This blog was written by ToughTested Ambassador Wendy Parker.
Jenson Lawrence is an independent owner/operator from Boyceville, WI. He’s been trucking for close to ten years, but only recently became a father.
Leading up to Father’s Day, I spoke with Jenson about fatherhood and trucking. These soundbites give us a little insight on how the addition of his daughter, Linnea Mae, and the upcoming birth of his son, due in August of this year, have changed his outlook on having a career that keeps him away from home.
“Well, I don’t really have too much of a choice right now [in terms of career]. I have to make the money. So many bills. We had to put on a new roof and many other things. But the cool thing about being an independent owner operator is that I can take off as much time as I want and the only restrictions are financial. I’m taking July 1st through the 4th off and we’re going to Chicago to visit my Uncle Tim and brother, Richard.”
Jenson’s wife Amanda is expecting their second child later this year.
“Another reason I don’t work for someone else is that I make enough money to fully support my family. Amanda can stay home with the kids. Garden. Take Linnea Mae to swimming lessons. I’m going to be taking off time after Timothy Jonathan is born at the end of August. As much as possible. At least a week. More if finance allows.”
Being able to fully support his family often means staying on the road, away from home. When asked if he’s considered taking a job that gets him home every night, he referenced a conversation with his own father.
“I was talking to my dad last night, he suggested I get a job at the technical college teaching truck driving so I can be home more. I don’t think I would do that unless my health got too bad to be over the road. I can’t be part of some program. I gotta do my own thing.”
Freedom and stability are important to Jenson, and finding a way to make those things work with a family life gives him options he wouldn’t have otherwise.
“When my kids are older, I want to take them on trips. You can’t generally do that if you work for someone else. I’m home every weekend now. That sounds crazy to non-trucking people, but it’s outstanding for the industry.”
Happy Father’s Day, Jenson! And happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, making sacrifices for their families – thank you for being tough tested!