Being a truck driver really isn’t a solo career. Few know this quite as well as Linda Wyatt, who has supported her husband and Schneider driver, Bob Wyatt, in his career for nearly half a century. On November 18, the couple will celebrate 50 years of marriage.
Being married to a truck driver hasn’t always been easy. For Linda, the hardest part was when their three children were young. With the time Bob spent out on the road, she often played the role of a single mom, caring for their children’s needs day in and day out. While that was challenging at times, she was
Once the kids were grown, however, Linda did find one perk to being a trucker’s wife: when Bob was working, she had some time to spend all to herself. “It’s nice to do some things on my own – and to have one less schedule to coordinate!” she pointed out.
What is the Wyatts’ secret to making it work for nearly 50 years? Communication and trust. Even before cell phones made having a quick conversation easier, Linda and Bob checked in with each other regularly. Linda left the communication up to Bob, whose busy career meant that it wasn’t practical to stick to a set check-in schedule. Linda trusted that Bob would call when he had a safe opportunity to stop and talk. In turn, Linda expressed confidence in her ability to handle things at home, and Bob trusted that everything there was taken care of. Of course, the snacks and meals Linda packed for Bob also made his life on the road easier!
Linda’s support for Bob has allowed him to experience — and share with her — some incredible career milestones. In 2016, Bob was honored with a CVSA International Driver Excellence Award, and in 2017 he rang the bell at the New York stock exchange when Schneider became a publicly traded company.
“I was overwhelmed but grateful,” said Linda. “These were once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and it was amazing to see what a wonderful job Bob has done in his career.”
Over their many years together, Linda has learned a lot about being married to a truck driver. The best advice she can offer to other truck drivers’ partners is to figure out a system that works for them, as no committed relationship or truck driving career is the same.
“It is difficult at times,” said Linda, “but hang in there. Do it your own way and keep moving forward.”
Drivers, how do your spouses or partners support your careers? If you’re a trucker’s wife or husband, what’s your best advice for being married to a truck driver?