Fighting Boredom the Old Fashion Way
Laying over is the bane of a truck driver’s existence, and finding creative ways to fill those times takes imagination. Many go to the new technology to stave off boredom, but there are a multitude of old fashioned hobbies that can adapt to the trucking lifestyle.
Reading of course might first come to mind. If nothing else, almost every truck stop chain has free magazines such as ExpediteNow Magazine and Road Gorilla Magazine, to peruse with good articles covering topics from how to stay healty to how to save money, and of course trucking and its issues. Some truck stops still carry paperback books; some even have used books for sale. In the same vein and easily found are puzzle books such as crossword and find a word.
Some hobbies are more than hobbies, and become part of a driver’s life, even including their family. Cross border truck driver Bob Heans, out of Fergus, ON, Canada, got interested in racing as a young man. Now his son Brian primarily drives his 1978 Chevy Malibu, but Bob still gets behind the wheel occasionally when Brian is busy with school. Bob’s wife is part of the support team as is his other son Rob keeps the Snakebite Racing paperwork up to date. Bob enjoys stopping by racetracks even when his car is not racing, in his spare time while on the road.
Needlework is a popular hobby to do on the truck by women especially, though a male driver showed me how to do needlepoint. Idella Hansen is an owner operator and a safety director for a small company. She also has a quilt shop that she runs with her daughter. In her spare time on the truck, she quilts. “We do machine quilting at home, but I do the hand work on the bindings while on the road,” says Idella.
Rebecca Coleman rides with and assists her husband, an owner operator who pulls flatbed. In her spare time and while she is riding along, she crochets.
Linda Caffee, who teams with her husband on their expedite truck, leased on with FedEx Custom Critical, does cross stitch, needlepoints and crochets. She has won awards for her work.
Angela Kinnard-Lecomte, a lady driver, also crochets to pass the time. She loves bright colors.
Christine RaeBishop is a former lady driver who both knits and does counted cross stitch. While training, she would use a steering wheel table during breaks and stitch away. She says, “In fact, when I was learning to drive, my instructor who was 70 at the time) said it was the first time he ever had a student sew in class!”
Tobey Houston, a former lady driver, sketched while on the road and designed tattoos for her friends. Since coming off the road, she has expanded to doing stained glass and painting.
(Do not think that only women do hobbies while on the road. Many men carry bicycles or even motorcycles with them on the truck to both enjoy and for health benefits. Roy, a company driver, weaves belts out of various materials from leather to yarn. Of course, some owner operators, and company drivers, enjoy working on keeping their trucks shined, that it becomes a hobby of sorts. While Keith ”˜Palerider’ Lawson has a more high tech hobby, he has a YouTube channel called PaleriderTV. He takes videos of interesting things on the road and shares them with his followers for them to learn from and enjoy. Strange Load , How Not to Merge.
Some enjoy puzzles. Using a cloth puzzle roll up, one can work on a jigsaw puzzle when they have time and then put it up safely when one needs to roll. The topic of puzzles leads to the type of stumpers such as the two horseshoes entwined with chains on them. The trick is to find someone who can separate them. One can see those drivers who enjoy this type of thing at terminals and truck stops trying to stump someone.
Other hobbies on the road by truck drivers are, woodcarving, leatherwork, beading, and model making. Golf is enjoyed by both genders if there is a golf course close by the terminal or layover point.
My personal favorite hobby, other than reading, I do when on the road is collecting rocks. While I primarily look for agate, any pretty rock is fair game. Finding fossils is a real thrill. I also enjoy taking photos with my cell phone.
It does not matter what you do in your spare time to kill the time while waiting out a restart, waiting on dispatch or your spare time at home. It might be something simple as watching favorite programs on the TV, meeting new people, sightseeing, or reading a book. What does matter is that you occupy your mind so you do not brood, get into trouble, or get bored while sitting around doing not much of anything and that you enjoy what you do.