Guitar and trucking lessons

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I recently took my son to his guitar lesson – he’s getting pretty good at Coldplay’s “Clocks” and the Foo Fighters’ “Walk,” and he already does an OK “Panama” by Van Halen and a so-so “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

Anyway, I took some of my magazine work with me to catch up while my boy was jammin’. Before his lesson began, his teacher saw me with my stack of CCJ paperwork and asked me about it. When I told him I worked for a magazine for trucking fleet executives and maintenance experts, he became curious and wanted to know more. It turns out that a couple of his friends are company drivers for a local fleet and that they drive to California and back week in and week out.

I joked briefly about how they probably know the way pretty well by now and that they must have a keen idea about the best places to eat and stop to rest. He said they had a pretty good grip on that stuff, but that he knew from talking to them that it wasn’t the lifestyle for him personally – they were gone six days out of the week, and barely anyone he knew ever saw them except on rare occasions when they made specific plans well in advance for some gathering like a holiday cookout or somebody’s party.

He also told me they’d both tried being owner-operators at one point, but that the liability issues were too much to swallow and that being employed by a fleet was much less stressful – even if they didn’t have as much control over their day-to-day schedules.

And with that, my son and his teacher went to their classroom for another hour of rockin’ – and I’d unexpectedly learned quite a bit about the state of today’s truck driver environment.