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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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Truck Driving Unappreciated Job, but Honorable Profession

Proud to be a Trucker

Proud to be a Trucker

The truck driver, 1500 miles away from home and family and dealing with traffic, weather, load schedules, health problems, lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, regulations, DOT, logbook, road congestion, road construction . . . and on top of all of this . . . let’s throw in the general public road rage toward truckers.

Anti-idling laws, disrespect from shippers, receivers and law enforcement, forced dispatch, poor miles, financial worries, $300 pay check for the week, unsafe parking areas, lack of parking areas, crime, truck stop beggars, racism, 14 hour plus work days and more regulations.

Missed first steps, missed birthdays, proms, first dates, ball games, school plays, first tooth and first words, anniversaries and holidays . . . it is no wonder that the average newcomer to the truck driving career will only last for six months.

For veteran truckers, they run on sheer stamina alone, having survived an industry where most who attempt it will fail.  Many start out with the right attitude, ready to begin their career in long haul trucking, only later to be discouraged by all those things that attempt to destroy their self-esteem and self-respect.  While they began their career with their heads held high and full of enthusiasm, years of trucking and treated like second-hand citizens, have sometimes taken its toll.

Many will walk with their heads down and speak to no one, believing the false rule of “trust nobody” and that whatever they have to say is “not important.” Many will become like others before them, filled with truck driver cynicism and believing that they have little of importance to offer.  After all, in their mind, they are “only” a truck driver.

Most will agree that professional truck driving is an unappreciated job, but one must understand that the general public has no comprehension of a trucker’s lifestyle and that the largest section of the general public would crumble under such a job filled with so many obstacles and personal attacks.

Secondly, you must understand that the general public does not care about the obstacles you face as a professional truck driver.  Their only concern is their lives, playing tennis on the weekend or being able to go anywhere they want and purchase the goods they need to take back to their homes and talk about how hard their day was today.

Thirdly, understand that all these obstacles can tear you down, only if you allow them to.

Most of the general public, dispatchers and general trucking employees, if forced into an 18-wheeler to live the life of a professional trucker . . . would wimp like a little puppy, begging to come back home.  They have no realization that everything available to them is there because a truck driver made certain that it was.

Truck drivers keep America moving and provide those who disrespect us, with the comforts of life that they have come to expect and take for granted.  As a professional truck driver, you are the backbone of this country, more than you may realize.

You are valuable . . . you are important . . . you are skilled . . . you are intelligent . . . you are significant . . . you are crucial . . . you are needed.

Newcomers, as well as veteran drivers, should constantly remind themselves that even though truck driving is an unappreciated job . . . it is an honorable profession.

© 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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12 Responses to Truck Driving Unappreciated Job, but Honorable Profession. - Post a Comment

  1. JP Bervoets

    While I’ve never been a driver myself, I’ve always been amazed that so few people realize how important drivers are to the community and to economic growth and stability. The weekend tennis players you mentioned wouldn’t have a net, racket, or tennis balls if there weren’t drivers – in fact, very little would function at all without drivers.

    While it’s true many people don’t appreciate the hard work you all do, or the obstacles you face regarding health, safety, family etc, there are at least some who do. Thanks.

    Great article. Thanks for writing it.

  2. Allen Smith

    Thanks JP:
    Although the “general public” was a generalization to get the point across, I know there are many like yourself that understand and appreciate what our drivers do . . . I just believe that they do not “hear” it enough . . . thanks again.

  3. @hnldriver

    Any chance I can repost this?

    • Allen Smith

      Sure, as long as it links back to AskTheTrucker, that’s fine. We appreciate it.

  4. Diesel Performance Parts

    I think you’re right, most people can’t even imagine what a trucker’s life might be like.

  5. Tom

    Hi I am a Truck Driver here in SCOTLAND (U.K) and yes i agree that there would be very few people who would be able to do anything without us Truck Drivers delivering the goods to the shops or factory’s, but my question is…Why as Being called a professional by the Authorities is it that we still do not come under the skilled categoray ?

  6. Gene

    I’m not a driver but I have the utmost respect for those that are. I live in the Northeast and am amazed and the skill drivers have in negotiating the streets (better known as alleys) in the Boston area. I wouldn’t drive a compact car down these alleys while the truckers will back an 18 wheeler with ease. My hat’s off to you drivers. Take care and stay safe.

  7. Allen Smith

    It all has to do with economics. By keeping a large portion categorized as “unskilled”, it keeps the wages down for that particular country.

  8. Allen Smith

    HA! I hear ya’ Gene! Thanks.

  9. John E. "Jack" Frost

    I graduated from truck school just yesterday! I was a strait truck driver (FED/EX) for years and decided OTR was the best option for me in these economic times.

    I start orientation Monday and look forward to my new career and what lies ahead in my “mobile office!”

    Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  10. Allen Smith

    Hey John: Thanks for writing and keep us updated on your OTR experiences! Best of luck . . . Allen

  11. Brett

    Now, if only we can get a few newspapers or something to print this out.

    By the way, Allen, would you count those of us who drive trucks with back windows instead of bunks in this article?

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