We will match you with a teacher who wants a committed driver to communicate with them while on the road.
The driver will send in postcards, emails, letters, and pictures. These communications generate lesson plans about geography, math, science, social studies, and more.
The students write letters back to the driver about what they are learning. Teachers love the program because it's learning things through the eyes of a professional driver, crossing the country.
Once or twice a year the driver can take their truck to school and get to meet the teacher and class. All communication goes through the teacher.
We make every effort to assign drivers within thirty days subject to class availability. Please note that requests made after the second semester maybe be assigned for the next school year.
Be sure to look at the Available Classes list and if you see one you want, let us know.
If you can't find a class we will send you some brochures to take to your local school.
Always ask your teacher how they would prefer to be contacted. Many prefer E-Mails or letters but some can receive phone calls. Remember, most teachers don't have a phone in their class so calls may hinder the classroom operations.
First, make sure you read the rules and guidelines. Then contact your assigned teacher and discuss their style of teaching and how they want you to communicate with the class. Many want their driver to write letters and postcards as well as using emails. They want written communication because it encourages the students to write you back and improve their writing skills. You and your teacher are a team so work together to accomplish the goal of encouraging kids and teaching them about the wonderful world of trucking.
Beginning the Trucker Buddy program is easy and pain-free. Here are the steps to starting.
1. Once a match is made we will send you the teacher's contact information. Contact them but be patient. They are busy with classroom activities and might be a few days before they can meet. The main goal is to be a teaching tool to help them make better students. Find out what their goal is and how you can help.
2. You can communicate with the teacher in many ways. Find what works best with your teacher and their class.
Pick up postcards along your route. It takes a few minutes to fill out a postcard while you waiting to be unloaded or fulfilling your hours of service. One postcard can generate an instant geography, math, current events, science, social study lesson and it gives the students a subject to write you back.
Use our iPhone and Android App. It's free and allows you to send the teacher pictures with the location on a map. The class can also follow you around the country if your company will allow it.
An email is always a good option. Some schools have a very good spam protector so make sure the teacher has approved you.
Skype and Face Time works well at certain schools.
Other drivers do the above and add activities to the program like locating and sending rocks from the Rocky Mountains or cotton from the south. Some buy a stuffed animal and have it ride with them as the class mascot taking pictures along the way.
If you would like to talk to a current Trucker Buddy driver please let us know and we can give you contact information.
Ask if the school will allow you to bring your truck to the school at a future date. Some schools are located in a place where you can't get the truck and trailer in but probably could bob-tail into the school.
What you write about depends on where you are, and what you are doing. Don't be afraid of telling the students about your everyday life. You may think hauling freight ordinary, but to children, it is a whole new world. They will naturally be curious about what you haul, where you go, what sights you see, and how much time and money it costs to travel across the country. You can open up the world to the students in a new, exciting, way through your letters.
Once you find out what the students are studying and when you can help the teacher find learning materials as you write. For example, if your class is learning about the Rocky Mountains, and you have a run going through Colorado, try getting a tourist brochure of the Rockies, or a pamphlet from the National Park Service.
Be sure to remember the age group of your assigned class and write accordingly. How you correspond with second-graders will be very different from how you correspond with eighth-graders. If you have trouble determining what is appropriate, ask the teacher for help.
The rules and guidelines are in place not only to protect the children but to protect you as well.
Following these rules keeps anyone from accusing you of inappropriate behavior and protects your good name. These also protect the children and our program from harm.
Remember, if you never have contact with the students except when the teacher is present then you and the students will be safe. If you break the rules you will be asked to leave the program.
Student safety is VERY important to Trucker Buddy and will be strictly enforced.
We encourage you to visit your class but you need to first get permission from your teacher and your company for their instructions and regulations. Make sure you adhere to all Trucker Buddy Guidelines. As a matter of courtesy and safety, never visit your assigned school unexpectedly. Children are NEVER allowed to ride in the truck and all activities must be supervised by the teacher. This is a protection for the students as well a protection for you too.
Do not allow the students to climb on the fifth wheel or on the tires as they could fall and hurt themselves. Always help the students up into the cab or in the trailer to protect them from a fall. Inappropriate touching of the students while helping them into the truck is NEVER allowed and will mean instant elimination from the program and could cause you to be prosecuted. Always make sure your teacher or another administrator is with you while helping the students.
Teach safety like blind spots, stopping distances, seat belts, and turning radiuses. Show them that the truck is your business and it's how you make a living for you and your family.
Be sure to bath and shave (for men) and wear clean clothes. Wearing your company uniform if you have one always makes a good impression.
This is your opportunity to put a face behind the wheel of your truck so make the most of it.
We recommend that you write a personal letter or email to the teacher, then wait for a response.
If your class is not responding then contact us and we will help find the reason and locate another class if we can't resolve the problem.
Teachers are busy especially at certain times of the year so be patient with them.
No. Trucker Buddy is funded through the generous contributions of our sponsors and individuals. Trucker Buddy drivers give their time which is their greatest contribution.
If you would like to make a personal tax-deductible donation go to the following link Donation.
All foul language, questionable jokes, and racial, political, or religious remarks are unacceptable.
Teachers review all letters to and from the children prior to distribution, so use good judgment and common sense. Remember, children are impressionable and aren't accustomed to adult language or conversation. If you think for a moment it may not be appropriate, don't write it.
In general, yes, but check with your assigned teacher first. Try contests or games that are geographical, historical, or mathematical in nature. Keep in mind the age of the children. Challenge your class but with problems that are geared toward their grade level.
Absolutely not. All activities, including school visits and tours of your truck, require prior permission from your assigned teacher and school and any violation is grounds for removal from the Trucker Buddy program. Almost all carriers prohibit riders and for safety reasons, truck trips are prohibited at any time.
You may be allowed to let them see the inside of your tractor but never go into the cab alone with a student.
Yes. We ask all drivers and teachers to renew for the new school year. This gives up to date contact information and lets us know things are going well with the match.
If you are an OOIDA member they will send some items to your class as part of being an OOIDA member. Just call them and ask for Niki Johnson. 1-800-444-5791.
Drivers who have been in the Trucker Buddy program for at least one year may request up to two additional classes. We have found that three classes are the maximum number even the most conscientious driver can handle.
Talk to your teacher, find out what the kids are studying and when, and what would be appropriate. If the class is studying the Rocky Mountains, pick up a pamphlet from the National Park Service. Some send pictures and postcards. Use your imagination!
Yes, but remember the Trucker Buddy name and logo are copyrighted and cannot be used without the express written permission from Trucker Buddy International. For more information, contact Trucker Buddy headquarters by e-mail.
Yes, you can be matched with Boy and Girl Scouts as well as Boy and Girls Clubs. We want all students to be part of the program but would ask that you call us if you want an exception to this rule.
If for any reason you are uncomfortable with any letter, contact your assigned teacher to discuss it or call the Trucker Buddy office. Sometimes students want to contact you individually and this is strictly prohibited. This is to protect the students and you.
Our driver/teacher liaison office is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
*Note that all times are CST. The office is located in Alabama.
Phone: 1-800-MYBUDDY I 1-800- 692-8339