Nathan Deuel at the LA Times:
What hooks Murphy so thoroughly, despite society’s apparent disapproval, is that in addition to the money and freedom, the rough-and-tumble underworld of big trucks and long drives actually feels like a meaningful lesson in the pride and purity of hard work. “When you hired movers,” he writes, “they moved it. Execution was the imperative. This unequivocation was very attractive to me then, as it is now.”
There are all kinds of truckers. Murphy’s a mover (or a bedbugger), not to be confused with car haulers (parking lot attendants), animal transporters (chicken chokers), refrigerated food haulers (reefers) or hazmat haulers (suicide jockeys.) What unites most of them, Murphy explains with some distaste, is how happily they communicate with each other over CB radios, in a kind of private social network Murphy doesn’t seem to relish like he does all that time alone.
The way Murphy thinks of it, most of the other long-haul drivers are all too happy to gather around the gas station and guffaw. What they’re probably missing out on, Murphy suggests, are lonelier and more poetic thoughts, such as the way the engines themselves, “want to work hard. What they like is a full load and twenty-hour run at 65.” When you maintain one properly, he writes, the thing can run a million miles.