My Son,
The Long-Haul Trucker

Dateline: 23 October 2015

If you are out on the roads of America and see a Schneider truck like the one pictured above, my oldest son may be driving it. His name is the same as mine, but we call him Chaz. He and a friend (also an Army veteran) recently started a team driving job with Schneider.

They started the job last week, and the company issued them a brand spanking new truck. 

On their first week they started in Indianapolis and took a load of shredded paper to Wisconsin. From there they took a load of paper to Virginia. In Virginia they picked up a load of something that I'm not allowed to reveal, and headed for California (they had an armed escort part way). That delivery was diverted to Dallas, Texas. From Dallas, they took a load of plumbing parts to Lebanon, Tennessee. From Tennessee they drove to Georgia, got a load for WalMart, and took it to Dayton, Texas. Then they picked up a load in Waco and are bringing it to Indiana. Altogether, they drove around 4,000 miles their first week on the job. That is, I'm told, a slow week. 

So keep a lookout for my son when your out there driving the highways and byways of the country. If you see him, tell him "Hi" and that you are a reader of my blog. It won't be the first time he has met a Deliberate Agrarian blog reader in a far-from-home place. Amazingly, when he was in the Army, stationed in South Korea, another soldier, seeing his name tag, asked him if his father wrote a blog.

Small world, eh?

That's him.


RonC said...

Wow, He's sure going to see the US now. I wish him millions of miles of accident free travels. Remind him to keep a journal of his travels.

Marc said...

Hey I work in Lebanon!

Lyle Stout said...

It's a tough way to make a living. Back in 1980 during a period of unemployment I went to California (from Iowa) as an emergency fill-in loader (no CDL) with an Allied Van Lines driver. We played cards under the parking lot lights in Reno (borrowed furniture from the trucks), traveled up and down the coast for a week or two doing short hauls, and finally got an eastbound load so we could get back home. Then almost lost our brakes coming down Donner Pass. And we listened to the album "Breakfast in America" about a zillion times. Still can't stand it 35 years later. I wish him Godspeed.

Herrick Kimball said...


Sounds like an adventure, for sure.

I went to YouTube and found the song, "Breakfast in America." I don't recall ever hearing it before. But there were other songs on that album that were familiar to me.

I think the moral of your story might be that you found work to do, and did it. Not necessarily an ideal job, but it was better than nothing. And, it brings to mind the aphorism of Laura Coburn's mother, which I wrote about here back in 2008. Here's the excerpt....


My friend Laura Coburn is a talented and successful graphic designer. One day she was telling me about a job she had when she was younger. It didn’t go well and she was greatly disappointed. Her mother consoled her with these words of wisdom:

”No experience is ever lost.”

Laura’s mother told her that more than once over the years. The point being, we can all learn and grow from our experiences, even the failures (perhaps especially the failures). No experience is ever lost. They all figure into the equation; into the orchestration of events that make up our lives, and lead us to where we end up.

Herrick Kimball said...

Ron C.—
Keeping a journal is a good idea. One could even create a blog-journal.

So, Do you work for Cracker Barrel? It's a wonderful restaurant chain. Love the agrarian theme!

Joy said...

My husband was an OTR truck driver for years. It's a tough job. People who don't understand the work say a truck driver gets to see the country 'for free'. Well, he mostly gets to see highways, exits, and backs of stores and factories. They fly right past tourist stops and just have to wave. They drive past homes near a highway and see the lights on and the family at home--but they aren't. They get to drive at night, weekends, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, all sorts of family events they can't be home for. As for keeping a journal, I imagine most 'down' time when the other is driving, your son will probably be sleeping, although my husband did take videos. This is not a job for a married man with a family. Many temptations on the road, easy pornography mags at all truck stops displayed prominently, and hookers ready and waiting. I rode with my husband for awhile, just about covered the western and north western part of the country, including much of the Midwest, he's been east as far as NYC, down to Brownsville, TX, and even down to mile marker 1 in Key West, FL. The hookers are on the CB in NV and in Reno while parked at a truck stop, the hookers pounded on his cab door (while I was inside). You get to see the seedy side of life while driving a truck. Sorry for the upbeat comment, but I wanted folks to know this is not some happy ride. Oh, and if you own your truck... when you're home, you're working on it. Remember folks, most everything you eat and buy, a trucker brought it to you.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Joy—
Thanks for the reality check.

I didn't write this as an endorsement of OTR trucking as a career or lifestyle choice. Not at all.

It's more of an informative post about what's going on with one of my children. What I am pleased with is that my son is showing initiative, and pursuing a responsible job that pays fairly well in an economy where good paying jobs are getting harder and harder to find.

I don't think it's a job he particularly enjoys, but I think he's making the best of it, and hoping to get ahead financially. He could be living at home, and playing video games all day, which, from what I've heard, is what a lot of young men his age do.

We all want the best for our children. If I choreographed the lives of my three young-adult sons, they would be much different than they are. But it doesn't work that way. I take encouragement where I can find it, while hoping and praying for the very best. :-)

Thanks again for the comment.

Joy said...

Yes, thank you, I understand your viewpoint. Glad to hear he is being responsible and hard working. I just wanted to give another side of trucking, I didn't mean to be a downer. Best of everything to your son. I enjoy your blog.

Lyle Stout said...

Joy, Herrick-

I purposely left out the part about the hookers banging on the doors before the truck even stopped in Salt Lake City. Fortunately, I was with a guy who was committed to his girl back home, so we just rolled on through, called a friend from a pay phone at a shopping center (no cells in 1980), and parked our Allied Van Lines truck in front of his house in a suburb that night. I'm sure the neighbors talked. Then there were the hookers in Reno that tried to lure us with "free" grass. We told them we had given up smoking for our health. It's a very rough life - lonely, too. I'll keep him in my prayers.

Herrick Kimball said...

Comment from the road (Utah today)...

Hey Dad,

I was reading the comments on the blog you wrote about me and noticed a lot of people commenting on the hookers and what not. I think the truck stops in general have cleaned up quite a bit over the years. They are very clean and kept up very nicely. Most of them double as a travel stop for people traveling in cars so you see a lot of children so they have to be family friendly. I have had a few woman come up to the truck and try to sell me little nick nacks and what not. One did imply prostitution but you just wave them on or tell them no thank you and they go on their way. They are very disgusting looking people anyways so I don't know why anyone would be "tempted". The police patrol through the stops pretty frequently so you rarely see things like that. I believe it has really changed over the years. It's not just outlaws and dirty old men driving around lol anyways just thought I would fill you in on that. Love ya!