The Life of a Truck Driver — Hurry Up and Wait

A long time ago, I spent 10 years in the US Air Force. One of the things I was taught was “hurry up and wait”. No kidding. You would rush to get somewhere and not be late, then have to wait for your turn. An impatient person would find this a horrible way of life. Fortunately, I learned how to have some patience (though I really hope my patience is not tested again anytime soon).

On Monday of this week (March 25th), I had a tanker to deliver in upstate New York. It’s a place that I’ve been to several times over the past 12 years driving for Cima Transportation. I like going there. The people there are great and the drive there is not difficult. Plus, when you have to wait, you can stay in their parking lot. The parking lot is quiet and easy to maneuver the big rig.

This particular tanker delivery was one of the deliveries that requires the lab of the company to test the product before they can unload it. The tests take eight hours to complete. This means that I deliver it on Monday and they unload it on Tuesday morning. Unloading takes about 4 hours.

The training of “hurry up and wait” came into play today (March 26th). This particular delivery was a little different because the lab was busy with another problem on site and they were not able to test my load on Monday. The lab was able to start and complete the testing on Tuesday, which meant that I was able to pickup the empty tanker this morning (March 27th, Wednesday). I spent 2 full days (50 hours) there waiting for them to unload my tanker.

With Cima Transportation, I am paid to wait. I am very thankful for that. I was fortunate enough to have food and drinks with me and had restroom facilities near me. I have my iPad and a subscription to Hulu Live for entertainment and a good truck to live in. However with all the “hurry up and wait”, life as a truck driver can be a little more difficult than what most people would think.

Just food for thought.