Here is a great video commissioned by the Atlantic Monthly magazine where truckies talk about trucking life, its up and downs and ongoing issues. Admittedly, this is in the US, but if you asked the same questions in lonely truck stops across Australia you would get a similar set of answers.
Filmmaker, Andrew Cohn, passed a truck stop on the side of the road and saw a long, white semi with the words Mobile Chapel painted on the side.
“The whole idea of a mobile chapel dedicated to long-haul truckers seemed a bit out of the ordinary,” said Andrew to the Atlantic. “I mean, who opens a church in the back of a semi-truck?”
Inside the mobile chapel is Chad Romera, a chaplain who has dedicated his life to lending an ear to interstate truck drivers. Tuck drivers confide their anxieties, frustrations, hopes, and fears to this chaplain in his mobile chapel.
“Chad had such a welcoming personality,” said Andrew in his interview with the Atlantic. “He wasn’t judgmental or preachy. He simply presented himself as a listener. It takes incredible fortitude and sacrifice to sit in the back of a semi-truck and listen to wayward truckers day and night. That kind of isolation followed by intense moments of focus and empathy felt familiar to me as a documentary filmmaker.”
As the truckies talk about trucking life they could be said to be typical of truckie attitudes in Australia as well as in the US:
- “If I had to do it over again, no, I wouldn’t be a trucker.”
- “I got two sons, and I told them, ‘Don’t think about trucking’.”
- “What scares me is not having financial security … uselessness, not knowing what you’re gonna do next.”
- “You have absolutely no interaction with anybody. Solitude is all we know.”