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The truck driver's seat

Look at them butt-prints!

If you’ll remember from the last podcast called Honor Among Truckers, I mentioned that if you were to drive around a truck stop parking lot, you’d see lots of drivers sitting in their driver’s seat whiling away the hours. They’re talking on their phones, doing paperwork, people watching, playing with their laptops, turned around at an awkward angle watching their TV, or even weirder, staring off into space with a blank expression. I just don’t get it. And since the word “phenomenon” makes anything sound more mysterious than it actually is, I’ve chosen to call this one “The Driver’s Seat Phenomenon.”

Here’s the thing I just don’t get. The average solo trucker drives approximately 120,000 miles each year. I actually ran about 127,000 last year. All of those miles are done while sitting in the driver’s seat. Yes, the driver’s seats in these trucks are highly adjustable to make the long hours of driving tolerable. Yes, they have air-ride suspension to keep you from feeling like Superman punched you in the tailbone every time your load takes you on US69 near Stringtown, Oklahoma. But even with all that, why in the name of Zeus’ hemorrhoids would you want to spend even one more second in that seat when you don’t have to?

Now sure, I understand that team drivers have more of an excuse to be welded to the driver’s seat.

Maybe your co-driver is getting out of bed and you don’t want to see his great-hairy-chasm-of-a-butt-crack sticking out of his tidy-whities. Can’t say as I blame you there. Or maybe your co-driver is your wife and you actually do want to see her backside, but she’s meaner than a giraffe with strep throat when she first wakes up; meaning you’d have a better chance of getting lucky with said giraffe than with her. Not that I have any experience in this whatsoever. *clears throat* Anywho…

Another scenario when you might need to occupy the driver’s seat is when you’re shut down and your co-driver is trying to sleep. Since The Evil Overlord and I always tried to keep on a set schedule, this used to happen to us a lot, especially when the economy took a kamikaze-worthy nose-dive in 2008. I used to put my TV in the passenger seat and sit sideways in the driver’s seat for hours while playing video games on my Playstation 3. After all, the giraffe… errrr, wife needed her sleep if I were to keep her from waking up tired and smiting the world with her mighty hand. I tried to be super quiet up there, but even with the curtain closed The Evil Overlord would often wake up when she’d hear me cussing under my breath or feel the truck moving as I shook my controller in frustration. LOL Hey, what can I say? Some of those games are friggin’ hard! Still, I didn’t sit in the driver’s seat because I wanted to. Like I said, I had the fate of the world in my hands.

Now that I’m a solo driver, I’ve got absolutely no good reason to sit in the driver’s seat when I’m shut down… therefore, I don’t.

When I start my day, I do my 3 B’s (breakfast, Bible, and bended knee) in the bunk area, where I’ve got a nice little desk to eat and read on. The bed makes an excellent place for the bended knee part, too. If I stop for lunch, I hop in the bunk area and eat back there if I have time. If not, I make my traditional peanut butter and jelly sammich and then eat on the run. If I’m picking up or delivering a load, I vacate the driver’s seat and go lounge on the bed with my feet propped up. At the end of my driving shift, I’m required to log a 5-minute post-trip inspection. A walk-around inspection only takes about 2 minutes, so I just do paperwork or hop on Twitter for a few minutes. But once that 5 minutes is up and hit the button on my retarded e-log unit, I’m outta the driver’s seat and sitting on the nice soft bunk while I make yet another bowl of soup while watching a DVD and ignoring the fact that I have a podcast due.

The fact is, I spend waaaaaay too much time in the driver’s seat already. If you want a really good look at the shape of my butt (and who wouldn’t), just look at the driver’s seat, because there are some super-lifelike butt-prints there. Good thing butt-prints aren’t like fingerprints, else there’d be a heck-of-a-lot of identity theft in the trucking industry. LOL And by the way, if you’re sniff-testing your newly-assigned truck for hidden cigarette smoke, I’d advise against putting your nose right up against the driver’s seat. Anywhere but the driver’s seat. You have been warned.

So what’s up with this obsession of the driver’s seat?

Why do so many of you drivers choose to spend your off-duty hours sitting in a seat where you already spend so much time? And why the heck are you all staring into space? These are serious questions that I really want to know the answer to. I think about it every time I walk into the truck stop and see drivers sitting there and watching the world go by. What is so stinkin’ fascinating about seeing me walk into the truck stop or watching the guy down the way back into a parking spot? I just don’t get it. And lastly, why on earth would you spend even one extra second in a seat that’s been farted in more times than OMG has been texted by teenagers?

*Please help to ease my troubled mind. Leave your excuses for living in the driver’s seat below.*

About the Author
I'm a 22-year truck driver with an interest in tech stuff. I do the Trucker Dump podcast and blog, which is all about life as a trucker. I have also written two trucking books, "Trucking Life" and "How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job."
6 comments on “TD93: The Driver’s Seat Phenomenon
  1. Anita says:

    Hey, cuz, cool blog! I don’t understand some of it, of course, but I like it. Be careful out there.

    1. Todd McCann says:

      Cuz? This must be that Anita. Wow! Long time, no see. Of course, I guess I’m not actually “seeing” you. LOL Thanks for the kind words about the blog though. And I’m kinda glad you don’t understand most of it. If you did, it would mean you were trapped in a stinkin’ truck like I’ve been for the last 16 years.

      Thanks for dropping in and checking it out! Hope to see you at family renunion sometime. I won’t be at this year’s, but maybe next year. Ciao.

  2. Chris McFadden says:

    First off let me say, before I forget as far as your reply to the 19 year old(from your feedback section). I’m not sure where you are getting that you have to be 23 to drive interstate OTR. The company that you know I drive for, as well as instruct for hires 21 year olds on a weekly basis. I’ve instructed some of them. I’d hate 2 think my company and I were illegally training drivers.

    I could’ve written a whole blog instead of commenting here and I’ve even had thoughts of turning my blog into a podcast just like you did.

    But here’s the reason I won’t do that( ill just leave the comment here. Perhaps you’ll read it in a future feedback session and ill have achieved the same end result). I don’t mind people hearing what I write, actually I think it would be cool! Just not in my voice. Yours or anyone else’s would be fine. You’ve met me, Todd, you know what I sound like.

    Well I hate the way I speak. As a kid I took a lot of kidding(psychological abuse) because of it. I’ve just never gotten over being self conscious about the way I talk

    Now enough said about that. If I can remember what I wanted to say now. Oh yes your “drivers seat phenomenon” blog podcast

    Ill have to admit to being one of those drivers sitting in the seat you were talking about. I can tell you most of the time, when I’m in the seat, I’ve either got my iPhone in my hand(usually on twitter) or sometimes, like right now I have my iPad mini resting on the steering wheel writing this comment. After I finish this I will likely do something I don’t often do. Ill get the MBP out and work on my blog post.

    And yes I’ll set it up on the steering wheel. It makes a handy little laptop stand IMO.
    And yes the bright white glowing apple will be visible to anyone that passes by my truck and looks. I’m proud to let others know I got an apple MBP. Can’t say that I’ve ever had the fear of someone breaking into my truck. I’m usually in it when it’s parked unless I go in for a quick shower or to grab something to eat. I rarely eat in the restraunt anymore.

    Or sometimes maybe I do look like I’m staring into space or watching people walk by or watching the guy next to me park and hope that I can trust him to do so without touching my truck or trailer. I’ve Been a “people watcher” ever since I was a kid. When I’d go to the mall on Saturday nights with my grandparents. Grandad and I would sit on a bench and watch people while my Grammy was in one of the stores.

    Or maybe I’m doing my paperwork so I can get paid for the loads I deliver.

    Or maybe, and I’ve never thought about it this way, till I listened to your podcast. I just maybe a tad bit clostraphobic. Being in my sleeper area with the curtain closed while I’m awake just feels wrong to me. It’s like I’m shut off from the rest of the world. Unless I’m sleeping or eating, normally the curtains open while I’m eating.

    I guess basically what I’m saying is I see no good reason to be in the sleeper with the curtains closed unless I’m actually in bed sleeping.

    That should about cover it. I think I’ve confirmed some of your thoughts on this subject and hopefully enlightened you on a few others


  3. wolverinetom says:

    Hey Todd, been following ur podcast thanks first for keeping me company when I need a chuckle. I like to people watch probably and maybe seeing someone I might know rairlly.But I think its mainl y to see how I measure up to others. Kind if a safety thing. I remember going to New Orleans about a week or two after Katrina with my then twelve year old son. Taking him out on the road with his Daddy for the first time (PRiCELESS)! But the company sent me there to get a loading which I had to wait for till next day. Figured we would get a bite so tryed to find a truckstop in a hurricaine flood zone (wasn’t the brightest move on my part). Went to an abandnond mall where some truckers set up a make shift truckstop. Needless to say I didn’t stay long. Seen the lot lizzerds and drug dealers and users and abusers come out like roaches. Didn’t even stop the truck wellll I know bad move on my part but ya never know what your going to see. Thanks for letting me bend your ear for once ha ha. Thanks for they workout vid. Now if I can just get motovated and quit eating everything….

    1. Todd McCann says:

      Still haven’t started that workout yet, eh? Shame on you, Tom. 😉

      Yeesh! That makeshift truck stop sounds awful! Kinda glad your son got to see it though. Maybe it’ll teach him to go to college so he doesn’t have to live the life of a trucker.

      Thanks for sticking with the podcast. Glad you’re enjoying it. You know that makes you weird, right? LOL

  4. Wow, it’s interesting that the average truck driver drives about 120,000 miles every year. It’s good to know that those seats are adjustable for those long drives. Might as well be comfortable when driving, after all. I’d be interested in learning what kind of adjustments are made for these seats to help drivers for these long trips.

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