By “Bull” Hayward
Editor’s Note: Preparedness is so wide and varied. In my time running Prepper Website, I have found that the Preparedness Community is collectively very wise and resourceful. You can find preppers everywhere, including long-haul trucking. And truckers who are preppers are into long-haul preparedness! This article is an introduction to one long-haul trucker and his experiences as a prepper.
After serious consideration, and some prodding from fellow preppers, I am writing about my travels, and prepping from a somewhat unique perspective as a trucker. I am at 30-something, a full-blown trucker, having been one off and on since age 18. Trucking has taken me all over Canada, and the United States. I also drove as part of my duties with a security contractor.
Let me start off by introducing myself: my name is Aaron, but those who are close to me generally call me “Bull.” The nickname has many origins and varied reasons for its existence. Some are as simple as, at the age of 16, I was a 6’ tall, 250 lbs. farm boy, who happened to have a septum piercing (center of the nose like a bullring). I’ve long since not worn said “bull ring.”
I was born in Newfoundland (pronounced NEW-fin-land by my people), which is an island Province of Canada. When I was young, my family moved to Ontario, where I grew up. We still did everything the Newfie (a term to refer to Newfoundlanders) way. Now, the Newfie way is the way of a poor people who survived mostly off the land and sea, using a lot of old-fashioned ways. They hunt, fish, and farm what can be farmed in rock.
When I was young, my Father and I started caring for a cattle farm owned by a surgeon. He had bought it as his retirement joy for when he no longer would doctor. My formal education was a choppy affair. I was a no-nonsense-you-start-a-fight-with-me-or-try-to-bully-me-I’ll-deal- with -you, type of child. This attitude goes along with the whole culture of my people: great, friendly, giving people unless you took advantage or caused trouble with them.
Love for the Long Haul Starts Somewhere
So at the age of 15, I quit school and went to work after failing to join the military (not enough education to join). At age 17, I traveled to Saskatchewan to work for a big crop farmer. When I arrived there, the position I had originally been hired for over the phone had been filled by an older local gentleman. So, the farmer instead set to teaching me how to drive a tractor-trailer, and that was now my job. I had operated and driven various farm and construction vehicles from a very young age, so this was an easy learn for me.
After a couple years of that, I came back to Ontario for a short period. At this time, my uncle, a sniper scout for the Canadian armed forces, contacted me about an opportunity with a security contractor group. He had taught me many things about guns, shooting, and combat when I visited Newfoundland as a youngster, and knew my desire to serve my country.
He had retired from active duty, but due to his military service record, had been approached by some members of the military to head up an overseas security force of sorts. And I got to go! On that, I cannot say much, but I can say working with him and his crew as a contractor took me into war zones. By age 25 I had been to the Middle East, most of Canada, Australia (a 6-month job on a horse farm), Cuba, Dominican Republic, and on the Amazon River, for various stints, working in various capacities.
The Long Haul Home Away from Home
My weekly normality in a truck is where I am now, so let’s look at that. I generally try to come home as often as possible, but sometimes it is not feasible, and I end up on the road for a week at a time. I no longer go to the United States, and stay in Ontario.
Ontario is a very large province and sometimes I can be up to 600 or more Kilometers from home. My current rig is a 2012 Peterbilt highway tractor with a sleeper and twin 150 gal fuel tanks. For those that don’t know, a sleeper is the portion behind the cab that has the bed and living facilities. Now mind you, these are not large in some cases and brings “tiny living” into perspective. What was just a trucker’s reality is being emulated by people and the “tiny house” movement.
In this sleeper, I have a double bed, fridge, microwave, and a 3000-watt inverter. There are many areas of storage in the sleeper. I store a week’s worth of clothes: 5 changes of underwear, socks, shirts and 2-3 pairs of pants. I also have a packable raincoat, shemagh, and in winter time, a full winter- rated hunting pants and coat, as well as gloves and such.
Among the various things I store are sanitation goods for both myself and the truck, a personalized first aid kit, flashlights, knives, pens, a single burner stove with fuel, a water filter, a fishing kit, fire starter kit, a backpack, and general EDC items. I keep plenty of food items like canned foods, instant mashed potatoes, ramen noodles, oatmeal, trail mixes, energy and protein bars, protein powder, canned meats, and preserved meats.
A couple cases of liquids usually ride with me as well. I am quite fond of Arizona iced tea, so a case of that and 40 or more half-liter water bottles ride too. Now, because I do have the fridge I am able to bring some traditional refrigerated foods like meats, cheeses and such. So all in all, I’m stocked and could eat from the truck without leaving it for probably 2 weeks.
That covers the livability of things as a trucker.
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