The trucker life is a life like no other.
Sure, the solitude of the cab and the sights of changing scenery rolling by are nice. But at a point, drivers may be a bit disenchanted with a soundtrack of road noise and silence.
It’s here where audiobooks and podcasts come in handy. These conveniences help drivers stay engaged, educated, and entertained while they’re on the job.
Beating boredom is important, especially since boredom has been linked to health problems. This is even more crucial now, given the health risks of trucking have been exacerbated by the events of the past year.
With a subscription to a service like Audible you get over 200,000 books to choose from, or visit your local library’s website to digitally rent audiobooks for free. While the audio format makes it easy to enjoy the book while staying focused on the road, studies show it also provides a better sensory experience. The benefits keep piling up – and so do the options. Here are some suggestions for your next trip.
Celebrate the Spirit of Traveling and Life on the Road
There’s a certain camaraderie between truck drivers and other adventurers who set out to explore the world for money, pleasure, or both.
One man who definitely falls into the category of passionate traveler is John Steinbeck. He traveled across the country with man’s best friend in September of 1960, and provides a unique take on the sights of the road.
Travels with Charlie gives detailed attention to the intimate rhythm of nature, both in terms of the changing seasons and the interests of those Steinbeck encountered along his journey.
Not everyone gets behind the wheel to travel. Some people hitchhike, like John Waters, who gave us the heartwarming creation known as Carsick. Described affectionately by the publisher as “America’s most beloved weirdo,” Waters loads his trip’s tale with tons of clever humor and warm insights, making for a wicked ride you don’t want to miss.
While Waters hitchhiked, Cheryl Strayed took it to the next level – she made a 1000+ mile solo hike. Wild is a tale that shows how travel can help us develop a sense of bravery and purpose.
Slip Into Another World with Sci-Fi and Thrillers
If traveling the world while listening to other people travel the same world is a bit redundant for you, you can always slip away to the realms of science fiction.
Classics like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy put a creative spin on the classic tale of the roadside traveler. In this story, it’s not the world that’s at the traveler’s fingertips, but the entire universe. If you like space, clever satire, and a fresh spin on a tale as old as time, this one’s worth checking out.
For thriller lovers, there’s a wide range of options as well. World War Z details the travels of a man in a planet transformed by the Zombie War. It’s a tried-and-true horror mainstay that intertwines the trials of a traveler and makes for a timeless classic.
Bird Box is another creative thriller which follows survivors of a massive event said to drive people mad. It pushes the survivors to travel outside their comfort zone, if such a thing exists in this world, armed with only their wit and a blindfold – just make sure to keep your eyes on the road while you listen.
Soak in the Atmosphere with Regional Works
One reason people enter the truck driving industry is to see sights from famous parts of the country. If you’re there, why not get fully immersed in the location’s history in the process?
If you’re out west, capture the spirit of exploration with works like Frontiers: A Short History of the American West, or with Legends of the West: The Life and Legacy of Wild Bill Hickok. You can also experience the transformation of a desolate area into a thriving metropolis with The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles.
Traveling around Chicago? It’s a fine time to check out The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. If you’re in the south, get immersed in the minds and music of the area with Wayfaring Stranger: A Musical Journey in the American South.
Finally, get a true taste of northeastern legacy with thrilling tales like Mysterious New England: A History of the Region’s Mysteries, Hauntings, and Strange Creatures, or explore the U.S.’s most popular city’s background with Inside the Apple: A Streetwise History of New York City.
Want something a bit more specific? Here’s the most popular book set in each state.
Catch Up on Current Events, or Unwind with Sports and More
Sometimes truck drivers spend so long traveling, they worry about missing out on life. Luckily, you can stay informed whether you’re interested in world events or the progress of your favorite sports team. You can listen to podcasts on a variety of apps such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts (and they’re almost always free!).
For current events, truckers tend to love This American Life, PBS News Hour, and NRP News Now. All are informative non-fiction shows that keep you up to date on the interesting happenings of today.
For sports fans, you can get a glimpse of everything from scores to sports-related humor with great shows like Mike & Mike, The Bill Simmons Podcast, and View from the Cheap Seats.
If you’re looking for laughs, we suggest WTF with Marc Macron or Armchair Expert. While they offer lots of laughs, there’s also some interesting celeb interviews and life lessons within.
Finally, fans of crime dramas can check out Serial, Crime Junkie Podcast, My Favorite Murder, or The Last Podcast on the Left. You’ll get suspense, shocks, and so much more.
Stay Immersed in the World of Truck Driving
If you’re all about that trucker life and just can’t get enough, you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of podcasts on the topic.
There’s Eyes on the Road, Red Eye Radio, An American Trucker, TalkCDL | Trucking Edition, The Truck Show Podcast, Trucker Dump, and the Trucking Podcast. Similar names or not, each offers something unique. From drivers’ insights and life lessons to trucking humor and hot topics, these selections provide a bit of everything.
If you can’t get enough of trucking, you’re in good company – Hermes is a fast-growing family that wants to connect with drivers in the job search. Looking for a great opportunity where you can make money while cruising the roads to the sound of your favorite shows? We want to hear from you.