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With their kids out of the house, empty-nesters Dan and Cristy Dornbusch cruise U.S. highways with an array of domestic comforts — TV, microwave convection oven, running water — in their vehicle.
They’re not just savoring the scenery: The Dornbusch duo operates a Freightliner M2 truck lugging loads of metal casting parts as a driving team for closely held Try Hours Inc.
Try Hours is part of a growing wave of truckers customizing their cabs to blunt a driver shortage that consultant FTR Associates Inc. sees approaching 400,000 by the end of 2017. These companies are investing in entertainment systems, ceiling fans and refrigerator/freezers to ease the strain on employees who are on the road for three or four weeks at a time.
“You have just about everything you need, so you can actually stay out longer between trips home,” said Dornbusch, 52, of Wilmington, Ohio. “We call it professional camping.”