Many a myth surround the life of a truck driver. And people often ask for some spicy details. The drivers of “Via Genero” were asked to fill in an improvised questionnaire. What follows are some snippets from a mysterious life of a trucker. What kind of music is best for fighting off sleep? How does one deal with the longing of one’s loved ones? And how is the secret community of European drivers being established?
Chopin and Roasted Sunflowers
“Job on the wheels”, this is how our long distance truck-drivers describe their profession. They also make sure to bust the myth about the alleged monotony of the profession. Chopin, rock, metal, Bach, Liszt or the usual radio pop song provide the background for unusual tasks which require patience, determination, creativity. Especially if you’re on duty in Russia, the land where amazing happens every day. One of our drivers recalls a story where the local militiamen asked him for a bribe in exchange for silence over the warehouse robbery (which our bemused driver was accused of carrying out).
Find an address which doesn’t exist. Withstand the yearning for home and family. Resist the temptations of the road life. Defeat the mist so thick it covers the speedometer. And engage in an ever lasting wrestle with drowsiness. That’s the regular day of our chauffeurs.
Mindaugas, one of our drivers, has a system of dealing with home-sickness: 4 calls per week and SMS messages everyday. A collective opinion on fighting sleep has it that excessive intakes of coffee and energy drinks will not take you far in this craft. Sleep is best fought, well… by sleeping. Vaidotas, another driver of ours, has a word of praise for the ritual of shelling roasted sunflower seeds. The habits keeps one awake and alert, says Vaidotas. We hope it is a safe habit.
The Europe of Chauffeurs
“Via Genero” drivers agree that driving a truck is way more exciting than driving a car. Of course, the pleasure is somewhat restricted due to the speed limiting devices installed in the vehicle. The pleasure of speed and power is matched by that of encountering colleagues from all over the continent. Language barriers are no barriers when it comes to professional jokes and rest-stop discussions about roads, vehicles, freights, employers and traffic jams.
The “European Union of Chauffeurs” is also helpful in dealing with technical problems. According to driver Andrius, truck-drivers from all over Europe are willing to assist one another in an hour of need. The word “Chauffeur” (extremely popular in Lithuanian slang) itself is a the result of European unity. It arrives from the French term for stoker because the earliest automobiles, like their railroad and sea vessel counterparts, were steam-powered and required the driver to stoke the engine.
Professional solidarity is a great thing to lean on the road, but the truth is that most of the time the driver is alone. How does one deal with melancholy and the metaphysics of loneliness? The men of “Via Genero” choose books, reminiscences of their loved ones, and, of course, utter professional dedication. So that your products would always get places fast, safe and fresh. So that our hardships would translate into your calm. So put your pyjamas on, for we are good at dealing with stress.