The job of being a truck driver is one of the more established and oldest jobs in the US market. Like anything that has quite a history to it, there are incorrect notions that are attached to it. Myths are stories that many people believe despite not having even an ounce of truth to it. What makes myths dangerous as times is that people tend to pass them off as fact rather than fiction.
The job of a truck driver is not easy. They often take drivers away from their homes and families over long periods of time. Depending on what they need to deliver or what sort of job they have, the level of expertise is much higher and the margin of error is a lot smaller. This is no small feat. Much is to be commended about anyone who has taken it upon themselves to be a commercial truck driver.
In light of this, we have gathered some of the silliest myths about truck drivers in general. We hope that by discussing some of these, a better understanding can be gleamed about this longstanding industry.
1) Truck Drivers Are All Men
A common title that is used to refer to truck drivers was ‘cowboys of the paved road’. The male gender has long been associated with the profession of trucking and at some point in history, this was actually true. However, time has progressed yet this ‘fact’ about truck drivers has refused to be shaken off.
As of 2015, there were over 200,000 female long-haul truck drivers in the USA alone. This number does not account for the number of female short haul drivers and those that work as independent contractors. Female truck drivers account for around 48% of those that take on flatbed truck driving jobs.
2) Truck Drivers Barely Contribute to the Economy
This is by far one of the silliest myths that we have heard about truck drivers. If you ask anyone that runs a business that needs constant stream of stocks, they will immediately tell you that truck drivers are primarily responsible for making sure that they always have their products at the ready.
Truck drivers are also primarily responsible for ensuring that supplies from manufacturing sources reach their intended destinations. While on the road, they also affect a massive market. They need to use gas, they buy food from any local business they pass, they bring truck stops to life, and so many other things. If a majority of the old world thrived because of the trade routes, you can be sure that where truckers go, there will be a market that flourishes.
3) Truck Drivers Are Smelly, Unwashed, and Uncultured
While there are examples that may support this belief, they are mostly obtained from the script of some movie or TV show. Truck Drivers are some of the most well travelled individuals you can meet. Long haul drivers often cross state lines and even borders on a daily basis. They get to see sights that many of us wish that we could travel to.
Also, if you have ever seen one of the dedicated showers at a truck stop, you will know that hygiene is one of the top priorities of drivers. Many people who fall under owner/operator truck driving jobs will tell you how they keep their vehicles clean at all times. They often consider their rigs their ‘home away from home’. After all, if you had to spend weeks at a time on the road, wouldn’t you want to be as comfortable as possible?
4) Just About Anyone Can Become a Truck Driver
While anyone can try to be a truck driver, not just about anyone can be one. Despite the shortage in truck drivers, the requirements and tests that need to be met are only getting tougher. It’s the same concept of anyone practicing medicine. There will be those that can certainly try but only the best made it to the very end of the line.
Obtaining a commercial driver’s license takes time and a lot of effort. The physical and mental demands of the job can be something else entirely. This is why it is important that anyone who dreams of joining the truck driver profession needs to really analyze themselves. Determining if they would be a good fit for the job is critical if they want to get off the right foot.
5) Truck Driving Is a Dying Trade Because of Drones
Around last year, Amazon tried out a delivery that was made solely by a drone. It was a successful test. However, it is still not a viable replacement for truck driving as a whole. One of the reasons why deliveries by truck are a highly used option is because of the sheer number of stocks that it can carry in one delivery.
Think about it. If drones were used to carry the regular stock for a hospital that a truck would usually do, it would not be able to carry the weight. This would mean a lot of return trips which completely wastes time.
Truck driving is one of the professions that have a massive subculture in the USA. There are entire communities, festivals, and even large representation in popular culture about trucks and truck drivers. Truck drivers and the service that they provide to communities—both big and small—are highly valuable and cannot be overstated!
Studies have shown that if all truck drivers suddenly decided to not do their job even for a day, it paralyzes the country. It only takes about 24 hours for a hospital to start running out of supplies. The ones that enable manufacturers to deliver their goods to their intended clients are no one else than the truck drivers themselves.
We hope that beyond the humor and the laughter that the myths we discussed brought you will come a better understanding of the lifestyle and the culture that is the backbone of an industry that carries the world in their cargo hold. Which particular myth about truck drivers did you used to believe?