I confess. I am a workaholic. All of my life, I have been driven. As a youngster, I had morning and afternoon paper routes. I carried a full college load, while working full time. As a driver, I have always maximized my hours of service. I admit to -well let's just say – highly efficient logging techniques. I would throw 3 floor loads per week in addition to running about about 150,000 miles per year. It is my nature to maximize production.

This is by no means a full retirement. I don't know if I will ever do that. I am truly passionate about what I do. This New Cascadia is a fabulous truck. I am a professional driver, and I believe that what binds the best drivers together is that we love to drive. I am not ready to give that up, especially with a new truck on the way. I will be slowing down a little and not pushing the edge of the log book any more. Basically, I will be driving 2,000 – 2,500 miles per week. That will include 2 out and back runs with a little time off in between.

It will mean a day off in the middle of the week to get stuff done. That means that my weekends will be cleared to do our stuff, instead of stuff. I think that losing my bother last year has influenced my decision. Life on earth is finite. Enjoy it.

Reaching this point is a process. There were times when I wanted that new GMC Sierra and bought a Canyon. Maybe, now I will get that cool bigger pick up. Maybe, I will finally buy that Harley. Maybe, I won't. Thrift matters. Getting to this point means not having everything that you want, or even can afford when you're younger. One of the things that the WW2 generation did was pay off their houses before they retired. I have seen articles that say that isn't always the best advice. Hmm – maybe I am a little too old school. The differences between 15-20-30 year mortgages aren't as much as you may think. Think about a shorter mortgage.

I bought myself a little semi – retirement gift. It is a bird feeder. For some reason, I really enjoy watching the birds. There is a place for it outside of our dining room window. It will require a little landscaping, but no money. Carpentry and landscaping will be two hobbies that I will develop. Getting to this stage required a plan. I truly do not know how long it will be until I really retire. It may be another 8-9 years. As long as I enjoy what I do, I will keep doing it. I can't see that point coming anytime soon, but I have a plan. It would be cool to build a deer feeder out back.

Oh – and run one more marathon.

Comments (2)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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Thx Chet- I am a couple of weeks into the new plan. A lot of it is to just take better care of myself physically. I like my long runs. Going for a 10 mile run on the Ahnapee Trail is one of my favorite things to do. Yes, I know that is an odd thing for an old trucker, but I enjoy it. As I have aged - nagging injuries have taken some of the joy out of those long runs. My new schedule allows me to get in the gym on a regular basis. Resistance training is a great way to prevent those nagging injuries. - Like you though - I will probably always be a driver.

November 26, 2016 4:12:23 AM

Good luck. I stopped driving when I was 62 and went to bartender school because I wanted something to do. Apparently, most places thought I was too old. So, I became a personal driver and drove a businessman around in his Rolls, got his daughter to school when necessary, took care of the dogs when he went out of town, and, went with him and his family in their RV as both the driver and passenger for 32 day trip out west to many many National Parks and other great tourist attractons. Great times. Golf. Dinner out a lot. Driving a lot around Dallas. Getting hit, almost head on, (being a truck driver teaches great attention to ones surroundings) by a woman not paying attention at 66 mph while driving him to a meeting in his $450,000 Ghost. That was the end of her retirement. I lasted almost 3 years at it and then the need returned. I'm back on the road with no plans to quit until I'm 72. I just like it too much.

November 25, 2016 20:27:32 PM