Most of you veteran drivers out there know that driving a truck, especially long haul, is not your typical 9 to 5 job. The hours are long, the “office” has an ever-changing view from the windows, and living in a sleeper has quite a few challenges, including cooking meals.
For you newer drivers, I’d like to suggest ways to make the job more comfortable. There are lots of things you can do, depending on your funds and preferences.
First off, there is the problem of eating well out on the road. You can go broke only eating at truck stops. Bringing food from home and heating it saves a lot of money. Here are a few suggestions to help out with that.
When my husband and I first started driving, we went for simplicity. We started out with an ice chest, a Thermos, coffee mugs, and the Burton “lunchbox” cooker for heating cans of soup and the like. Paper plates, bowls, and plastic eating utensils completed the list. These things worked well for the most part. But buying coffee at the truck stops was expensive, ice for the chest melted quickly and had to be replaced, and we soon tired of eating canned soup.
It wasn’t long before we graduated to a plug-in cooler that eliminated the ice hassle, but we now travel with a small refrigerator and a microwave. The refrigerator and microwave run nicely on a 2500 watt inverter which, if your company allows, you can have installed on your truck. The inverter will also power a laptop, a printer, and all charging devices, as well as a television.
It’s easy to heat water for instant coffee or tea, or even make coffee in the truck with coffee grounds. We stock up on frozen dinners and heat them when we stop, saving a lot of time and money on meals. Salads are also made at home, packed in plastic disposable containers, and stored in the refrigerator. If the ingredients are not very wet, salads will keep for up to two weeks.
There is a Facebook group, Cooking on the Truck, where members share recipes for great meals that can all be cooked in the semi using a microwave, Burton cooker, crock-pot, electric skillet, or grill. Fresh ingredients can be purchased on the road at big box stores with truck parking.
The only real hassle with cooking for yourself on the road can be the clean up after meals. My husband and I use disposable plates, bowls, and utensils; the Burton cooker has disposable foil pans to make spills and splatters easy to handle. A crock-pot can be washed handily in a shower room along with your spoons and other cooking utensils.
In future blogs, I’ll share some great simple recipes. I’d love to hear any tips or suggestions you have for making this lifestyle bearable, even pleasant, out here.
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