With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, Troy and Connor talk all things “love on the road” and how drivers can start and maintain a relationship. We’ll hear from Mike of TruckerPassions.com on the online dating scene, as well as TruckerDump’s Todd McCann on how he and his wife keep their marriage strong while he’s working. Stay tuned to the end for some “cheesy” trucker pickup lines, news topics, and more!
Also, check out some of Todd’s ebooks, especially new drivers!
Love on the Road – Big Rig Banter Ep. 12 – Full Transcript
Big Rig Banter – Episode 12 Transcript – Love on the Road
Whether you’re hitting the road or kicking back in the cab, it’s time to take a load off with Big Rig Banter, powered by AllTruckJobs.com, your source for finding the trucking jobs drivers really want. Get ready to shift into gear and let the conversations roll.
Connor: Hello, and welcome! This is the 12th episode of Big Rig Banter. I’m your co-host, Connor Smith.
Troy: And I’m your co-host, Troy Diffenderfer.
Connor: Today’s date is February 7th, 2018, and that means we’re a week out from Valentine’s Day.
Troy: And that’s right ladies and gents! Love is in the air, and our podcast episode today is all about finding love on the road, keeping the love alive, and maintaining that spark.
Connor: Absolutely. This episode, we’re gonna feature a lot of great interviews from people dating in the trucking industry, dating truckers who are actively working in the industry, as well as an owner of a popular trucking dating website on how you can connect with people online. But first, let’s get into some news topics.
Troy: Alright folks, you know it wouldn’t be a proper Big Rig Banter episode if we didn’t mention ELDs, of course. It’s been the hot-button subject for about six months now, but it’s also opening the door for other new technologies to kind of better the logistics of the trucking industry as a whole. This article we’re reading from Trucks.com covers the freight matching technology that has kind of become more prevalent, and it’s supposed to replace the traditional freight broker. Right now, there are over 12,000 brokers in the U.S., and for more than 50 years, loads have been primarily booked through traditional brokers via phone, fax, and email. These kind of brokers are going out of style pretty much. The broker systems are fragmented and inefficient now, and these new load boards are beginning to take their place. Initially, load boards were very basic and weren’t as popular as they are now, but they are gaining these key characteristics like price discovery, you can now close the transaction on them, and the user experience is much better. Another great point is they’re allowing a new wave of transparency. Your customers and company can see all of your transactions, and you can see how much you’re paying, what the price is like, you can compare it with your competitors, so it’s another great aspect of these new load boards.
Connor: So, how are these load boards being accessed? Is it a desktop? Is it an app? Is it through the ELDs themselves?
Troy: That’s what’s great. You can access them via phone, desktop, app…there’s tons of great ways to keep everyone in the loop out there. Many truckers are citing it’s such a great thing, especially smaller or medium companies, those that are owner-operators, they can find loads right there on their phone and go haul them the next day. Many small truckers are really enjoying that because they’re not paying these brokers and they’re not having to go through a middleman to find freight to make their living. And it’s more than just a platform. It’s becoming a marketplace, and it’s a way to make sure loads are delivered properly. So I think this is something we should watch out for in the future. I think it’s something that will become standard for many trucking companies, small and large. We’ll see some brokers I’m sure, but I think especially for owner-operators and small trucking businesses, we’ll see them use these load boards as a way to kind of increase the logistics and save some money.
Connor: Absolutely, yeah, we’ll definitely have to keep an eye on this one. Alright, so now we’re onto our main topic for the episode: finding love on the road. That’s maintaining a relationship on the road and keeping the romance alive when you’re a truck driver. So, the first place to start, the most logical place to start, is how do you find a relationship on the road, you know? If you’re working long hours and you’re not in one location for too long of a period of time, it could be difficult to really start a relationship and keep one established over time. That’s what we were kind of hearing from a lot of people in the trucking industry, people either on our Lovers Lane post on AllTruckJobs.com, or just people that we know personally. It’s difficult to sustain a serious relationship as a trucker at times.
Troy: So Connor and I were brainstorming different ways that people date in this generation, and we basically put them into two categories. There’s the old-fashioned way, you know, how our parents and grandparents met, and that could be running into each other at a bar or a restaurant, and then kind of the new, millennial way that we grew up on. That’s the digital age of the Tinders, and the dating apps and such. But Connor, why don’t you take the old-fashioned way? I know you did some researching and spoke to some people about ways truckers can kind of meet face to face and how to spark a relationship from that way.
Connor: Right! So, the old-fashioned way I guess we would just categorize, as you said Troy, as, you know, meeting people in real-life situations. It can be in a truck stop, at a restaurant, at a location that you’re currently staying at during a haul, or whatever. But, it can still happen, you don’t need to facilitate things through the electronic means. So, how does it happen? What are the mechanics behind such a thing? It’s all about being there in the moment, being present, and just sort of meeting people in real life. So you guys know what that’s about. You know how it works. It’s more or less just a natural process of human interaction.
Troy: Yeah, you know? It’s important to be open and honest. We realize that this kind of organic type of relationship is especially difficult for someone who lives their life on the road because you’re going to be meeting people every day, meeting different people, and not being able to spend a lot of time with them, and that’s why I think being open and honest up front and kind of really letting things happen at their own pace is really crucial. But, that’s kind of why the online option is a better option for many truckers. I know it’s hard to believe, but back in the day, I did my fair share of online dating, Connor. But there’s a ton of different online options for truckers. In this millennial age, with everyone having a phone at their hip at any time, this is the route that many truckers and many over the road travelers are going for. That’s why there’s apps like Tinder and Bumble, where you can find a potential mate at a moment’s notice, or the more traditional websites like eHarmony or Match.com. There’s even some trucker-based dating websites, and that includes TruckerFriendsDate.com and TruckerPassions.com. Fortunately, we were able to talk with the owner, Mike of Trucker Passions, and he was able to shed some insight, and even tell a few stories about people finding love through his website, so let’s give that a listen.
Connor: Alright, so we’re here with Michael from Passions Network who operate the TruckerPassions.com, and Mike, thanks for coming on the show! We really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today.
Mike: My pleasure! Thanks for inviting me.
Connor: Absolutely. So, Mike, you’re the owner of Trucker Passions, is that right? And the Passions Network?
Mike: Yeah! I’m the owner of Passions Network, and it is a network of 260 individual online dating and social networking sites.
Connor: So our first question is, how did Trucker Passions start? Maybe a better question is, how did Passions Network start in general?
Mike: Well, I created an online dating directory in 2002 called AGreaterDate.com, and that’s going back 15 years…16 years now. It was back when the online dating marketplace was kind of consolidated into the “one size fits all” type of dating site. You know, the large players like Match, and there were probably three or four others back then, but so much has changed in the last 15 years. But there was beginning to be a split where sites were beginning to…in order to try and fight the big guys. We saw the creation of JDate for the Jewish community and Gay.com for the gay community. So there began to be kind of a breakoff of individual niche dating sites focused on specific groups. So that’s when I created the dating directory where, basically, I was listing these different categories, and there were a lot of sites that were being created during that time. So, the directory got to be a couple hundred pages of different types of sites, so I decided that it made more sense to focus on actually building a dating network, rather than just a dating directory, Trucker Passions was one of those. Because, even back in 2004, there were a few, maybe 2-3, sites that were focused on trying to connect truckers online, although they might have been more like forums as opposed to full-blown dating sites. I think I kind of got the jump on things then.
Troy: So do you have any specific stories of truckers finding love using your website, or what’s some of the feedback you’ve gotten from truckers who do use this social network?
Mike: Well, actually kind of an interesting story… the trucker, he originally joined a different site in the network and it was kind of an unusual site, I think, for truckers: CosplayPassions.com. You know, it’s not something you would expect most truckers to be into, but, you know, everybody’s different and this particular trucker was, you know, he was into cosplay and trucking and, I don’t know, he probably had four or five other sites in his account and the woman that joined into the network…I don’t remember what her original site was but she had probably five or six sites in her account, and the only site the two shared in common was Trucker Passions. But the way the network works is when you’re logged in, you’re logged in on all the sites in your account, so you can see all the other people who are logged in and share sites in common. So these two kind of stumbled across each other because they both had the Trucker Passions site in their account and started up a conversation and ended up hitting it off. She ended up meeting with him and writing cross country, and I’m not sure where their relationship has ended at this point, but at the time that they contacted us and said, “Hey we’ve found love and this is what’s happening” they were pretty happy. So, anybody that’s interested…you know, Trucker Passions is free, so any of your listeners that are truckers or are related to the trucking industry who are interested in, whether it’s romance or friendship or just, you know, talking about trucks, they can join for free. You don’t have to join in order to read this particular testimonial, they can just go to “help” and go down to the success stories area and find the one that says “Trucker Passions,” and you’ll be able to read what it says.
Connor: Awesome! You know, that’s a great point to make, is that, you know, a relationship isn’t necessarily built on one interest or even, in this case, one dating site or forum or page throughout your network. So that’s a really cool testimonial to share because if people can look, they can find, I guess they can find the love in unexpected places, right?
Mike: Yeah, people are not, you know, one-dimensional. Somebody who drives a truck is not just a trucker. That person has a lot of other interests. The underlying concept in the network is that it should be easier to break the ice if you share something in common. So, you know, it could be for the people who join Trucker Passions. Most of people who sign up in the network do end up adding a number of other sites in their account. You don’t have to, it’s completely optional, but the majority of the 260 sites are available to be added for free. There are some sites that, if you want to add, you have to upgrade, but it does allow people to express their individuality by virtue of the sites that they add into their account. They run the gamut from sites you would expect based on religion and location, sexual orientation, politics, those types of things. And then we have the weird and quirky as well with sites like Zombie Passions. You know, if you’re really into the Walking Dead, that’s a great site to have in your account because it’s really easy to break the ice with somebody else who’s into zombies by sending them the message when the Walking Dead premieres and saying, “Hey what did you think about that show or that episode?” And so the whole concept of the network is really to try and make it easier for people to connect instead of just that weird, like, “How do I say hello to them? Hey how are you doing?” That’s boring.
Connor: So our next question is, being in this industry, in the online dating world for so long, how do you feel that technology has impacted whether it be cyber relationships, long distance relationships, or just meeting people online in general?
Mike: Good question. I mean, you guys are both young so you don’t really remember, but back when I started the dating directory and then, ultimately, Passions Network 10, 15 years ago, online dating was viewed negatively. The first couple of years, if somebody were to tell you that they were on an online dating site, they were probably laughed at a little, you know? Like, “You must be desperate,” or “What’s wrong you? You can’t meet people in the real world?” And the vast majority people now I think are meeting online for a lot of reasons. It’s convenient, it opens up access to meeting people that you wouldn’t have run into in the real world, and that’s particularly related to truckers. If you’re on the road for 10 hours, 12 hours…sometimes wherever you are, you’re only there for a short period of time before you turn around and head out on a different route. That doesn’t really make it easy for you to establish a strong relationship with someone if you’re constantly on the go. So, I think the benefit of technology is that it’s allowing people to interact and begin to get to know one another even if they aren’t in the same location. After you send a couple of emails and, you know, FaceTime or Skype and gotten a sense of each other, you kind of build up a sense of some sort of a relationship, whether it be friendship or more. Then maybe it makes sense that you make the effort to meet in person. Even if your location, your home base, isn’t right next door to the person that you’ve established a connection with, maybe you build up enough of a connection that it is worth it.
Connor: Yeah that’s pretty amazing actually. You know, it’s really changing the way that it all kind of functions, even though we have these very basic human relationship needs and all of that. So it’s cool to see it kind of take on the next steps, you know?
Connor: So then, do you have any tips you could give our listeners if they do want to start using any number of your sites?
Mike: Well again, since the focus of your podcast is the trucking industry, I’d tell any of the single truckers out there to sign up, it’s free. I think the more often you log in, the more likely you are to have success just because you’ll, you know, you appear on the on the home page, you appear more active in the network, so you’re more likely to be seen by other people. I guess if they’re joining my site or another trucker dating site, there’s actually a link at the top, in the navigation on my sites and there’s six other online dating sites focused on the trucking industry. So, regardless of what trucker-dating site your listeners would join, I would just recommend that you gotta, you know, jump in and try this. My recommendation would be to stick with it and try and be kind of proactive, you know? Fill out a good profile, put a picture in there… Most people aren’t going to be interested in looking at a profile or interacting with someone who doesn’t bother to upload a photo, that’s kind of obvious these days. Yeah, and then just log in regularly and don’t be afraid to initiate contact. A lot of people will create accounts and, you know, the old concept “build it and they will come?” That’s not the way to do it. You create an account and then reach out and start some conversations. Within Trucker Passions, there’s a whole set of groups which is kind of a subset within the site, and a lot of members kind of spell out what type of trucker they are, what type of truck they drive, if they’re not a trucker, if they’re in the industry, you know, power or what they’re doing, or if they’re a trucker groupie, so to speak. There’s plenty of men and women in this site who have had relationships with truckers in the past, and so they understand the time constraints and, you know, there’s some real stress and pressure in the trucking industry that kind of grow out of the fact that you’re on the road so much and traveling so much. So, finding somebody who gets that, just automatically don’t have to worry that you’re gonna start dating someone and then they’re gonna freak out because you have to be gone for two, three days, if not more. So that’s one of the benefits to trucker-specific dating sites is, you know, the people that are on there, they already know what it means to be a trucker and the ramifications being related to the trucking industry.
Connor: Right on! Well, Mike, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us here, we really appreciate it, it’s a lot of great information and before we go, is there anything else you’d like to let our listeners know?
Mike: You know, I would just invite everybody to check it out, and if they’re single, these two months, January and February, tend to be the most popular for online dating, so this is really rather well timed.
Connor: Absolutely! Yeah, no doubt. Well again, that’s Michael of TruckerPassions.com and PassionsNetwork.com. Mike, thanks so much for coming on the show, we really appreciate it.
Mike: My pleasure! Thanks a lot, guys.
Connor: Alright, so again, a lot of great information there via Mike from PassionsNetwork.com. It was cool to hear how people aren’t just truckers when they sign up for these websites, you know? They have all these different interests, and sometimes the interests that they bond over don’t even have anything to do with trucking. So that’s really something to consider, is when you’re looking for somebody else, when you’re looking for a significant other, to consider that people are incredibly complex beings, and they have many overlapping interests. So don’t just typecast yourself to one person or one type of person who you’re ideally seeking, out get the full spectrum and try to make connections in, maybe, ways you didn’t expect, because they can lead to very fulfilling and long-lasting relationships.
Troy: Yeah I think if there’s one thing we can take away from this, it’s that cosplay leads to everlasting love.
Connor: I wouldn’t go that far just yet, but in that particular instance, yeah sometimes it does, but sometimes a forming a relationship on the road does happen the good old-fashioned way. It happens in real life and in person, and the people in those relationships just so happen to be truckers. So our next couple of interviews are going to take two perspectives here: one of a married driver who’s still working, and another of someone dating a trucker.
Troy: Yeah, and you might recognize our first guest. He has a familiar voice, you might have heard him on one of our earlier podcasts, or even his own podcast “Trucker Dump.” I’m talking about Todd McCann, and Todd has actually been married for quite some time and even trucked with his wife as a team driver for multiple years. Right now, his wife is currently at home while Todd remains on the road, and we had the chance to chat with Todd about what it’s like maintaining a relationship with someone who’s back at home while he’s on the road, and here’s that interview.
Connor: Alright, so I’m here with Todd McCann, of the podcast “Trucker Dump,” and we’re here to talk about everything relationship on the road today. Todd, how’s it going?
Todd: Pretty good! Glad to be with the Big Rig Banter boys.
Connor: Absolutely! Yeah, it’s always a pleasure to have you. So we know that you affectionately call your wife “the evil overlord,” is that correct?
Todd: That is correct! (Laughs)
Connor: How did you and your wife first meet?
Todd: Man, I think I was like maybe 17 or something like that. She was like, 14, and we went to the same church. I didn’t know her that well back then, but, you know, she was just a cute little thing that I would flirt with now and then, and she ended up moving away just a couple of years later, and she was gone for most of her high school years. Probably when she was 19 or 20 she moved back to our area, and she stupidly looked me up to find out what was up with me, and she’s been stuck with me ever since.
Troy: That’s awesome! So, then, how did you guys kind of get involved in trucking as a team? How long from when you guys first started dating until you started working together?
Todd: Well, us dating and working together is two different things because we actually dated for three years, and once we got married we actually started working together at some other jobs before we got into trucking.
Todd: Yeah, we worked at Ticketmaster for a while, you know, selling tickets to people, and we both worked there. There was one other job…I can’t remember, but yeah, we worked together quite a bit, so it was not strange that we got into trucking together, but I think it was probably about five years total from when we got back together that we actually started trucking together. The reason we got into trucking was because we actually wanted to go to school, which sounds weird, but we wanted to go to college and we just couldn’t afford it, you know? We just needed to pay off some bills before we moved and started class, and we just thought, well let’s just truck for a couple of years. We’ll just team truck and knock it out and get these bills done. Well, you can see I’m still here 20 years later, so that didn’t work out as planned.
Troy: So did she go back to school? I know you’re trucking solo now, what did she end up pursuing?
Todd: She got off the truck about nine years ago, and she was working for her aunt. Her aunt owns, like, a dance company where they travel around and do, you know, dance contests and stuff like that. She was working for that, keeping the scores, and all that kind of stuff, but she always knew she was going to go back to school. So she’s back in school now, and she’s going for the nursing program, so she’s in school right now. She’s not loving it, I can tell you that. I mean, it’s hard to love school when you’re our age, you know?
Connor: Absolutely! Yeah, I think maybe at any age it’s kind of hard to love school.
Todd: (Laughs) That’s true!
Connor: So what was the team driving experience like? Is that something you would recommend to other people starting out in their careers or with a significant other?
Todd: Teaming is hard. There’s so many people who go into this thinking, “I’ll just team up with any old Joe, and we’ll make the go of it,” and I do not recommend that. I think if you’re gonna have a successful team, you really need to know that person. Not intimately, so to speak, but you need to know them very, very well. You know, maybe a best friend, maybe a brother or a sister, or something like that. Somebody you know, and you know all their little quirks, and it’s not gonna bug the crap out of you when they do their little quirks that would bug anyone else, you’re just gonna let it slide. I think too many people jump into these team relationships, and I know a lot of trucking companies now, they actually force you into a team situation right out of training. I understand why they do that, but that’s to help each other out in the first few weeks, and that makes sense, but I would not recommend staying with that person unless you just really, really click. There’s just a lot of people that they’re looking for a mate to drive with. You know, they don’t even know this person, but they’re just like, “hey I want to get a girl to team with. Maybe I’ll hook up with her too while I’m at it.” And it’s like… Boy, I’ve heard so many horror stories about that. So yeah, it’s just a very hard thing to do, to team with somebody, because you’re with them, I mean, you think about it the evil overlord and I were out for three weeks at a time, and we’re pretty much within five feet of each other 24 hours a day, you know? The only separation we really have is when we’re showering. We always like to get separate showers just for love of space. It’s kind of strange too, though, because it’s like the only job you could be with somebody 24 hours a day and not talk to them because, you know, one’s sleeping while the other is driving, you know? So yeah, you really have to make the most of those times when you have some downtime.
Troy: So what kind of advice would you give those who are trying to maintain a relationship while on the road? Whether it’s team trucking with them, or whether their significant other is at home.
Todd: Well, I’ve heard so many guys out here who have divorce stories, and often multiple divorce stories. I mean, it’s not easy to maintain a relationship out here on the road, and I don’t think guys make it any better with the way they act sometimes. I’m gonna say something here that probably people don’t want to hear, but just don’t cheat on your spouse! (Laughs) You know, there’s a lot of that going on out here because we can get away with anything we want out here. Nobody is really gonna know, you know? Guys do things that they shouldn’t be doing, and that doesn’t help, even if you’re not cheating, so to speak. If you’re spending a lot of time at porn shops and your wife is aware of this, I don’t care how cool of a wife she is; she’s not really cool with it. That’s coming straight from the Evil Overlord. You know, that’s one advantage of having a wife who is not shy about telling you her opinion about things. She’s like, you know, if you’re in porn shops and you’re watching porn out on the road, all I’m thinking is that she’s better looking than me. You’re out there doing things you shouldn’t be. I’m not with you, now you’re with this person. Even though you’re not physically with them, it’s just that it makes them feel smaller, and that’s the last thing you want to do to someone when they’re away from you.
Connor: Absolutely, yeah.
Todd: Yeah, that’s a big thing. You just have to really work on the relationship in order to make it work. I mean, you’ve gotta stay in constant communication with them, you need to go home regularly, you can’t be one of these truckers who stays out for six and eight weeks and then expect your marriage to last. Especially if you have kids; that’s not gonna help matters any. But you gotta try to be there for the things that are important. We always haven’t been great at that, but we were teaming so we were together so, you know, we didn’t really care. If you have to spend your anniversary on the road and eat at Iron Skillet instead of Olive Garden or something, then hey, that that’s what you got to do. But it’s just really hard. You just really need to, you know, focus on keeping in touch with them as much as you can, especially through FaceTime, Skype, that kind of thing, where you actually get some actual face time with the person and you’re not just talking to them. I got kind of lucky that the Evil Overlord is not one of these overly sensitive women as probably her name represents, but she doesn’t have low self-esteem. She doesn’t need to talk to me every single day, you know, and she doesn’t need me to constantly reassure her of everything. She’s just fine. It probably helps that she was on the road with me for nine years, so she can do without me for a couple days. We do a lot of texting. I try to use… “By the way, going down the road” so I’m not texting down the road, but yeah. I just think it’s very, very easy to live a separate life out here as a trucker. You just… you almost forget what’s going on back home, and then when you do go home there’s a sense that you’re almost not a part of it, you know? That their life is going on when you’re at home, and then you’re out on the road, and you come home and you almost feel like you’re not part of that anymore, and the longer you stay out, the worse it gets, that make sense?
Connor: Yeah, absolutely. It sounds kind of like trust is a big sort of thing to establish. That’s what we’ve been hearing from a lot of other people we’ve been talking to about relationships on the road. They just kind of say that, you know, as long as you can build a trustworthy relationship, that’s one of the backbones really that keeps things moving forward.
Todd: Yeah exactly, but how do you do that when you’re on the road, do you see what I mean? That’s what makes it so hard is if you don’t know this person going into it, going into this whole thing before you even start, how’s that going to end well? If you haven’t established that trust with that other person beforehand, it never seems to lead anywhere good. I mean, I do have friends…I do have a friend who looked for a woman, for a teammate, and they drove together and they got married. They’ve been married for quite a few years, they have two kids, and they’re very happy. But I have heard way more stories that just end in horrible things, where they were trying to ditch their partner in a different city. You know, just “get out of the truck,” dumping them in the nearest terminal. It’s rarely pretty because you don’t know the person and there’s no trust, like you say.
Connor: Right, that could be problematic, yeah. So…any advice you could give people who are looking to start a relationship if they’re already in the trucking business? Like maybe, where are some places they can meet other people on the road, or how can they connect with people on the road?
Todd: You know, I guess there’s some trucking dating sites out there I have heard of, I don’t know. Being a guy who’s been married for 24 years and who doesn’t really…I’m not really in that scene, but I know that some of those probably work. I don’t know how else you’d do it, you know? I mean, if you’re stopping into a local dive bar someplace out on the road and expect to meet the woman that you’re going to be with for the rest your life, I think that’s probably not a very good plan. You know, at least for the people I know, it has never worked out very well. So, I guess the best thing would just be to try to meet people casually online, I guess. You know, Facebook…maybe you’ve seen a trucker that you follow on Twitter and you think she’s decent looking or whatever, and you start, you know, maybe trying to talk to her a little bit there and just get to know each other. I mean I’d used to of said, “well social media, that’s not gonna work. You’re never going to be able to know them very well,” but nowadays, some of my best friends that I have in my life I met from Twitter or through Trucker Dump, my podcast, or through my Slack groups or something like that. So there is a chance to build and a good relationship there, but man, it takes a lot longer and you don’t really know what you’re getting, you know? People can so easily spoof. They can pretend to be something that they’re not online, but then you get in a truck with them you find out, “oh God, what did I get into?” Evil Overlord and I often talk, we just had our 24th wedding anniversary, and we were just sitting there thinking. You know, we just said to each other, “thank God we have made this thing work and we’re not trying to do the dating scene today.” I just cannot imagine how awful it must be today, but I wish everyone luck. It’s horrid to me.
Troy: Well, speaking of the Evil Overlord, I know this podcast is going to be out in February and Valentine’s Day is gonna be right around the corner, so what’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your wife?
Todd: Oh boy… you know, yeah, our relationship…we’re best friends, and we have been pretty much ever since we got together. It’s just that she’s just not one of those…I mean, her name is the Evil Overlord so she considers flowers a waste of money. How cool is that, you know? I mean if I buy her chocolate she’s like, “you trying to make me fat?” You know?
Connor: You can’t win.
Todd: Yeah well I can win, it’s awesome for me, you know? Because I don’t have to worry about all these little things. So I think probably the most romantic thing I ever did is, fairly early when we were married, I wrote her a poem. Not just a quick little poem, but it was like two pages handwritten, and it had lots of…Yeah, it wasn’t just little, you know, it wasn’t flowery. She does not like that kind of Hallmark greeting card stuff. She does not like that, so it was full of little inside jokes that we have and some, you know, vulgarity that is welcome between husband and wife, and she just loved it. She’s still got that poem to this day, so I guess a vulgar poem was the best I could do. (Laughs)
Connor: I’m sure our listeners are gonna take to that advice lightly, hopefully. May not work in every situation, but we’re glad it worked out for you there.
Todd: Yeah I know, it’s like yeah, sometimes people say, when they find out that I call the Evil Overlord her name, you know, they think, “oh God, how do you do that? Doesn’t she hate your guts?” And I’m like, “no, she loves it!” because she knows it’s right. She has this evil streak in her, you know, where she likes to play pranks on people. She likes to mess with people, and so she’s got that evil streak. So you know, that’s what I always warn people: don’t go out and, if you’re in a new relationship, don’t try to give your wife a nickname like this, you know? It’s probably not advisable. You know, it really… You know how we were talking about how to make things work? It really just depends on the person. Some people, some wives might need that daily call. They might want it morning when you wake up and evening. If that’s what they want, give it to them. I mean, what else are you doing? You’re driving for 11 hours; you might as well call them when they want to be called. It keeps them happy. Happy wife, happy life, you know? But others, like the Evil Overlord, there’s some times when she gets into schoolwork or whatever and we might not talk for a couple of days, and she’ll call me up and say, “hey haven’t talked for a few days.” “Okay, what’s up?” “Just been doing a lot of homework.” “Okay, well I gotta go.” You know, it’s just more laid-back when you’ve been with somebody as long as I have. Whereas if you’re fresh into something brand-new, you’re gonna have to be on that phone constantly with the woman. You really need to, if you’re in a new relationship, you need to make sure your spouse is okay with you being over the road, and you also have to be prepared that that viewpoint may change once you’re actually out on the road. You know, you’re out here “yeah I’ll be fine with that, it’ll be good, you’ll be making good money and everything,” and then six months down the road they’re saying ‘the kids miss you, I miss you, this is not what I thought my life was gonna be like,” and now you’re in a predicament. “Okay, do I stay out on the road where I could make some money? Do I go local where I’m gonna make less money but I’ll be home every night?” Now you’re in a pickle, so you just need to try to get all that stuff managed out before you start.
Connor: Very cool, yeah so just keep it real and try to adapt, I guess, to every relationship, as to what it demands, right? It’s pretty general advice, but…
Todd: Yeah well, that’s why it’s general advice because it works.
Connor: Yeah, hopefully! Great. Yeah, so is there anything else you’d like to let truckers know about your own podcast, or anything else you’ve got going in the works, or just any closing statements?
Todd: Well, if people want to know what…if new truckers, people coming into the industry, want to know what trucking is like and some of the aspects of teaming unit, I have written a book called, Trucking Life or my other book, How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job, are both available on Amazon or iBooks, wherever you want to get them. My podcast, I just talk about stuff that happens out here on the road. Some of it’s having to do with relationships, and I’ve got one, just because I got tired of explaining to people who the Evil Overlord was, I wrote one, “Trucker Dump 100” and did a podcast on that called “What Makes the Evil Overlord Evil?” It’s one of my most popular posts. It’s pretty much everything ID. You can find me on AboutTruckDriving.com, and there’s a list of stuff I do, and of course I’m on Twitter, Facebook, and all that stuff.
Connor: Fantastic! Yeah, we’ll have all that linked below for all of our listeners here as well, but thanks, Todd, for coming on the show. There’s a lot of great information, and hope you can serve basically as a shining example as to what truckers can aspire to for their relationships on the road, you know? So thanks again for coming on, really appreciate it.
Todd: You bet! Thanks for having me on, guys.
Connor: Alright, again, a special thanks to Todd McCann for coming on the show, and we will have a link to Todd’s podcast, his blog, and his eBooks below this episode or in the sidebar, wherever you’re listening.
Troy: So our next interview is with Steve Opilo. We actually worked with Steve in the past, and he’s currently on the road with his girlfriend and he has an interesting story on how he and got involved in dating someone within the trucking industry. So let’s listen to that.
Steve: “How did you and your significant other first meet?” We actually met at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, Texas in 2014. We didn’t actually start dating right away or anything like that, it ended up being at least probably early 2016 before we actually became a couple. We were just friends for a while, and then eventually things led to things and we got together.
“What was it like having a long-distance relationship, and how did you keep the spark there?” I actually had experience with long-distance relationships in the past when I was in college. I had been seeing the same girl for all five years of that, and that was at least 300 miles away. So, I mean, it was just kind of something that I was used to, and it wasn’t really that difficult. I think the big thing is communication and, obviously, when you have someone on the road, you can call each other and that kind of stuff. Put a headset in and, you know, talk for hours on end or whatever. Thankfully cell phone plans have moved away from billing by the minute to giving you unlimited talking now, and then they just bill for data so it actually works out. If you wanted to have a voice call with someone, you can talk for pretty much as long as you want and not have to pay anything extra.
“What advice would you give someone trying to maintain a long-distance relationship or a relationship with someone on the road a lot?” I think the best advice I could give there would be sort of what I had said on the last question about communication. Just make sure that you are constantly in touch with each other, that you know what’s going on in each other’s lives, that you just make time to make the other person important. Even if you can’t physically be there, having that at least emotional connection is still important to helping the relationship thrive, and then, obviously, make time to physically see each other as well. It’s a little bit difficult when you have someone on the road and someone who has a stationary base of operations, but, you know, take time off from work and go out on a trip together or whatever. I mean, we basically found ways to make it work here and there. She would be given home time and I would kind of rearrange my schedule to meet that, and we could go and do different stuff and it was just…it was good. So I guess it’s really what you get out of a relationship is whatever you’re willing to put into it. They’re not always just cut and dry and easy.
“Now that you’re together, what is it like being on the road non-stop?” It’s actually really, really awesome, and I consider myself very fortunate in a number of ways. I work as a developer, so I’m able to do my job from pretty much anywhere, but the challenge is finding a company that is progressive enough to let you do that. I mean obviously you kind of have to prove you know what you’re doing, you’re not going to slack off, that you can actually get your work done, and then if you can find a company that is cool enough to give you that freedom to be able to travel and still make a living, then, to me, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever been able to do. So yeah, it’s great being together, getting to spend time together, and then just enjoying traveling together. I’ve always wanted to go see new places and just never had an opportunity to do that, you know, working around the confines of one week or ten days of vacation a year, so this has actually been really, really cool. You wake up in a different place every morning, and even if you spend some of it during your day in front of a computer, work ends at five o’clock and then you can go do whatever, depending on the time zone difference. I mean if we’re out west, the home base of operations for the company I work at is on the East Coast, so you know, five o’clock on the East Coast is two in the afternoon on the west coast, so I mean, you still have plenty of the day to go do what you want to do. So yeah, it’s been really, really awesome.
“What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your significant other?” I would probably say it was March of last year, I had scheduled, like, a weekend getaway in Las Vegas for her birthday, and she had really wanted to go see a Cirque du Soleil show at the Bellagio called “O,” and it takes place in a swimming pool. So, you’ve got the typical acrobats and, you know, crazy costumes and music and theming that goes along with any Cirque show, but this one has…the entire stage is a pool. But then it’s got these platforms that can, like, sink and rise, and they do all these crazy stunts and stuff where it’s sort of just an unreal experience. From someone who comes from a technical background, you will find the rigging and the staging and all that kind of stuff, like the technical stuff that goes into making the show possible, almost as fascinating as the feats that the people are able to do. So it is just a completely mind-blowing experience on a number of levels. So I’d gotten her tickets to go see that show, and we basically had like a little weekend in Vegas for her birthday and got to see two shows. One was that and one was the Blue Man Group, and then we also went to this really awesome…it’s called the Neon Graveyard where they have, like, all the old like neon signs from Vegas, and it’s this little lot where you can walk around and kind of see the history of it. It was really, really neat.
“Anything else you’d like to add?” That’s hard to say. I mean, I’ve pretty much covered all the main items. I mean, just again, I’m sort of beating a dead horse, but communication is key for any of these relationships, and then also just flexibility. I mean, I used to be in an environment where I wasn’t able to travel on a regular basis. I had the typical nine-to-five office job, and it just wasn’t quite working for where I wanted to go in life. So some of the best advice I can give is: if something isn’t working out for you, don’t be afraid to take a risk and change it because I mean, yeah sure, some of the decisions you make in life may end up being mistakes, but you don’t know unless you take that risk. So I guess that’s the best advice I can give somebody, is just go for it. What do you really have to lose? There’s always going to be another place you can work, there’s always going to be other opportunities of things you can do, so just try and make the most of it, you know? Be adventurous, take a risk.
Connor: Right, and so there you have it, folks. You know, it’s never a uniform experience for anybody. Dating can be a tricky thing, and especially marriage can be a wonderful commitment if you can make it work, like our friend Todd McCann.
Troy: For sure.
Connor: But yeah, I think the overall message that we heard from a lot of our interviews and a lot of our research here is just that, you know, be authentic, be real, and try to build trust with someone. Working on the road or if you’re dating someone who’s working on the road, it’s all about sort of staying in contact with one another, keeping that romance alive however you can, and, you know, really creating that understanding of what the profession entails when you are working such long hours and you’re working in different states. It’s really just important to establish all of that ahead of time.
Troy: Yeah, and it’s important to know that there are a lot of options out there when it comes to finding a relationship. I know that’s something many truckers are hesitant or apprehensive about, that it’s too hard to find someone and they don’t really know where to start, but I think we’ve provided a lot of great resources, and I wouldn’t want to forget our very own. We have a blog titled “Lovers Lane” where many people have been interacting through the comments, and we always welcome you to hop on there, and maybe find the one you’re looking for via our comment section. If you Google “trucking dating sites,” that’s gonna be one of the first to pop up. So again, we’ll leave it in the comments, but Lovers Lane is also a great place to find your next relationship.
Connor: That’s right. It’s a little unorderly because it wasn’t intended to be any sort of dating site. It’s just a blog that we have on AllTruckJobs.com, but by all means, interact on there and see if you can create any meaningful relationships, and if you do, feel free to drop us a line and let us know your experience. If you’d like to come on the show and talk about your success driving down Lovers Lane, we’d be happy to hear from you guys.
Troy: I think we’ve efficiently spread the love this episode, Connor. Before we go, why don’t we get into a fun topic or two?
Connor: Absolutely! As if this episode hasn’t been one, giant fun topic already.
Troy: That’s true. Yeah, you know, earlier in the podcast we talked about finding a lover the old-fashioned way, and what better way to find someone than using a great pickup line? Connor, I know you’ve used them all the time.
Connor: They’re foolproof; there’s no way they can go wrong. You just write it down on your hand, and then when you see somebody attractive, you just go look at your hand and you say whatever is written there and, boom, you have a lifelong marriage and soul mate companion.
Troy: Exactly. So, Connor and I picked out some of our favorite trucker pickup lines, so I guess I’ll start things off, Connor?
Connor: Go for it.
Troy: Um excuse me, I’m lost. Can you tell me which road leads to your heart?
Connor: Yikes. That’s a good one though; I’ll give them that.
Troy: Alright, let’s see what you’ve got, Connor. Wow me.
Connor: Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I drive around the block one more time?
Troy: Oh, I like that.
Troy: You can roll up next to someone and throw that one at them.
Connor: Yeah. See, that one’s great because, you know, if you’re in your truck already and then they just say “no,” you just drive away and there’s nothing…you didn’t lose or gain anything. You’re just like, “well, I’m gonna keep driving then.” If you did that in a real-life situation, I don’t know. What’s the next one we’ve got?
Troy: Yeah, I got one. This is a good one if you’re broken down and might need some assistance from someone. You just walk up to and say, “I need some coolant because you’ve got my engine overheating.”
Troy: I know. I can just hear the sound of them melting; their heart melting.
Connor: I think that’s just your engine block actually.
Troy: That’s true.
Connor: How about this one? This is this is a good take on a classic. “Can I buy you a tank of gas?” See? That’s simple and straight to the point but it’s like, then maybe if they’re interested, they’ll be like “no but you can buy me a drink, how about that?” That one might actually work, I don’t even know. I mean, we there’s no way to know until we try these out on the field, so.
Troy: That’s true. Alright, I like this one. It plays up to the economy, and I think it’s a good one. It’s a very eco-friendly pickup line too. This one is, “Hey there. Since gas prices are so high, I think you should carpool with me to dinner tonight.”
Connor: That’s sensible. You’re saving the environment and also stealing hearts, or whatever kids say nowadays. Okay here’s the last one, and I like the setup on this one. ‘Excuse me ma’am, we’re gonna have to ask you to turn down the wattage on that smile. You’re blinding other drivers.”
Troy: I’m blushing myself right now, Connor.
Connor: So there you have it, folks, our picks for the trucker pickup lines of the century. If you use any of these and they work, call us let us know. If they don’t work, call us let us know, and give us some credit.
Troy: Alright, Connor, but I think that wraps things up. I think it was a great episode, and again, we hope you all find that special someone for Valentine’s Day.
Connor: Absolutely! Yeah, thanks everybody for listening to our “Love on the Road” episode. Next time we’re going to be entering into some March Madness. Talking about road rage and how to deal with that in the month of March. So stay tuned for the next episode, the next installment, but again, thanks for listening. I’m your co-host, Connor Smith.
Troy: And I’m your co-host, Troy Diffenderfer.
Connor: And this has been Big Rig Banter.
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