Welcome to “Thoughts from the Road.” As you drive along on your daily journey, no matter where you’re going, you have a lot of time on your hands. “Thoughts from the road” is a blog dedicated to that time we share on the road together. What will you do with your time?

This is a guest blog post by Tyson Spencer, TC Trucking Enterprises Ltd, Perth Andover, N.B.

For every mile of road there is 2 miles of ditch.

As an owner and dispatch of a small trucking company, at the end of the day I shut down the computer and lock the door. I go home, putting on my family hat and get the boy fed and off to bed.

Then put my company hat back on. I wonder, how are my drivers doing? How is the weather they are running through? I hope they are safe and well. What is my next plan for them? Gosh, I hope I can get in another good round for them.

Jon is in Florida, what do I get him from there? Dale is in Pennsylvania, I’ve gotta get him a load home. Ben is loaded south, do I try and LTL him home or head for Ontario? We go there, then wait for a phone call to come in. 15 minutes of nothing (silence).

Next, I wonder what to do with Frank — oh wait, a phone call. Another 15 minutes of nothing (silence). Here’s an email from a load broker who is looking for the cheapest rate possible to get the load that I have no interest in hauling, but I still have to keep the lines of communication open just in case we need him down the road. Empty truck now, looking for loads that I don’t have. Looking for reasons why I don’t have a reload. Looking for answers I can’t give.

It must be nice to go home to your family, or so I’ve been told. The other side of the coin is that my mind never stops thinking of the next best possible move for my drivers. I’m in this for a paycheck, yes, of course.

At the end of the day, I’m not only looking out for my own family at home, but also my family out on the road. My drivers all become a part of my own life. They are the extended family that I never had. When I was growing up my father drove trucks. He sold trucks and then drove trucks again. I vividly remember asking my mother where and when my daddy would be home. This was before the time of cell phones, and we would get a phone call each day or so.

I understand both sides of the coin. I both love and hate this industry. I work all spring, summer and fall to get rates up, only to have them all cut to pieces during the slow winter months. I go back to the office each day, hoping that today will be the day that things break loose and be busy again, so that all the hard work that the drivers put in can be rewarded.

This is never a one man show. It’s never “I work for me.” No, I work for my family on the road and their families at home.

God bless all of you guys on the road. Stay safe out there.

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Relationship Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker, helping companies and professional drivers with better Health, Safety, Wellness & Driver Solutions.