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.