Working with your spouse can be great fun, personally rewarding, and emotionally fulfilling. Or it could be a complete nightmare! It completely depends on whether its right for you, your perspective, and how you handle it. Some couples work really well together, while others aren’t used to it and just get in each other’s way. Truck driving is one of the few careers where you have the chance to work with your spouse if you both have a CDL. There are advantages and disadvantages to this option, and it’s not for everyone. There are also things you can do to make the experience more enjoyable. Here’s what you need to know before taking the plunge truck driving with your spouse.
Advantages of truck driving with your spouse
One of the big advantages of driving together is that you have the chance to earn more money. Truck drivers earn based on how many miles they drive. The more you drive, the more you can earn. However, it’s not that easy. Mandated rest-time means you have to stop for breaks at regular times instead of pushing more miles. Good thing too actually, since driving without rest can lead to burnout and a higher chance of accidents! A well-rested driver will be fresher, more alert, and will have had time to recharge away from the job. However, rest-time only affects one driver at a time. If you’re truck driving with your spouse, you can cover more miles together than you would alone. One of you would rest while the other one drives. Yes, you should take a few breaks together as well! But the bottom line is that if you drive together you have the chance to cover more ground and earn more miles.
Another obvious advantage of truck driving with your spouse is the time you get to spend together. Truck driving is a unique profession which takes you away from home for long periods of time. OTR drivers have it particularly tough as they may see their family only after a few weeks on the road. Home time is a crucial factor which drivers consider before accepting job offers, and many drivers seek to balance work and home life. If you’re truck driving with your spouse, this changes the equation entirely. You don’t have to take off work to spend time together (HINT: you still should!). It’s easier to spend time together if your spouse is right there in the cabin with you and taking in life on the road. You should definitely balance spouse time with alone time and rest time. More on that below! Instead of your trucking career being a detriment to your home life, it could provide the chance to reduce loneliness and renew your marriage.
Truck driving with your spouse isn’t for everyone so here are some suggestions to consider before taking the plunge.
Tips for truck driving with your spouse
Depending on how you handle it, driving with your spouse can help you reconnect or can drive you further apart. One big indicator will be how you interact about work currently—before you decide to drive together. It would help to have some previous experience working together in other professions or contexts. Even being in the same workplace but not actually working together gives you some experience to build on. Did you find your previous experience to be positive? Even if you didn’t work together, you may have worked on shared projects together at home. How is your work style while sharing domestic tasks? Did you have a big argument about which furniture to buy, or how to rearrange the kitchen?
If you had positive experiences of making joint decisions and compromising when needed, it’s a good indicator that you’ll be comfortable working together behind the wheel.
Once you’re driving with your spouse, you’ll be spending plenty of time together. Suddenly you’ll have to think about getting enough alone time as opposed to getting enough home time. This can be a bit jarring to truck drivers since they usually have too much alone time and will be excited about spending time together. However much two people love each other, they can get on each other’s nerves if they spend too much time together, especially in cramped quarters. Make sure you both bring plenty of books, music, games, and other activities that can be used alone or in tandem. While your spouse is driving, you may want to be together part of the time, rest for another part, with the option to engage in a solo activity when needed.
Finally, truck driving with your spouse doesn’t have to be all work and no play! If you’re lucky enough that the arrangement works for you, make sure to get the most out of it. There can still be date nights and lazy afternoons even though you aren’t at home. Since you’re already on the road, get out of the truck and make sure to explore. There are beautiful scenic spots all across the country, and new towns and cities to explore together. You can even document your travels through photography and scrapbooks, or engage in a new hobby together. Previously mundane tasks like exercise or cooking can become more fun with a partner alongside you.
Don’t forget the importance of days off. Just because you’re together more often and get more rest, doesn’t mean you don’t need time away from work.
Getting away from trucking for a bit can help you reconnect with home and will leave you recharged for when you return to work. Couples who work together often fall into the danger of having their entire interactions be about work, so try to avoid that trap and keep your marriage interesting outside of trucking as well.
Overall, truck driving with your spouse can offer incredible advantages if you have the opportunity to do it. Being prepared for it and having the right perspective can make the difference between a rewarding and a frustrating experience.
Drive with Your Spouse
Want to work for a company that allows you to drive with your spouse? We match you with a job based on your personal preferences and qualifications.