Opinion

‘Why I’m quitting truck driving at only 29’

After 11 years of driving and at only 29, the decision to step away from being behind the wheel was a truly hard one.

I’ve advocated for this industry; tried to help out other younger drivers wanting to get into it and also wanted to do what I could to get it back to the way I’ve been told it use to be.

Unfortunately, it’s a losing battle.

When making decisions people normally weigh up the good, and the bad, and that’s exactly what I did and came to the conclusion that for me it would be better to walk away.

People don’t understand the sacrifices, not only by the driver, but also their families.

You’re only at home with family for 48 hours a week, if you’re lucky.

You’re watching kids grow up through a phone camera, and when you’re over 1000km from home and your partner is having issues, there is next to nothing you can do to help.

Social life is just a phone call, with almost no catching up because the free time you do have is for family.

People say that the isolation during the pandemic has been hard, but truck drivers have been self-isolating for years. And I’m not going to start on all the other things (hurdles) that we have to deal with outside the job on a personal level.

People think that what truckies do is easy. That all we do is sit behind a steering wheel.

Yeah, okay, you try and do it while life around you is crumbling, and you’re left to your own thoughts, 17 hours a day, sometimes for weeks on end, and tell me how easy you think it is.

People will say, ‘Well, why do you do it then if it is so hard?’ Well, to us it isn’t hard, it’s what we love, but sometimes other things you love more need to take priority.

I know in comparison to most in the industry, 11 years is nothing, and I tip my hat to people who have been doing it longer, and to the families who are strong.

I’m still going to do what I can to help people in the industry and I’m going to be an advocate for it, in whatever way I can for the next generation coming through. After all, it’s been great. The people I have met along the way have been amazing. The latest company I’ve worked for has been exceptional. And the experience has been second-to-none.

I hope one day the industry will be given back to the people operating in it and not dictated by people who have never lived it.

I hope that one day we can see it be something like I’ve been told it used to be, and that the camaraderie means more then where the freight needs to be.

I also hope that the next generation of driver can look at it for what it could be and not what it is at this stage.

But for that to change the Australian population outside of the transport industry needs to be made aware of the sacrifices that drivers and their families make so that they can have the comforts of their everyday normality.

Lifeline: visit the website or call 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: visit the website or call 1300 22 4636

Health In Gear: visit the website or call 1800 464 327

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1 Comment

  1. It’s sad that trucking is losing another driver; but, I can understand why Adam Craig is giving-up the driving career. I’m now 69, and retired; but, I made the same decision as Craig, about 30 years ago. The long hours on the road, and many un-paid hours as well; being hounded by the various authorities; and, being penalised for the most trifling little mistakes; it all adds-up to more stress than it’s worth. I also had a serious work-injury (fell off a semi); the after-effects of which have become more and more painful (and, as an owner-driver, I received no compensation). I love driving heavy vehicles, I loved being an inter-state driver, and I miss it very much; but, the stress became too much. I know I’m a damned-good driver; I’ve never been involved in an accident that was my fault; and, I’ve never caused anyone else to be injured or killed due to my error. I’m a good, professional driver, who was lost to the industry; because, to be quite frank about it, Australia as a nation does not respect truck-drivers as we deserve to be respected. The old saying is absolutely true: “Truckies Carry This Country”. It’s really unfortunate that Adam Craig is leaving the industry; because, we all know that good drivers are desperately needed. But, I do understand why he’s made that decision. Good luck Adam, in whatever direction your life takes. At least you’re walking away; not being carried away in a coffin; as have many drivers who “left” the industry.

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