Cars and Trucks — September 14, 2018
Every Friday, Tuffy fields a question that benefits from his worldly wisdom as #TheMostInterestingRhinoInTheWorld.
This week’s question is: “Hey Tuffy, I saw the documentary that you posted, and I know you spent a few days in the truck with the driver. It’s made me interested in becoming a truck driver. I know I need a CDL, but what are the other things I need to be a good truck driver?”
Tuffy’s answer: “My friend, you’re asking the right rhino that question! I used to think I could be a big rig driver, but my recent experience has changed that perception somewhat. I’m going to assume that you want to be an OTR (over the road) driver, which means hauling loads across large distances. Besides requiring driving skill, I think that the biggest thing you’ll need to have to be successful at this profession is the ability to be alone for long periods of time. Being a truck driver is a very isolating experience. Most drivers drive alone, sometimes, for weeks at a time. Some drivers are on the road for months at a time – their truck is their home. You’ll be away from family and friends, and if you have kids, miss many of their firsts – first tooth, first goal, first crawl, first fight, first prom, etc. If you enjoy being alone, or if you are a podcast or audiobook fiend, then truck driving might be the right job for you.
Another thing you’ll need is self-discipline – long-hauling is challenging on your diet and exercise needs, and unless you’re consistently eating well and trying to get some exercise, your health will suffer. Most truck stops don’t serve healthful food choices, so you may want to bring your own fruits and vegetables with you. You can easily add a small fridge to your sleeper cab setup, which will give you the chance to bring some healthier eating options on the road.
Patience is another thing that you should have in spades. You’ll encounter many challenges as a truck driver, many of which are a result of other people’s lack of thoughtfulness, and if you let everything get to you, then you’ll be in for a very tough time. Truck drivers get cut off by car drivers all the time, and aren’t given enough space to merge onto Interstates. At the end of your day’s driving, finding parking spots at truck stops can often be a challenge – there are WAY more trucks today than there were when most of the truck stops were built, and that, combined with the fact that you’re only limited to 11 hours of driving each day, means that there are times when you’re going to have to be patient (and creative!) in finding a place to stop for the day.
So my friend, these are some of the qualities that you’ll need to be a truck driver. They’re not what most people will likely talk about, because they’ve either gotten used to it so they don’t think about it, or they possess these traits already and don’t face any issues, but it’s important to know before you decide to make the decision to be a big rig driver.”
TUFFY the Rhino is more than just the Armstrong Tire mascot. On the surface, TUFFY appears to be a tough, hardened character, and arguably there is “none tougher.” In fact, he’s really a softie at heart, charming folks wherever he goes – a gentleman, for sure, but one who would equally be at home blazing frontiers as he would be dancing the waltz at a grand soirée. Often referred to as “The most interesting rhino in the world,” TUFFY has traveled the world and made many appearances representing Armstrong Tire, from advertisements co-starring stars like Lucille Ball to being featured on many eBay listings. However, he remains a simple, Midwestern rhino at heart, one that’s rooted in empathy, humility, and family values.