Read all About it: Life as at Trucker
Curious about the experiences of other truck drivers on the road? Maybe you’re thinking about pursuing a career in trucking or just happen to be a big rig enthusiast? Well, in any case, here are some great reads to give you an inside look on what life is like on the road, steps to get into a trucking career, and overall history of some of the top truck manufacturers.
With over 30 years of experience on the road, long-haul driver Finn Murphy and author of The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road, shares his personal experiences from being in the long-haul moving business. Finn, who has covered over a million miles in his truck, has delivered peoples belongings all over the country. Finn goes into detail about his job as a mover and how it’s much more tedious than just driving a truck. A lot of heavy lifting, strategically packing people’s belongings and how he dealt with the ‘yin’ and the ‘yang’ when it comes to customer personalities. Finn also shares his point of view of the work he has done and how America has changed over the years from his perspective on the road. This book has received phenomenal reviews on Amazon and is the most recently published book on trucking. Bob Ryan, Boston Globe correspondent says the book is “like a Mark Twain behind the wheel, [Murphy] takes us on the road coast-to-coast and city-to-city with a voice that’s honest and direct and sometimes even poetic.”
Mother Trucker: An Urban Couple Downshifts to Life on the Road is a true story about a Wisconsin middle-aged married couple that left their white-collar careers to become long-haul truck drivers. David and Shelley Hamel detail their ups and downs from attending truck-driving school to life on the road, driving coast-to-coast. For the couple, driving a truck together was a three-year experiment before settling into retirement…that way they could see the country (and the areas they liked) while still receiving a paycheck. The couple shares stories, tips and road experiences. For those looking for an entertaining read or, who knows, maybe a couple looking to explore the country together through trucking, this could be the book for you. It has received stellar reviews on Amazon.
From a computer programmer to long haul truck driver, Douglas C Sanderson, author of Interstate Confessions of a Rookie Truck Driver takes you through the journey of what it’s like to have a major career change. Doug talks about what it’s like being a new driver on the road and the lifestyle that comes with it. Doug doesn’t shy from talking about long hours and his truck stop experiences. He also pens some humorous personal stories. Even as a new driver, Doug expresses his opinion on what he has noticed about the driver turnover issue in the industry. While the book is an entertaining read, Doug breaks down some of the pros and cons of being a truck driver and what ‘growing pains’ to expect for those that are new to driving. The book can be found on Amazon and has an overall rating of 4/5 stars.
Seriously considering becoming a trucker? Well, Todd McCann’s Trucking Life: An Entertaining, Yet Informative Guide to Becoming and Being a Truck Driver gives you all the little things you need to know about being a professional driver. Most people know that long haul truck driving requires you to be on the road for an extended amount of time away from home, working long hours. But what else should you know about the job? In the book, Todd answers all the nitty-gritty questions like job qualifications, job security, potential health issues, what it’s like to sleep in a truck, what makes a good trucker, etc. Todd has been a truck driver for over 20 years, so he knows a thing or two about being a driver. For nine of those years, his wife was his co-driver, so he gives you some insight on that experience as well. Throughout the book, Todd sprinkles in some personal stories and humor to make for an interesting read. This book has an Amazon five-star rating and even comes with an audiobook so you can listen on the go.
For those that are history-buffs and would rather read a book about the production of trucks, you’re covered. There are a few books that cover the history of the major truck OEMs in the country that highlight the first trucks built to more recent models. Unfortunately, there aren’t any “new” books from the OEMs, so these are a bit dated…still they give great flavor for each manufacturer.
Big Rigs The Complete History of the American Semi Truck, by Stan Holtzman, covers all the major Class 8 diesel truck producers, including Mack, Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner, International, and Western Star. And since the book was written in 2001, it covers the long-gone nameplates of GMC and White. The book features history of each truck maker, with plenty of great-looking truck photos.
For more in-depth history of some of the top truck producers in the country, Mack, Kenworth, Peterbilt, and International each have books highlighting the company’s growth from the very beginning through the mid-90s and early 2000s. The books have a healthy amount of information and pictures of the company’s trucks, which really showcases how far the trucking industry has come from the early years.
Ever wonder what driving is like in Australia? For a bonus book, pick up The Driver – Australia and New Zealand on the Back of a Truck by Alice Mabin. The book was published in 2016 and is loaded with great photos and paints a picture of what trucking is like Down Under.
These books are just suggestions, and there are plenty more books out there. Here’s a great website to help you in your search: goodreads.com. Simply plug in the name of your favorite trucking book, and the site provides suggestions and reviews to help you find other similar books.
So, there you have it! Some great books about life on the road, what to expect if you plan to getting into trucking, and some history thrown in there as well. Enjoy the reads!