Non-truckers don’t know much about truckers’ relationships with the trucks. They may be a means to an end (income, benefits) or something more personal (family tradition, freedom of the road) or even something else (a safe/familiar place, a companion, an obligation).
What does the truck, whether it’s yours or not, mean to you?
I am married to it. I spend more time in my truck than I do with my spouse, child, house, dog, horse, or anything else in my life. My cross shift and I recently switched companies and it was a hard decision to make, mostly because we would be leaving the truck too. Our truck was called Triple 8. It ran 24 hours a day for 12 days straight, then would be parked for 2 days before going back out for another 12. It was the oldest, most underpowered truck in the fleet but it never let us down. I’d celebrate and pat that truck on the dash when we made the big hill and I would apologize to it when I got it stuck. That truck was my freedom, my sightseeing tour, my karaoke machine, my constant companion, and my safety net all in one. I ran into that truck in the mill after switching companies and it sounded terrible. It clearly wasn’t being looked after as well anymore. It hurt. I phoned my old cross shift and we talked about it like an old co-worker who wasn’t doing well. We still talk about that truck regularly, even though neither of us ever owned it and both of us have moved on. I don’t know if I could ever fully explain what a truck means to a trucker.