are there long periods of time where truck drivers don't have time to speak to thier family?
I would think that with the communications technology we have today, this is no longer a consideration. Truck drivers have access to email, the Internet, and cell phones.
Most folks in this business who are driving for larger companies can be very in touch with their families through mobile phone links and through uplink systems on the tractors onboard satellite tracking system. Regular communications is the easy. For many of them, its not the verbal contact as much as it is the inability to get home on any frequency due to the irregular routes demanded by the load movements. There is some change afoot in the industry which has caused larger companies to pursue a marketing strategy that creates operating hubs throughout the country with equipment domiciled in each locations. Drivers are assigned to the domicile and loads travelling from coast to coast are moved in hand off fashion much like the pony express once moved the mail. These moves have turned medium and long haul trucking into more of a regional service designed around a similiar configuration used by LTL (less-than truckload) carriers for years. These domicilies haul loads for dedicated customers on dedicated routes which are shorter and the unit generally returns to the domicile on a frequency of at least once a week if not more so. This has improved driver retention for many the trucking companies and also allow them to cater their services in a variety of ways to cover their investment in the extra infracsture. WB
A lot depends on what kind of drives they're doing, and the type of terrain they're going through. There are a lot of places where mobile phones just don't get signal, and many places where it's illegal to talk on the phone while driving. Here in Wyoming, a driver can lose their CDL for talking on the phone while driving, and if it's a long haul with a short deadline they may only stop driving to sleep during the DMV-regulated mandatory down time, which may or may not be near a truck stop or where cell phones have a signal. That said, it does seem that in most circumstances a driver should be able to make contact with their family at least once a day, even if it's only a quick five-minute call.
Only when they are sleeping, loading, unloading, or talking with their dispatcher.
My husband calls me many times day and night, depending on when he has to perform any of the above duties. Well, here we go, I have to go and answer my cell, because he is calling again......
He was getting tired and needed to be refreshed. I have such a refreshing voice!!! HaHa.... He just left this afternoon about 3:00pm for Chicago.. Probably will not see him for 10-14 days. He loves truck driving though. He says it is not really work. I told him that it is more work than I would want to do. It just gets in your blood and it is hard to do anything different.
We "own" our own truck ( actually the bank owns it ). There is always some unexpected expense. If we can ever get it paid for, it will be a blessing.
Of course, your creditors do not understand this. They think that you can say you have this amount of money coming in on this day, but "whoa" then you have an unexpected break down that you have to pay for, so you can't make their payment. Such is the life of an owner-operator family....
I love my husband who is a Vietnam Veteran. He missed his unit's reunion this weekend because he could not afford to go since he had to spend money on his truck...again.
I don't know if I answered your question or not, but I will write another HUB soon.
Yes and no... part depends on what you call a long period of time. Part depends on the driver and the family.
Generally, I don't talk on the phone while I'm driving. So it may be several hours (12) or so that a I am really not available. The reaosn I didn't talk to my family a lot (and I'm talking about my parents, not my spouse) was the time zones and the 12 hours I was not driving were often when they were sleeping or at work.
If you are talking about days or weeks without speaking to someone there may be problems in the relationship they are trying to avoid. The best way to find out is to ask for details about why they aren't speaking.
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