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.



I come from a small town in north Texas. The population of Dodd City is just over 300 people. Such a small town that when I graduated in 1977, I graduated with 5 girls. I am not real sure about how long they have been there since we graduated, but I believe that they have lived and stayed there since then. Now, this is not a statement to say anything against the girls. I actually wish at this point in my life that I could be home. Why? I’m an over the road truck driver. A driver who drives and lives in a 18 wheeler.

I have been a truck driver for almost 11 years now. For a few of those years, my driving was just in Texas and Oklahoma, but now I drive the lower 48 states.

Continue reading “Travel”

Midlothian Tornado

I was in Midlothian, TX today.  I had taken a tanker to a client and he was unloading it.  At the time he had finished, I got out of the truck and looked up in the sky to see this…

Tornado 019

The guy that unloaded the tanker took this video of it.  Here’s the video…


He said that it was just about a mile away.  I don’t think so.  It might have been 3 to 4 miles for us.  It was quite a day!

Vacation just around the corner…

I’m working local today because tomorrow is the start of my vacation.  I’ve got this weekend, then Monday thru Friday and next weekend OFF!  The last time I had two days off in a row was February 27th and 28th!  The last time I had a full 34 hour break was 31 days ago!  I am exhausted and will be so happy when today is over.  I wish I didn’t have to go in today, but Tony can use someone else local.  Anyway, one more day won’t hurt.  Well, it’s time.  Keep the shiny side up!

Laredo, TX

At the start of the week, I took a load (small load) to Omaha, NE.  From there, I picked up a load of Pork Ham Skins going to Laredo, TX.  I’m here in Laredo where nothing happens fast.  When you go to other places, you expect them to happen a specific way.  You can’t think the same when you come to Laredo.  Oh well, just another day on the job.  I really wish I could say that I love doing this job, but I can’t.  It is a job and I have to have one, so it’s OK.

Once I’m done, I’ll call my boss and see if he has a load for me to pick up and come back to Dallas with.  We’ll see what happens shortly.