We have been involved as drivers in the truckload carrier segment of trucking and now in the expediter side of trucking and we are not paid tourists we are business owners. A side benefit is that we have been able to see some pretty cool attractions all over the United States.
While we were involved with the truckload carrier segment of trucking we very seldom had the time, were in the right place, or could get into many sites, the truck and trailer were to big, and we were not often welcomed. At that time we were not owner operators and bobtailing the truck around to sightsee would have had us looking for a new employer.
As expediters we are often in the same situation, we do not have time, we are not in the right place, or what we want to see is to far away. First and foremost we run a business and our business is our truck. Driving the truck here there and everywhere hurts our fuel mileage, is unnecessary wear and tear on the truck, eats into our profit, and hurts our hours we are available to run a load.
While we away from home our first goal is to earn money and to do that our truck needs to be rolling down the road under a load or be available for the next load opportunity. As a team we need to be ready to accept a load or night, weekend or holiday and that is our first priority.
Now to the fun stuff! Yes we are paid to see a lot of very cool stuff and stuff we would never have seen if we still had our former jobs. In this sense we are being paid to see the country and there is a LOT to see. We are also paid to go into some very interesting manufactures shops to see what they produce and how they product it.
Often we drive at night and we are able to see downtown city lights, roll over a hill and see Las Vegas, or Albuquerque, NM and both of these places can take your breath away. We are able to see shooting stars, a moon that is so bright is seems as if headlights are not needed. Once when going through a corner of Yellow Stone National Park we were able to see a huge herd of Elk bedded down for the night.
In the daytime we have seen Devils Tower, WY or the Devils Slide in Utah. We have seen the salt flats of Utah and the Virgin River Canyon in Arizona. All of these sights we have driven past not went out of our way to see.
Throughout the years a load or a layover has gotten us close to something we wanted to see such as Mount Rushmore, a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, or panning for gold in North Carolina to name a few.
So the question remains "Are we paid tourists?" and as with most things in life the answer is "Yes & No". We have met drivers who entered this industry as a second career to see the country and had to have an attitude adjustment, as it does not pay well to drive around looking at the sites. For us, once the balance is in favor of our business we can then relax some and take the time to see what is in the area of the country we have found ourselves.