Combatting loneliness over the road with Prime Driver Buddy Gray

Combatting loneliness over the road with Prime Driver Buddy Gray

Loneliness is a common phenomenon, but not all of us experience it in the same way. Truck drivers have a unique struggle, as being on the road for long periods of time can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. According to the U.S. surgeon general’s recent report, loneliness is detrimental to both physical and mental health and can lead to unwanted consequences. 

It’s important to remember that even during what the surgeon general describes as a “loneliness epidemic,” you are not alone. Buddy Gray, who has been working for Prime for 15 years, shares his outlooks on how to combat loneliness over the road. 

Find community through other drivers

Having a connection and a community with other truck drivers is important. Finding that network of people for you to connect with, along with encouraging meaningful connections for your partner and children, are crucial in combatting loneliness. 

When discussing the different topics he talks about with other drivers, Buddy said “memories, current stuff, everything in between. Some of the silly things our kids do and the things kids have done, as well as our nieces and nephews. It gives us a little more comfort.”

Find companionship in the form of a furry friend

“The dog is actually a great companion while your co-driver is sleeping,” Buddy said regarding his Akita Rottweiler mix Tucker. “They keep you occupied.” 

Prime allows drivers to carry a single pet on board their trucks, whether it be a dog, a cat, or something else. If possible, having an animal companion around can be a great method of reducing the feeling of isolation and stress levels. Analyze the pros and cons of taking a pet on the road before making the decision to adopt.

Bring someone along for the ride

This can be the form of a co-driver, like Buddy’s wife, or a different friend or relative who’s just along for the ride. 

“During the summer, I actually bring one of my nieces or nephews out on the truck once a month,” Buddy said. “They get spoiled.” 

As summer approaches and school’s out of session, having a child join in on the ride can be a fun experience and offer an opportunity for the child to see new places and experience the feeling of a road trip. 

“They make it interesting for us because they ask a lot of questions,” Buddy said.

Keep in contact with your family 

“Thank goodness for Facetime,” Buddy remarked. “Even if you have to pull over for 5-10 minutes, take the time to call them. It’s a must. Keep in touch with your kids, grandkids, mom and dad. If you can call them every day, that’s a blessing.” 

Keeping in touch can be in the form of a phone call, a text, a postcard, and more. 

“My nieces and nephews are so hilarious,” Buddy said. “Calling them gives us a good laugh, gives us a good sigh of relief.”

Spread kindness 

Long-time readers will recall when former Good Dads board member and psychologist Dr. Christopher Ward discussed the importance of spreading kindness to combat loneliness in a blog last year. Ward suggested making connections with others and finding ways to help those around you. The littlest things can make all the difference.

Buddy’s advice for fellow Prime drivers echoed Ward’s sentiments. “Be helpful, be polite, help others out when needed, especially other drivers that are on the road,”

Final words

It’s important to once again remember that you are not alone. Even if your family isn’t physically there with you, it’s crucial to keep in touch with them and remember that they’re there for you. 

“The biggest thing out here is family. Even though my Prime is my second family.” Buddy said. “Keep in touch with family, don’t let it go, don’t let it slip.”

Here at Good Dads, we take mental health concerns seriously. Help is available. If you’re feeling excessive loneliness and not sure where to turn, call or text 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.


  • Dora Gilreath

    Dora joined the Good Dads team in 2024 and is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in creative writing at Missouri State University. She grew up with a truck driving father and loves reading, writing and anything related to theater.

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