During our time at the Flying J, we talked to a number of truckers, though the truck stop isn't as friendly as an RV park. We never had a chance to talk to any of the women drivers.
As we had noticed in our travels, a lot of drivers are very, very fat. They sit in a truck for 8 to 10 hours a day and often eat at diners and fast food restaurants. If I spent all day driving by myself, I would be consuming candy and chips as I traveled. One man we talked to said he really tried to eat healthy. Before each trip, he prepared food at home and froze the meals, then heated them in the microwave in his cab. I doubt I would have that discipline.
A driver gave us the advice to put on our blinkers or hazard lights when backing up to park. Another said he was 36, a mechanic and a member of AA. Yet another remarked that he was 56 and a retired policeman. He drove trucks for a friend and was able to have long layovers when he came home.
We learned about the laws controlling how long they could drive and how long they had to rest between periods of driving. We were told the new electronic logs mean the drivers have to find a truck stop before they have been driving too long. The electronic devices can't be fudged like with the old paper logs allowed.
Many truckers take their dogs along on the trips for some company. After fueling the truck, those drivers quickly find the dog run. And everyone has a cell phone. Truckers walk around the truck stop talking on the phone, many have head sets so they can use the phone hands free. One man said he spent many of his driving hours talking on the phone. During the rest periods, truckers also play games and go online with their phones.
One day we talked to the driver of a Flying J fuel truck. He reported that the fuel station there in Winslow received 22 loads of fuel a day. The drivers make two trips a day from Albuquerque where they pick up fuel. They are responsible for filling their own trucks and off-loading the fuel. There are no bellows in the fuel tank, so braking and skidding on ice can really get wave action going in the tank. There must be more than one fuel compartment in the tank because the driver said he had to take care to distribute the load for good balance. Since he has computer contact with the fuel dispatcher, he is sometimes redirected to a truck stop that is really in need of fuel.
One day a trucker backed in very close to the door side of our RV. He was within maybe 8 inches of our slide. John stood in the door watching as the truck slowly moved into place. When he got parked, John gave him an OK sign. We then chatted with him and his wife for a few minutes through their open window. His comment was, "Pretty good backing, wasn't it?"
I find I know way too much now about trucks and truckers and the loads they carry. I really pay attention to all that passes us on the road. Since we are driving on I-40, purportedly the busiest truck route in the country, I have a lot to watch.