The life of the long-haul trucker has been glorified in movies and music from the 1970s onward. While truckers seldom have the opportunity to dance the two-step or ride mechanical bulls like they do on the silver screen, they do tend to live exciting lives. Never pass up the opportunity to chat with a trucker. Their road tales will have you laughing, crying, and possibly even shaking in your boots. The following are just a few of the weird, wild, and wonderful things only truckers understand.

The Things You Can’t Unsee

Only truckers understand.

Trucking is a great way to see the country, but many people do not realize that truckers have a sight-seeing advantage over most tourists. Commuters tend to forget that semi drivers have a bird’s-eye view of their vehicle’s interior. Whatever privacy you thought you had on the open road…think again. Truckers have seen it all—the good, the bad, and the can’t-unseeable.

The Work-Life Balancing Act

Only truckers understand.

Truckers get paid by the mile. This can lead to long, difficult periods of time away from home. Both the truck driver and their loved ones at home must make sacrifices for the job. The person at home is often left to shoulder the responsibility for paying bills, home maintenance, daily chores, and child care alone. This can be an overwhelming burden for many people.

Only truckers understand the huge sacrifices their peers make for their career and lifestyle. The missed milestones and guilt can take an emotional toll on the driver and fuel resentment from their family. While the divorce rate among truckers is extremely high, there are many successful trucking families.

The Camaraderie

Only truck drivers understand.

Many drivers relish the independence and solitude of the road, but at the end of the day it is nice to have someone to talk with. This is why there is a special camaraderie among truckers. Complete strangers frequently gather and bond over a cup of coffee or bottle of beer. Only truckers understand the stress and frustrations related to life on the open road.

The Pride in the Ride

Only truck drivers understand.

Fancy paint jobs and excessive chrome go hand in hand with the general public’s image of career truckers. A huge subculture of those within the trucking and transportation industry love to show off their shiny trucks, chrome, and newfangled gadgets to fellow drivers. It is important to remember that these are not just hobbyists playing with their toy trucks—drivers spend many hours in their cabs. It is their home away from home and should be a source of pride.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who choose to stay in it for the long haul. Remember—if you bought it, a truck brought it.