What are the odds? As we pulled in the Flying J truck stop for lunch, there sat a Wheaton truck with the “kids in the box” logo. Looks like everyone had the same idea – take a break and grab something to eat.
We looked around for the Wheaton driver but never crossed paths and by the time we got back outside he was already gone. It was good to see a familiar logo. In the meantime, I wandered around the store where you could buy anything from tools and GPS devices to wood carvings of animals and chicken fingers…which I did….and lots of them.
As I wandered around thinking of the reasons why I should buy a key chain with my name on it, or a “just truckin” t-shirt, the loudspeaker came on with the following announcement:
“Customer number nine, your shower is ready. Customer number nine…your shower is ready.”
Yes…since you asked… I thought about finding a way to take a picture of the pay showers at the truck stop, but no matter how I worked through it, the result ended in my arrest. So, you’ll have to use your imagination.
Besides the moving part of our business, drivers have a lot to contend with as it relates to the little things we take for granted – like finding a place to take a shower. Or finding a hotel that has appropriate truck parking. Many drivers have “sleeper cabs” with enough space to bunk down for the night, but without the amenities of water or refrigeration for food. Luckily for me, Bob’s truck is the exception and he has both – so getting a cold drink or grabbing a snack is a lot easier. Bottom line, if you have eating tendencies like mine (..in my world, chicken wings are their own food group) it would be very difficult to eat healthy meals when fast food and truck-stop burritos are prevalent.
Another thought occurred to me – there’s no such thing as a sick day. If you’re supposed to be at the customer’s home at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, you can’t simply call off because you have the flu. There’s no backup plan to have someone fill-in for you if you start to feel bad at 9 p.m. the night before.
I asked Bob what the options are in that situation. The answer? There are no options – you fight through it and get the job done.
When you think about it, most of us have some flexibility in our jobs. We can use our PTO time or a sick day and more than likely, someone in the office can pick up the slack when you’re down and out. When you’re out on the road, there’s tremendous autonomy, and tremendous pressure.
We’re sitting still for today to make sure our Hours of Service are reset and that we’re ready to go tomorrow when we’ll begin our trek to Tampa, Fla. to deliver Mrs Bennett’s shipment – right on time.
Check back later for a video tour of Bob’s truck!
On the Road with A.J. is a blog series written by Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider as he travels across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves. Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.