Truck driving has many great things about it, such as the freedom of the open road and the chance to tour the country and get paid for it, the experience is exhilarating and therapeutic.
If you are fortunate enough to find a good-paying logistic company you have a good chance to provide your family with the best things life has to offer.
However, the job does have its drawbacks such as loneliness, boredom, and fatigue.
The greatest drawback is being the absent father, the absent husband or wife. You become a visitor, a stranger in your own home since you are always away with work. It can also take a toll on a marriage, as spouses may go weeks or even months without being able to spend time together.
As a trucker, you feel lonely when you are far away from your significant other. These emotions of missing your partner every single day are very common and to feel better, truckers make long late-night calls with partners to try and fill the void. Be that as it may, physical touch cannot be substituted. Touch promotes connection and relaxation, while also building intimacy. It is one of the most basic human requirements.
So should trucking companies allow drivers to travel with their wives?
Gone are the days when trucking was a profession for the old-age men, content with minimal physical intimacy.
Today very young men have embarked on careers as truck drivers. Most of them are still in the infancy of their marriages. The most important early part of marriage where lifelong bonds are cemented is through frequent physical intimacy.
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Is the trucking industry oblivious to the plight of the most important factor – the driver?
The driver has been reduced to a robot devoid of basic human needs. In the pursuit of profit margins, there is now a thin line between trucking and paid slavery. Truckers are pushed hard, guarded 24/7 by watchful cameras that record and invade their privacy with wanton disregard.
Truckers are human beings, who also need to be loved, caressed, hugged, to be patted after a long hard day.
Due to the nature of the business we do, I understand that such indulgences might not be as frequent as one would need but where the dynamics of the company permit, they must be allowed.
A late trip to Cape Town from Joburg with a tautliner if you leave on Thursday, will mean you are offloading Monday. That is ample time to travel with your spouse.
I am of the view that companies should register wives on their databases and allow for certain stipulated days where drivers are at liberty to travel with them.
The South African logistics landscape is a difficult one to read. There are a few companies that allow drivers to be accompanied by their loved ones, most of them are based in the Western Cape and the drivers are usually one specific minority race.
Is it that some truck types allow this arrangement to be possible more than others?
With side tipper trucks it can be difficult, given the diligence given to inductions needed at the mines and offloading points.
But one can still argue that a spouse can be allowed to accompany during part of the journey, not the whole trip.
Loneliness disappears when you have someone beside you. And it opens up opportunities for more fun activities along the route, such as picnicking together in scenic spots, which could sadly also be a put-off for the companies.
Driving with your spouse could significantly reduce your living expenses while allowing you to take on long-distance higher-paying jobs. And the biggest benefit is that you can spend additional time with your spouse while the job does not suffer. by Freethinker Jo