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Learn the perks about being someone with a CDL trucking jobArielle Pardes recently wrote an article for  Cosmopolitan magazine called “13 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Long-Haul Truck Driver.” While the story focuses on her role as a female driver, much of Pardes’ driving experience is universal. Men with CDL trucking jobs will be able to relate to her observations as well. Here are the highlights from the article. Give it a read and see if you share her experience.

1. Driving trucks is more like a lifestyle choice than a regular job. This is not the kind of job where you’ll be home for dinner every night. You stay out, driving shipments back and forth, for weeks at a time, and then you get a couple days off back home. It’s impossible to have a real life because you’re always on the road.

2. Don’t stress out about finding a job. There’s a huge shortage of truck drivers, so getting hired is basically as easy as getting your commercial driver’s license. It’s a 10-week program to get the certification, and by the time mine was over, I had a job lined up with a company. Some companies will even pre-hire you and pay for your training, which makes it really easy to break into the industry.

3. The starting pay isn’t great, but you can move up the pay scale pretty quickly. When I first started driving, I was making 27 cents for every mile that I drove, which equated to around $35,000 a year — so, not great. But by the time I quit three years later, I was making $55,000 a year. Pay raises are regular, and your rate goes up if you hit goals each quarter, like making on-time deliveries, driving without accidents, staying under the speed limit, and having more years of experience under your belt.

4. You’re constantly traveling, but you don’t get to be a tourist. In a day, you could easily clock 600 miles; in a week, you could span more than 3,000 miles, or double if you’re team driving. That’s an insane swath of the United States to cover — and yet, you won’t experience anything you can’t see from the highway. Sure, you’re passing through lots of cool places, but you’re on the clock and you can’t just park your truck somewhere and go sightseeing.

5. Even with all of the downsides, there are some beautiful moments. If you Google “best things about being a truck driver,” you’re not going to find much. But for the right person, there’s a lot to appreciate: You get to be in charge of your own schedule and how you spend your time in the truck. You can save a lot of money, since your living expenses are minimal while you’re on the road. And the views from the driver’s seat beat any office window.

Read more here to see what else Arielle Pardes wishes she knew before becoming a long-haul truck driver.

Are you an owner operator looking for steady, reliable work? Click here to learn how Drive My Way can help.

Featured image from Pixabay.com. Interior image from Getty.com, as pictured in Cosmopolitan magazine.

Chris Cox is cooking dinner. But he’s not in his kitchen. He’s cooking meals from a much more unlikely place — his semi.

For the veteran truck driver, who has found his niche as a company driver for Ozark Motor Lines, the road to this culinary triumph was long and full of misunderstanding.Chris Cox photo 2

“For a long time I was operating under these misconceptions about not being able to cook in the truck,” says Cox. “For some reason, I just thought it couldn’t be done.”

But that was bound to change.

And about five years ago, it did change, when Cox fell on hard times. Cox’s former employer was bought out, he took a huge pay cut, and he was going broke. He had to reduce his expenses in a hurry.

For Cox, who for years dined out twice a day, reducing his expenses had to start with his eating habits. He began cooking in the truck.

“For me, that was hard,” he says. “It was a big change of my lifestyle.”

For two years, Cox struggled with cooking in his truck. He did the dishes with bins of soap and water. It was a splashy mess. Then Cox discovered the Big Truck Cooking Group on Facebook, and his culinary world changed.

“It was my involvement with Big Truck Cooking that radicalized everything for me,” he says. “All those years of failure, and then all of a sudden I just stumbled across this group — those people are doing this on a truck? Aw, no way!”

For Cox, the group was a godsend. Through it, he learned he could clean up with baby wipes, that they wouldn’t leave a residue on his dishes. He ditched the soap and water, and his imagination soared.

The man who grew up watching his grandmother cook (and who once worked as a professional chef) had found his creative outlet again. It freed him to cook in the spontaneous style he loves, right on his truck.Kilbasa

Cox’s grandmother, now 96, was his biggest culinary influence. She grew up during the Great Depression. “That’s a whole other style of cooking,” Cox says. “You couldn’t go to the store to buy the ingredients you didn’t have. You just had to go without them. And that’s how my grandmother cooked. She made due with what she had. As a young boy, I picked up on that.”

To this day, Cox likes improvising. Big Truck Cooking introduced Cox to the Aroma cooker, which diversifies his menu with its versatility. It’s a steamer, skillet, crock pot and rice cooker all in one. He often uses it to cook Eckrich kielbasa because any unused sausage is easy to seal and store.

“The Aroma was a game changer for me,” he says. “The Aroma and baby wipes were necessary for me to fall into a groove. Now I’m definitely in it. It’s a good place to be.”

Find the best CDL trucking job for you with Drive My Way. Register today. It’s free!

Featured image from Pixabay.com; other images courtesy Chris Cox

 

Veggie dish

Veggie-a-go-go

Veggie-a-go-go Recipe:
Ingredients:

  • Half cup of rice
  • Half cup of water
  • Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 bunch of green beans
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 small or medium can tomato sauce
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 container sliced mushrooms
Directions:

  1. Put half cup of rice, half cup of water and a spoonful of butter in an Aroma cooker. Put Aroma on White Rice setting and wait for timer to beep when done.
  2. While rice is cooking, cut the ends off a bunch of green beans and cut the green beans and corn cobs in half. Slice onions and mince garlic.
  3. Open a can of tomato sauce
  4. Slice sweet, yellow peppers into “matchsticks”
  5. When rice is done cooking, put in a bowl and set it aside for the last step. Put corn cobs in bottom of pot. Put green beans in steam basket with 3 cups of water.
  6. Put Aroma on Steam setting and set the timer for 20 minutes. Close lid, press Start.
  7. The Aroma has a count down timer. At 10-minute mark, add crushed, minced garlic to the beans in the steam basket.
  8. At 7-minute mark, add yellow peppers in steam basket.
  9. At 3-minute mark, add sliced mushrooms and onion to pot where the corn is.
  10. When timer goes off, butter the corn and plate it.
  11. Drain the water from the pot and add the rice set aside earlier, along with all remaining veggies, to the Aroma pot (except corn).
  12. Put Aroma on the STS setting (Sear Then Simmer), add can of tomato sauce and stir while pot bubbles with flavor. Serve when the smell starts driving you crazy.

Truck Drivers, Thank You

As you may know, this week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. We wanted to honor it today by posting this trucker’s prayer. Please know, drivers, how much you are appreciated by the Drive My Way team—and so many others. Thanks for all you do! Stay safe out there.

truck drivers