Aussie truckie who moved to US says it’s much more ‘relaxed’

An Australian truckie has opened up about his experience working as a driver in the US, and how it’s “much more relaxed” compared to home.  

Jiri Bukak moved to Florida in 2009, starting out as an owner-driver with a 2006 Peterbilt 379.  

“I did long-distance, or ‘over the road’ as they call it here, for four years,” he told Big Rigs.

“I visited every one of the lower 48 US states, and four Canadian provinces.”  

After that, Bukak worked as a race car hauler driver for Richard Petty in the NASCAR industry for three years, before returning to work as an owner-driver, hauling refrigerated supermarket freight out of Daytona Beach.  

Bukak, who was a truckie in Australia for 20 years before he emigrated, thinks trucking in the US is a lot more laid-back than at home.  

“We almost always only pull one trailer along smooth, multi-lane freeways, and we are left very much alone by the law enforcement,” he said.

“Another nice thing about trucking here is that there is no overall length limit on truck-trailer combinations.  

“That results in nice big sleepers and no stupid wankers from road authorities that have nothing better to do than keep hassling drivers about a few inches over length!”  

The old loose leaf log book in the US. Image: Jiri Bukak

He said that if you have a truck that was made before the year 2000, you are still allowed to use paper log books.  

“I did about eight years with paper log books, and it was awesome,” he said.  

“You could do pretty much anything, because the log is just a loose piece of paper with no numbers, so I will leave it up to your imagination what you can do with that…

“I now run an electronic log book, which is bit of a pain and stupidity, but it is what everyone now has to run unless the truck is made more than 24 years ago.” 

Bukak says the one thing he misses most about trucking Down Under is the wide open spaces. 

“The south east area of the US is very densely populated, which results in heavy traffic on the interstates a lot of the time,” he said.  

“That’s where I mostly operate, so that’s a downside for me. I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too!”  

Bukak would like to move back to Australia in the next few years, but he said he won’t be living anywhere except WA or the NT, which are not under the jurisdiction of the NHVR.  

“I am too old for that nonsense,” he added.  



  1. Title should read “Super trucker prefers making half the wages he did back home because his accent is a novelty in North America”

    1. I spent 8 years working otr and for Chrysler out of St Louis mo.
      I’d go back to states in a heartbeat.

  2. Congratulations on your move to the United Stated. Less pressure from idiots on the roads, intimidating police and third world roads and finally tax and more taxes. Take care.

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