unfortunately his over the road driving career (16 of the 23 years) provided neither. He was gone for a week or more for 2/3 of his driving career and half of our "marriage".

I have a lot of bitterness, anger, and resentment. I regret him ever getting into this occupation and LEAVING his life and family for the trucking lifestyle.

Over the years I've tried to get him to DO THE MATH (as I did very, very early on) but in the beginning it was all new and exciting and fun for him.

He never even looked at his paycheck. I was the one to go pick it up each week and kept trying to tell him "IT'S NOT WORTH IT! I think diesel fluid runs through his veins and he didn't/doesn't seem to want to open his eyes to how things REALLY are. He busts his ass. He SHOULD be making a good living, right?

He is a very experienced driver (23 years) with an excellent driving history. He works very hard, I know that. Most definitely too hard for the little pay he receives in return.

I just wish those who train people to get their cdl's would inform them (and the people who are left behind rooting for the new driver) how things REALLY are, but then again those schools, companies, etc. are raking in the dough and probably laughing all the way to the bank.

128% turnover rate, High 90's % divorce rate, less than minimum wage pay, but listen to or read any advertisement for trucking and they seem to romanticize the lifestyle.

I personally see nothing romantic about sitting behind the wheel (or in the passenger seat in my case), driving all hours of the day or night, the stress of deadlines, traffic, etc. having zero schedule, sitting in loading docks for hours on end, and everything else that goes along with trucking for about 98 hours a week, having constant back pain, leg pain, hip pain (and also swollen feet and ankles in my case,) getting zero exercise, having to pee in a jug (or bucket) while rolling because you can't afford to take the time to stop, (especially after having to sit for 3 - 5 or more hours getting loaded.

There's a deadline ((and you just lost those hours sitting at the customer)) you CANNOT STOP), having to park in truck stops that could very well be called ski slopes. (No, there are no levelers on the bunks. Whatever angle you have to park at is the angle you have to TRY to sleep at, the cab facing downward and sideways so that you literally almost roll out of it is the most fun - great on the back and hips too).

Eating mostly fast food or junk food because you don't have time to stop and get healthy food or simply cannot afford healthy food. (Although every few days you may be able to find time to stop at an expensive all you can eat truck stop buffet and overeat because by then you haven't had anything but snacks for several days and are dizzy from hunger for something that resembles real food, which some places DO HAVE).

After about 2 weeks all the highways, trees, and loading docks pretty much look the same. There are a LOT of trucks on the road and I'm sure to many the lifestyle may be worth it. But in the 3 years I've now spent in a truck I've never seen anything romantic (or enjoyable) or worth it, about it.

In my case there is no QUALITY of life - It's barely an existence. And the drivers I've run into all seem to have the same complaints. No money and can't get home are the top 2.

I haven't seen any load or any job yet that I'd give up my marriage, my family, my health, and my life for, especially at a lousy $6, $7, $9 an hour, etc.

McDonald's workers are wanting a pay increase to $15 hr because workers cannot afford to support a family on minimum wage.

Maybe if enough hard working, low paid drivers all get together and raise enough hell things may change for them in the near future.

They (and their families) have to GIVE UP and LOSE A LOT, to get VERY LITTLE in return.

Nothing CHANGES if NOTHING changes!

Comments for Life as a truckers wife SUCKS! 23 years now. And the pay is even WORSE!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 22, 2017
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Pissing on a Trucker NEW
by: Anonymous

I wouldn't piss on a trucker if I saw him burning on the side of the road!

Sep 19, 2017
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Truckers Lifestyle is a Rollercoaster Ride NEW
by: Anonymous

Well to begin they work crazy hours so don't ever expect to have a good nights rest ...either out early at 4am and back at 7 pm or out at 4pm and home at 5am. Many states are not regulated so 40 hours a week can turn into 90 very easily! Lots of them work shifts 2 weeks on one off! On the week off they are horribly tired and spend 3 of the 7 days catching up on sleep!

Don't expect them to be available for Christmas, Thanksgiving or any Holiday for that matter. They won't be available to see there kids grow up and you cannot depend on them for anything!

My husband has not made it home to see his family for Christmas in 7 years!!!

Wives are expected to pay all the bills, maintain vehicles, fix anything that goes wrong with the house, drive the kids around and work a full time job!

I have moved 4 times this year because of my husbands trucking career!!! Weeks of packing and unpacking by myself!!! Changing our address numerous times, getting new insurance quotes, getting new registration and drivers licenses....and every time you move and start over you have to wait months for medical and health insurance God forbid anything happens! Plus, every time you move you have to shed more furniture and nice furniture you have gets damaged! Plus, all the relationship you develop are short term because they are always on the move!

They never have any money because they buy flashy toys on credit that they cannot afford to show off on the weeks that they have off! They have no idea about finances because most of them have a high school education which makes them slaves to the road!!!

When they are away from home they lie about logged in hours on the job and get paid to sit in strip clubs or enjoy nipple 'lattes' at small town coffee shops! They are deprived of normal social interaction and are never around women so when you finally have time to go out with them they have there tongue out salivating over anything that walks!

If they live apart from their families they usually have two separate relationships and misteresses on the side! And if they are single they usually have a different woman lined up for every day they are off thanks to dating sites! My husband lied to me for two months about this other woman who was convenient for sex next door to him! He lied to her too! She was so insecure because of his lies that she stole his mattress out of his apartment when he was home with his wife!

I never seen so MANY DIVORCES and broken families as a result!!! Relationships will not survive with loneliness and little time spent together. Relationships need trust, love, and to be neurtured in order to work out!

They have poor hygiene because the sleep in their trucks in clothes they never change and have poor eating habits because they only ever have time to 'grab and go'!!!

These are the type of men that grow resentful and abusive ! Who would want to live this type of a lifestyle?

My life has not been easy married to a trucker and I wouldn't recommend the lifestyle to anyone!

Mar 22, 2017
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Being trucker's wife sucks NEW
by: Anonymous

My experience of being married to a trucker was short. I married this guy who said he made a lot of money and was a family oriented man ... he had a state of the art truck (where most of his earnings went, a pick up truck (tax write off), a couple of motorcycles, a crappy house and $30K credit card debt... he said was business expenses but in reality - impulsive purchases... I helped him to pay off the debt, get a better house ... live debt free but in return, he continued spending like crazy... and later, when I filed for divorce, I found out that he actually had been cheating on me while we were dating and married ... he was into the relationships w/ married whores w/ children. I guess, it is exciting to be constantly runnyning away from their husbands, lol
Truckers pretend to be rich, truckers spend stupidly on stuff they can't afford - to make their truck look good w/ all the bling and chrome ... my ex could have been someone, but instead, waisted energy on stuff that doesn't matter.
Will never even talk to a trucker ... same bs w/ them - big trucks flanked them feel delusinally powerful

Dec 04, 2016
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
I felt like i wrote this myself! NEW
by: Anonymous

My husband has been on the road for most of our 15 year marriage and we still have nothing to show.i am basically raising our 2 kids myself.when i mention getting a divorce he gets bent out of shape, i dont know why? I'll always care for him but i dont love him in that way anymore. I can do bad by myself,well anyway good luck guys.
Cant wait to be free!!

Sep 05, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
To late NEW
by: Anonymous

For some of us it is to late the years go by and we were too dumb to realize trucking is a losing game it robs the best years of your life. Stay in school stay smart.

Aug 28, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
You dont need 20 years experience. NEW
by: Anonymous

@ Marketdriver

Meh, you don't need years and years of experience to make 100K. I know truckers with only 3 yrs experience making that money. After 200k miles under your belt, accident free, you can get any good trucking job.

Jun 21, 2015
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
150% correct NEW
by: Marketdriver

I started driving OTR in 1992, I was single, no kids (yet) and it was great under those circumstances. In 1999 I had a friend almost die in a robbery attempt at the check cashing place he managed in Covina Ca and the voice in my head said enough. I started calling everyone of the big local boys , Ryder, JB Hunt ect ect and found a good local gig with JB. I also started applying online with the big Grocery Companies since they pay the best and have pensions, medical ect. I have been with my current employer15+ year's now. It depends on where you live and persistence. I truly miss OTR, but make 3x as much and see my children regularly. Apply everywhere, and do it every 2 to 4 weeks at the same places, remember we are the unique commodity since most these kids out there have less then 5 years if that we have over 20. Good luck.BTW tax return 1998 was 42k. 2014 98k.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Life As A Trucker's Wife.








Trucker Jobs