By Robert Lake
Behind so many successful truckers is someone at home, keeping the books, paying the bills, running the errands and, in many cases, raising the children and mowing the lawn. Most truckers agree that they couldn’t make it without a support person at home while they are on the road.
Like you, I travel extensively in my job, and I know I couldn’t be as effective as I am without the help and support of my wife, Michelle. She’s had to do all kinds of things alone, including handling emergencies and helping my girls with their homework. It’s not that I don’t want to be there; I do. But since I have chosen a way of life that includes long stretches away from home, I consider my wife the most important asset in my life. I rely on her to do all the things I can’t do from the road. I am grateful for her competence and ability, so I don’t have to worry about every little thing going on at home.
A recent eTrucker.com survey of 554 drivers found that 55 percent of you say having someone to manage the home life keeps you worry-free, and more than 24 percent say your spouse gives you the emotional support you need to be a successful trucker.
This month’s cover story (page 20) explores the ways successful trucking couples stay connected in spite of being apart. Most of the suggestions revolve around working as a team, dividing chores and making the most of time together. In fact, many truckers say they feel their marriages are stronger because of the team approach required to keep the home fires burning.
One of the couples interviewed for the story is Jane and Mike Connors. Jane handles the business and personal side of their eight-truck fleet with grace and flair, freeing Mike to concentrate on building the business. Mike has always appreciated Jane’s contributions to their trucking business and, like me, feels he “married up.”
On a final note, I’d like to remind you to show your significant other how much you appreciate him or her. Do not forget to send something on Feb. 14. As soon as you read this column, order flowers, buy a card or click on some candy, but do not forget to do something for your spouse on Valentine’s Day.
Trust me on this one.