Goal Setting Tips for Truckers

Living out of your truck

by Al L

Hi, I'm returning to driving career and I'd like to save $$ by putting my stuff in storage and living out of my truck.

But I'm facing one problem I hadn't thought about: what to use as my legal residence when I don't have a house/apartment.

I'd like to move to TX and work out of there but I don't have family/friends down there whose address I could use.

What do other drivers do? Use PO Box? Is it possible to put a POBox # on your CDL? Or use company's terminal address?

Would appreciate any info on the subject.

Response from Vicki:

Hello, Al,

Thanks for asking your question about living out of your truck. Mike and I have been through this before and will be glad to assist you.

On our page entitled
A Trucker Transition: Living Full-Time in Your Semi Tractor-Trailer Truck,
we detailed all of the factors that affected us when we made this move.

We went into more detail on our page entitled
Homeless Truckers: Considerations and Preparations for Life Without a Residence.

On that second page, we covered:
* Getting Mail and Packages;
* Internet Access;
* Power;
* Bill Payment and Record Keeping;
* Storage;
* Personal Motor Vehicles;
* Driver's Licenses;
* {Being} Home Free;
* Truck and Truck Item Cleaning;
* Personalization; and
* Financial Goal Setting.

Our Car

When we drove as a team, we parked our car at the company terminals (two different companies). Of course, that required us to go back to the terminal to pick up our car for any time off. The terminals were a good 2-hour (or more) drive to our home town. A trucking company may insist on drivers leaving their trucks parked in their lots, not taken home, so pay attention to that.

Later, when I rode with Mike full-time and we once again put our things in storage, we arranged to keep our car at the home of friends. In that case, the company's headquarters was at least 4 hours away, so it would have been impractical in the extreme to park there.

If you are going solo, you will have to determine how and where you are going to make the swap from your truck to your personal vehicle. A company terminal may be ideal if it is close enough to your home base.

Our Mail

When we started out as a husband and wife professional truck driving team, there was no UPS Store (or Mail Boxes,
Etc.) in our home town. We rented a P.O. Box. However, one cannot receive packages sent by any other courier service at that box. We found it most helpful to have a private mail box through the UPS Store so that we could receive all parcels we had ordered.

Our Driver's Licenses

The driver's license situation can be very ticklish. Our home state of South Carolina does not permit drivers to use any kind of a P.O. Box (or even rented box like through the UPS Store) as the residential address on a driver's license. Other states may be different.

When we started out as a team, we used the address of the only "home base" we had when we came back into town, the motel we stayed at. Of course, we never got any mail there but one parcel we pre-arranged to receive and have them hold for us.

By the time we both went on the road together again, Mike received permission from our friends to use the address where we parked our car on his driver's license (again, with the understanding that we would never use their address for receiving mail or anything else). I didn't update my driver's license until we actually physically relocated.

Residential Considerations

Where you claim your "residence" has everything to do with voting. If you plan to vote in any upcoming election, make sure that your driver's license has the residence that reflects the area where you want to vote -- and make sure that your voter registration is up-to-date.

Please choose carefully all of your options. Taxes and fees may have an impact on where you decide to "relocate."

Also, if you have a pre-paid cell phone service like that through TracFone, your roaming charges could be greatly affected by a move unless you change your phone number.

Additional Help

If you will contact us with your email address -- and let us know you were the one who inquired about living out of your truck -- we will provide you with information about a service through which you may be able to set up a workable arrangement for a residence in Texas without hassle. I have personally used -- and can recommend -- the service to which I refer to arrange for temporary housing.

We wish you great success in saving money as a result of being "homeless" because we know it can be done.

When you get on the road, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities.

Thanks again.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons

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