Life on the open road: A truckers' tale.

Bulk Carriers
Bulk Carriers
April 30, 2024
Life on the open road: A truckers' tale.

For the past seven years and three months, Mike Boks has been navigating the highways and byways of North America as a professional truck driver here at Bulk. While Mike's primary role is behind the wheel, delivering goods across the country, he also brings a unique perspective to our team as someone deeply immersed in the day-to-day realities of the job. The marketing team sat down with Mike to get his insights on life as a trucker here at Bulk Carriers.

Mike, let's start with the basics - what first got you interested in becoming a truck driver?

I never expected to end up as a trucker, but once I tried it, I was hooked! And I have been working for Bulk for seven years and 3 months.

What do you enjoy most about being a truck driver? What are some of the biggest challenges?

Exploring new places is one of the best parts of being a truck driver for me. Getting to see different parts of the country, from the Rocky Mountains to the beaches of the East Coast, is such a privilege. It's incredibly rewarding.

What does a typical day or week look like for you? Take us through your routine.

I prefer to start my day as early as possible. After 10 hours off duty, I'll go for a 20-30 minute walk to get my body moving. Then it's time for breakfast and, most importantly, a cup of coffee. I'll typically drive for about 5.5 hours before taking my mandatory 30-minute break. During that time, I try to get out and take another short walk or even squeeze in a quick run, depending on where I'm stopping and the weather.

The rest of my day involves more driving, with occasional breaks to watch a movie or show in the cab. I try to end each day by winding down and getting to bed at a reasonable hour, so I can start the cycle over again refreshed the next morning.

What do you wish more people understood about truck driving as a career?

I wish more people realized just how challenging this job can be. Truck driving isn't as easy as it might seem from the outside. There's a lot of skill and discipline involved in maneuvering these massive vehicles through traffic, dealing with tight delivery windows, and staying focused for hours on end.

It's not just about sitting behind the wheel - there's a mental and physical toll that comes with this line of work. I have a deep respect for my fellow truck drivers and the essential role we play in keeping the economy moving. I just wish the general public had a better appreciation for that.

If you could design the perfect truck, what features would it have?

To be honest, I'm pretty satisfied with the truck I have now. It gets the job done and I know it inside and out. But if I could add a couple of upgrades, I think a bigger sleeper berth would be a game-changer. Being able to stretch out and get some quality rest on long hauls would make a big difference.

And if I had my dream truck, I might even try to squeeze in a small shower unit. Having the ability to freshen up without having to find a rest stop would be such a luxury. But at the end of the day, I'm just grateful to be driving something that's reliable and suits my needs.

What's the farthest you've ever driven or the most interesting place a delivery has taken you?

Back in April 2018, I had the opportunity to drive from Toronto to Delta, BC. That was one of the most interesting and memorable trips I've taken. The highlight was definitely driving through the Canadian Rockies - the views were absolutely breathtaking.

I feel so lucky to have experienced those stunning landscapes up close. As a truck driver, I get to witness so many incredible sights that most people never get to see. It's one of the best perks of the job.

As you travel across the country, what are some of the most beautiful or interesting places you've been able to stop and take photos? Share some of your favorite shots.

Many truckers have interesting hobbies when not on the road. What are some of your favorite hobbies or activities when you're off duty?

When I'm not behind the wheel, I really enjoy staying active. I like playing sports like football and basketball, and I also try to go for runs or hikes whenever I can. It's the perfect way for me to counterbalance all those hours spent sitting in the cab.

I'm also a big film buff, so I tend to spend a lot of my free time at the cinema or binge-watching shows. There's just something so captivating about visual storytelling that really appeals to me.

But above all, I'd say my biggest passion outside of work is tinkering with my truck. I'm a total gearhead at heart, and there's nothing more satisfying than making little tweaks and upgrades to keep my rig running at its best.

What's the most memorable sunrise or sunset you've been able to photograph on the open road? Share some pictures.

Finally, what keeps you motivated in your job each day?

At the end of the day, this job has become a true calling for me. I take so much pride in being part of a company that plays such a vital role in keeping our economy moving. And I'm honored to be able to leverage my on-the-ground experience to help make the lives of our drivers and customers easier.

Knowing that my efforts, both behind the wheel and in the office, are making a tangible difference - that's what really keeps me motivated day in and day out. If I can work hard enough to provide for my family and create special memories with my kids during the summer, that makes it all worth it.

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