New York-based photographer Joshua Simpson spent some time at a truck stop in Hampton, New Jersey, taking portraits of truckers who live their lives on the road. A few welcomed Simpson into the rear cabin of their trucks, which they turn into their homes to relax by themselves or, in some cases, with their family.
Simpson described what initially interested him about trucking. “I was just curious about the interiors of big rigs, their organization and features,” he said. “But through my interactions with truckers from all over the country and Mexico my interest grew, [though] my romantic notions of the industry were complicated by hearing about the logistics, hard work and danger involved.”
“It was fascinating to see how people from such different backgrounds, ages, genders, shared similar reasons for getting into trucking and how they balanced the same challenges of being away from home and family,” he added.
Here are a few of the truckers Simpson met, and the places they call home when they’re on the road.
Ellen and Charles White, Lakeland, Florida
Ellen was a security guard at the company where Charles, who has driven trucks for 27 years, made deliveries. They started dating and married soon after. She decided to join her husband when she couldn’t find a better paying job. She went to driving school at night until she got her license.
Kevin Speer, New Jersey
Kevin was photographed inside and outside his custom-designed truck. His wife picked out the lime green exterior.
Kevin Clark and Dawn Allen, Billings, Montana
The couple has been driving together for two years. Dawn has been driving for nearly 30 years. “She sees angles a heck of a lot better than I do,” says Kevin.
Dawn and Kevin are far from the only duo on the road. “I’d say about two out of 10 trucks probably are a couple,” he said.
Debbie Downey, Dresden, Tennessee
Debbie has driven for eight years. She is accompanied by her dog, Addie.
The Shepherd family, Tampa, Florida
Mark Shepherd had already been driving trucks when his family, wife Michelle and seven-year-old Honey joined him over the summer so they can save money to buy property. They homeschool Honey through Bridgeway Academy. Honey says she “feels sorry for all the kids that don’t get to see the country.”
Jose Luis Rodriguez, Miami, Florida
After seeking asylum from Cuba in 2000, Rodriguez, worked as a photographer and then, for the past four years, as a truck driver. He continues to shoot pictures and video as well.
Luis Colunga, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Luis has been driving for eight years.