Trucking differs from most other types of careers because it's almost impossible to get a sense of how much money you're going to make. You're paid by how far you go, not how much time you spend driving -- so if a shipment is late, or traffic is bad, you basically miss out on a big chunk of your paycheck.
Imagine cops getting paid based on how many bullets they fire and you begin to get an idea of the problem.
"There is the trip to plan," says Spline, "as well as calculating where to get fuel (some states like California have VERY high road taxes, and so you are limited in how much fuel you can buy -- the companies I worked for generally capped it at 50 gallons), as well as calculating how many miles you can travel."
Plus, there's a logbook to keep, and regulations that demand that truckers don't drive for longer than 11 hours a day and spend at least 10 hours sleeping. So another big part of trucking is, of course, lying about all that shit. Anyone who follows those rules isn't going to make enough money to keep themselves rolling in microwave burritos and truck stop whores. Most truckers ditch the sleep and choose the work. Coffee, Red Bull, and upbeat K-pop just isn't enough sometimes.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Emphasis on sometimes.
"One company I worked for used to hand out uppers to their solo drivers along with their paycheck," says Spline. "I can remember being so damn tired and hopped up on ephedrine that the center line would sprout wings and fly away as I drove past."
Not all truckers indulge: Quis, for example, is always sober behind the wheel. But he's the exception, not the rule. That's the price you pay for a nice crisp tomato or an unwilted head of lettuce: drugged out, stressed-out, overworked, frantic, and lost land-boat pilots screaming their way across the country while the road signs berate them with the voices of their mothers.
That salad better be amazing. Maybe put some cheese on that shit, in honor of those who got it to you.
JF Sargent is an editor and columnist for Cracked that you can contact on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. Donec Quis and Mallory Spline are truckers.
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