Joel Morales, 48
Los Angeles, Calif.
Joel Morales is in trouble with his wife.
It's been three months since he has been home, and his oldest daughter just found out she is having a baby boy.
If he isn't home soon the family is threatening not to name the baby after him, he said as he checked the screen on his cell phone.
"The slack I am getting right now is tremendous," he said. "My wife is going crazy with the stress of the kids."
Mr. Morales was on his first trip as a truck driver in training and was already wondering whether he had gone into the right field.
"I don't know how these guys do it," he said, sitting close to his trainer who was laughing at him. "I think you can't have a family."
"You miss a lot of things being a truck driver," Walter Moughler, Mr. Morales' trainer chimed in. "You miss out of every day things."
Mr. Morales had never thought about earning money as a truck driver until he saw a billboard at the unemployment office advertising that truck driving was in high demand. He had been laid off from a printing job he held for 32 years, so being in demand was one thing he wanted, he said.
Like many new recruits, Mr. Morales said he doesn't want to be out months at a time.
He is looking for regional work, close to home, and thankfully companies are growing those routes.
"The over-the-road truck driver is a dying breed," said another driver listening to Mr. Morales talk.
Mr. Morales doesn't listen.
"My family would suffer," he said.