Sleep, beautiful sleep

2008 July 28
by Stace
When I first got into trucking, I thought the hardest part would be maneuvering this big beast of a truck in and out of large cities. I thought the second hardest part would be backing. I thought the third hardest part would be weather. I thought the fourth hardest — okay, I didn’t really do any ranking. I tell you what, though, I didn’t give much thought to sleep.

I now know that the hardest part of driving this truck as a team is getting enough sleep to keep you from becoming a raving lunatic. There is no real way to express how difficult it is to get any meaningful sleep while bouncing down this country’s crumbling roads. Imagine you are sleeping peacefully in your bed, when suddenly you are pitched up into the air, then flung back onto the bed again. Thirty seconds later the bed tilts and you are nearly rolled onto the floor. Two minutes later the bed begins vibrating like it’s being dragged over one of those old-fashioned washboards. These are just some of the thrills of trying to sleep in a moving truck. Kiss that deep REM sleep goodbye.

I have learned that sleep deprivation can turn the most charming, loveable person into Satan incarnated. Intelligence and wit give way to lumbering ox-itis. Appearance degenerates to the level of a fourth-generation inbred hillbilly from “Deliverance.” You’d whore out your best friend if it would buy you a two-hour nap. Who knew?

We have left each of our former employers for a variety of reasons, but the main reason has always been the truck, namely, the suspension of the truck. It makes such a huge difference in the amount and quality of sleep you can get while the truck is moving. We are now at the company, They Who Must Not Be Named, which is one of the most inefficient, aggravating operations out here. And yet we stay — all because our truck has one of the best suspensions out there for company drivers. We’ll put up with a lot for a chance to get better sleep. Even that snivelling loser, Uriah Heep.

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