Semi-Trucks: 6 Brief Views Into the Life of Truckers on the Open Road

The romance of the open road can be lost on truckers driving their semi-trucks to the next destination. The pressure is on; they’ve got to get the trailer to its destination on time to get paid, and they can only drive for a set number of hours. Why would anyone sign up for a pressure-filled job that depends on road conditions, traffic, and vehicle reliability? That’s the life of truckers, but some love driving their semis across the country.

1. Truckers are some of the most skilled drivers on the road

Blue International Semi-Truck driving by a field of corn with a trailer
International Semi-Truck | International

RELATED: What Is That Black Build-Up on Your Car Wheels?

Semi-truck drivers need different skills for various seasons and road conditions. Schneider tells us these professionals are some of the best drivers on any road.

Those willing to travel across the country week after week could find themselves in sunny Florida this week and then in icy Minnesota next week. They need different skills for various road conditions to keep their massive semis going right. The ever-changing conditions and scenery make truckers some of the most skilled drivers on the road.

2. Urban roads can be the most challenging for semi-truck drivers

Semi-Trucks in Traffic
Semi-Trucks in Traffic | Shutterstock

Wide-open highways are much more enjoyable to drive than in urban settings of various cities. Truckers face these urban areas regularly but then never gets easier. Heavy traffic, tight streets, and the number of traffic lights make it much harder to drive close to urban destinations than the rest of the ride outside cities.

3. Truckers need to keep their hands clean while driving semi-trucks

Think about the places these drivers stop while out on the open road. These professional drivers often can’t afford to take a sick day, especially in the middle of a multi-day ride across the country. This means lots of hand washing, hand sanitizer, and germ prevention while out on the road.

4. Driving semis can be hard on their mind and bodies

Blue Freightliner Semi-Truck on the highway
Freightliner Semi-Truck | Freightliner

Being an over-the-road trucker taking on the long hauls across the country can be extremely tough. Often, there’s no time to hit the gym, and food on the road is typically packaged and filled with preservatives. Many truckers develop “driver’s knee,” which is an issue from repeated use of the pedals. These drivers are away from home for days at a time, which makes this a lonely profession and one that can be tough on their minds and emotions.

5. Semi drivers can’t take on hitchhikers

Even if you’ve seen it done on TV or in the movies, the reality is, that most truckers are forbidden from taking hitchhikers in their trucks. While it might be nice to have another person in the cab to talk to, there are many downsides and risks involved with picking up a stranger on the side of the road. Most truckers won’t stop or even slow down when they see a hitchhiker.

6. Truckers have a lot of freedom

Red Kenworth Semi-Truck with trailer staged
Kenworth Semi-Truck | Kenworth

If you’re sitting in a cubicle with your boss breathing down your neck as you read this, you might wish for the freedom of the open road. The men and women behind the wheel of semi-trucks have a lot of freedom as long as they follow the rules. Even though some trucks are equipped with speed limiters and cameras, most trucking companies don’t bother their drivers unless something goes wrong.

Being a trucker can be a lonely life, but these drivers see the country, enjoy the open road, and are the cornerstone of commerce in our country.

Next, check out the five best diesel trucks you can buy, or watch this video about the life of truckers behind the wheel of semi-trucks that cross our country every day.

RELATED: It’s a Lonely World, Why America Has a Truck Driver Shortage?