There's no denying it. Driving a truck is one of the loneliest jobs out there, and many times, you're left to your own devices for entertainment and conversation. The thought of bringing your spouse with you on the road may sound nice or it may totally paralyze you with total anxiety! However, if you are mentally and physically prepared using these tips, a spouse rider program may actually make your trip more enjoyable and give the two of you some quality time to enjoy each other's companionship.
Know Before You Go
Before you decide to plan your trip, it's important to check with your employer to see if they have a spouse rider program. If you're fresh out of driving school or new to the company, the answer may be no. Most companies require six months to a year of driving before they allow you to take your spouse or anyone else on the trip. If spending time with your spouse is of the utmost importance, you may want to, at least at first, find a carrier that allows you time off on weekends. Once you're vested in the company, then you can ask to take your wife on the road.
Try Teaming Up
One of the more lucrative ways that truckers are making extra cash while cutting living expenses is teaming up with their spouse. According to research from CNBC and trucking firms such as Schneider and Swift Transportation, the number of female drivers is growing to meet the demands of the industry. Over the next three to five years, the shortage of truck drivers could rise to as many as 150,000 to 200,000.
Because of this shortfall, many companies are now targeting women by offering excellent benefits such as higher pay and a 401(k) plan. Ellen Vole, the chief executive of the Women in Trucking Association states, "As a truck driver, you make the same amount of money as your male peers, because you either get paid by the mile or the load of the percentage. So gender is not an issue in pay in the truck industry for drivers." In addition, having an extra set of hands is perfect for using the radio to communicate, navigating unfamiliar areas, handling repairs, and delivering goods in a shorter time.
Bring Extra Entertainment
Even if your soulmate has always been able to talk to you until the sun comes up, sometimes it's nice to have a break in the conversation. During these spans, you'll probably need some entertainment for your spouse. Don't leave home without books or an e-reader, games, an MP3 player, or a tablet.. After the break, you'll find your chats more engaging, fun, and personal.
Don't Forget the Necessities
If your spouse isn't a driver, make sure that he or she doesn't leave the house without the necessities. Most truck stops don't provide any type of toiletries, so if your spouse needs to shave, shower, or just get fresh and clean, you need to bring your own shampoo, soap, and other supplies. If you don't bring these items with you, you'll be subject to the steep prices that truck stops tend to charge. With your own stuff, you not only save some cash, but you're presentable and comfortable throughout the trip.
Get Out of the Truck
When you're traveling all over the country, don't forget to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way. Sure, you have another driver or person to make the trip go by faster, but there's so much more to do if you have some extra time allowance in your driving schedule. Many state parks offer places for you to park and enjoy a picnic or take a few pictures. It makes the trip fun and it's the perfect place to document your travels.
Taking your spouse on your trucking route is a wonderful way to keep a happy marriage while enjoying the company of someone you love. Follow these tips, and you're sure to have the time of your life.