The possibility, or at least the thought of it, has crossed every truckers mind at one time or another- to travel with family during a long haul so they can experience your job, and to spend some quality time together. But, before throwing Junior and a sleeping bag in the back of the cab, there are a few things to consider before hitting the pavement. Primarily you have a job to do, and balancing this with a family adventure should be your first concern.
What does your rider expect
Before loading up, sit down with your potential passenger and ask them what they expect the ride will be like, and what they can expect. Ask good questions from them, like how long they think they will b in the cab between stops and what they expect to see during the trip. By having them paint the picture for you, you have an opportunity to either adjust your route, your schedule, or your stops- and even correct them when something is completely unreasonable, such as mid-trip, three day lay over at Kings Island. You have a job to do, and getting the load there on time is paramount.
What do you expect
Take a good long look at how this trip will most likely play out. If you want to introduce your six year old daughter to the road, perhaps only a one or two day trip her first time out is the way to go. Small kids need exercise and room to run around in order to burn that endless energy supply, and the back or your cab, or the dog runs at rest stops for only ten minutes every six hours just won’t cut it.
You also may want to consider whether you can stand to be in the cab with your guest for a long period of time. Sure, your mother in law might make a great dish of lasagna, and is pleasant to see once in a while during the holidays, but if she’s asking to shadow you for a five day cross country run, do you think you can spend that much time with her talking about pleasantries?
The truck is your livelihood, and there may well be family who benefit from riding shotgun- and maybe even inspire them to a great career someday. But before loading up, take a moment and consider if it’s a good idea- and if it is, how you’ll pull it off without going crazy.
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