A trucker’s wife: Why do drivers jump from job to job?

by Kelly Livingstone

Dear Kelly,

My husband has been with this company for 3 months and is talking about switching already. He claims that it is normal for truckers to switch jobs every three months. I think this is crazy. Is it true?

– Can he just stay put?

Dear Can he just stay put,

I am not too sure about the industry as a whole, but I know truckers out there who do stay put and truckers who move around a lot. Personally, my husband worked at six companies in almost five years. Two of those jobs were a year or more long and the others varied. He wouldn’t leave one job until he found another that appeared to be more of what he was looking for at the time.

Staying at one job definitely has its advantages. You know better what to expect once you learn a company’s policies and how they work. Most companies have a waiting period for benefits to start, and it’s not always feasible waiting for them to start all over again.

Holiday entitlement, perhaps bonuses that come with time; these are all things that cannot be attained by hopping from one company to another. A resume or application always looks a lot better with longer employments, but with the driver shortage in this industry, there is no shortage of jobs available out there. If you can, have him write down what he is looking for in a company, pay, miles, where they travel, home time, benefits and other things that are important to you both when considering a company. Show him that you want to help him find a great place to work. A company that is good for one, may not be for another.

I think trucking is about finding your place out there, where you fit in and feel comfortable.

Unless he is very unhappy, try to explain that if he sticks it out, it will look much better for him when he does find that place where he will be staying put.

– Kelly


Dear Kelly,

My husband is on the road for at least two weeks, sometimes up to five weeks. He has been doing this for a few years so this is nothing new to me. In the past when there were things that needed doing around the house, I either got my Dad to do it, my husband’s brother or I waited until my husband was home. They truly enjoy this job of looking after me, and when I was working full-time, I really needed the help. I was recently laid off from my job, and am not looking to go back right away. I really want to do some fixing up around the house now that I have time. I don’t want to step on any toes where the men are concerned, but I feel the need to roll up my sleeves and get into it. Any suggestions on how to learn and how to take care of the egos that may be a little bruised.

– Wanna get a little dirty!

Dear Wanna get a little dirty,

Well, this is right up my alley! I love being the handywoman! If it needs to be done, I have either done it, or I will find out how. My favourite way to learn is to go to the hardware store and ask a lot of questions. I don’t always go on the advice of the first person I ask either. Visit a couple of stores, or the same store a couple of times when you are thinking about getting into something. Look around at what they have to do the job, and ask, ask, ask.

Your local hardware store may also have how-to demonstrations. Rona has its demos listed online, http://www.rona.ca, as does Home Depot, http://www.homedepot.ca. You can visit your library for books on projects as well.

Now, it sounds as though you have some pretty awesome men in your life. I would think that they would love to be the ones to show you how to do things!

Find a project that you would like to do and ask them to help you do it, explaining that you want to actually do it, not just observe. Once they have taught you how to do a few things, try something on your own.

When you show them what you have done, they will be proud that you did it, and also proud that they had something to do with your learning how to do these things.

You can never have too much help when it comes to learning something new. I have done plumbing, painted, laid flooring, tiled, minor electrical and lots of woodwork over the past 15 years and I still call my Dad for help and advice when I have a question.

Have fun with this, but be careful, you may not be able to stop!

– Kelly

– I encourage you to send in your questions and comments. Feel free to send me an email at column@atruckerswife.com or snail mail at: Dear Kelly, PO Box 183 Stn. F, Winnipeg, Man., R2L 1M0

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