T&P Trucking, Ltd.

The Trucker Stereotypes

Categories: Articles

You don’t have to go far to find a job that doesn’t come with some type of pre-associated stereotype. Whether it’s the classic ‘plumber’s crack’ or the ‘sleazy car salesman’, it seems every industry will call a certain image to mind at first thought. A profession that has some of the worst negative stereotypes is the trucker. What comes to your mind when you think of a typical truck driver?

The Stereotypes

Almost everything in your home or sitting on the grocery shelves wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for transport trucks. Despite the fact that the U.S and Canada so heavily depend on our truckers, there still seems to be many that hold negative views towards them. What could possibly be a reason for such strong stereotypes, and is there any basis for these misconceptions? Let’s inspect 5 common myths that cling to the trucker stereotype.

1. The Dirty Trucker

They’re on the road for long hauls, away from their families, they have limited space, and there’s no shower. They must be dirty, right?

Perhaps at one time when there were less trucks on the road, and truck stops were fewer in number, it meant travelling farther before you could properly stop and wash up. Today it’s a different story.

The average commuting driver has no need to pull into a truck stop, as they are only on the road for a short time. Chances are that they won’t notice the quantity or quality of truck stops. Not only are there multiple phone apps to locate truck stops, but almost all of these facilities have full amenities, showers and even laundry services.

 

Aside from that, truckers are no different than you or I. They don’t want to stink or live an unhealthy life any more than we do. Many of the truck stops even have comment boxes or online surveys where drivers can actually report any cleanliness issues or request amenities they would like to see put in place. Most of these rest stops are professional services that are serious about theses comments and are interested in implementing any new ideas.

2. Overweight and Unhealthy

Obesity is generally caused by eating too much and moving too little. Really then, any job where you don’t have to move much can cause obesity. All it takes is to consume high amounts of fats and sugars, then not burn off said energy through exercise or physical activity. The surplus energy is then stored as fat in the body. As you can see, this process is definitely not restricted only to the truck driver profession.

 


Unfortunately, the statistics for the truck driver profession don’t shed a positive light on the industry. In 2014, truck drivers had the highest rating of obesity prevalence, making up 38.6 percent of all truck drivers.

Not all truckers get hung up on any statistics or pre-conceived notions about the look of the industry. Websites like, The Healthy Trucker, have videos and tips for eating healthy and easy workouts for truckers. Many of the workouts are quite simple, and even show the driver how to use his truck to assist in the exercise.

Another factor is the growing use of wearable tech, which makes it much easier for drivers to track their health and exercise progress.

 

3. Men Are Better Drivers Than Women

It may seem that when you pass another truck on the highway, most likely it will have a male driver. Many have come to accept that this must be for a reason and that it just makes sense that women aren’t behind the wheel of such a massive machine.

Believe it or not, there are actually over 200,000 female truck drivers in the USA. It has even been proven that women pay more attention to detail, and are 4 times more likely to pass their CDL certification exam on the first attempt than men. Additionally, female drivers take less risky maneuvers which result in them being 3 times less likely to get in an accident and 5 times less likely to violate safety regulations.

For those who think that truck driving is too hard of a job for a woman, many women already had labour intensive jobs before they got into professional truck driving. A great example of this is Lisa Kelly, whom you may remember from the TV show ‘Ice Road Truckers’.

 

4. Menace On The Road

The media hasn’t always helped to push a truly positive image of the truck driver. Most of us loved the excitement from the 1977 hit ‘Smokey and the Bandit’, a story of a ‘road cowboy’ who won’t let the law stop his goals. Though we all love the Bandit, it may well have been those old classic movies that have slowly lead to the impression today that truckers are reckless with little respect for the law.

 

Whenever a truck is involved in an accident, it will capture the media’s attention more often than a typical fender bender. This is especially the case when these large truck accidents cause excessive damage and if the trailer contents spill out onto the road.

In reality, truckers are the safest drivers on the road. Not only are traffic violation fines expensive, they also negatively impact a transport companies ratings, which can lead to a company audit. If a driver is getting tickets on a regular basis, not only will it effect his driving record, but it can even lead to his termination. The story for a driver doesn’t end there. If a driver has a bad driving record, it will make it difficult for him to find a new job as a professional driver, as most trucking companies turn away those with a bad driving history.

5. Drugs and Alcohol

It is true that there are drivers in the trucking industry that may be dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction. However, in all fairness almost ANY industry will have individuals who are going through these types of personal issues.

Truck driving is one of the most regulated and monitored industries in the U.S and Canada. Many of those regulations have to do with the drivers themselves. Being that a driver is controlling a 80,000 lb beast amongst 5,000 lb cars, it makes sense that extra steps must be taken to ensure the driver is in a proper state of mind.

Federal law mandates that at least 50% of all truck drivers take drug tests, compared to 0% of all passenger vehicles. A trucking company can face fines up to $850,000 if one of their drivers fails an alcohol or drug test. A driver can even find their career over if convicted of any of the following:

  • Crime involving drugs
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Refusing to submit to an alcohol test required by a State’s laws or regulations
  • Leaving the scene of an accident or crime
  • Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a motor vehicle

In 2009, there were 10,839 driving crashes due to alcohol-impaired driving. Less than 5% were the result of a truck driver. Also in 2009, there were 1.4 million drivers arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. 6% of those arrests were truck drivers.These stats show that truckers are actually one of the safest drivers on the road at any given time.

Not at T&P

Feb 7-1 edit crop

The worst stereotype is the one you believe. At T&P Trucking, we treat our drivers as the people they are and not like the stereotype that comes with the job. We appreciate all the hard work and long hours that our drivers give and do what we can to keep them happy and satisfied. We put a strong emphasis on family values and want all of our drivers to have quality time with their families, stay well rested, and have a positive attitude when they think about their work.

“The worst stereotype is the one you believe.”

We don’t expect our drivers to be better than everyone else, but we do expect them to be professionals. The following are ways we help our drivers to remain professional:

  • Hold regular driver meetings to keep them up to date with company policies and current DOT regulations
  • Email them articles such as our blog posts on the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse
  • Have regular training sessions on pre-trip inspections and load securement safety

Not only does this help prevent our drivers from receiving any tickets or fines, but we can all be rest assured knowing that their trucks and equipment are in good condition and won’t be the cause of any driving accidents.

Any profession will bring a certain amount of stress or anxiety. When people feel stressed, there are many who will turn to drugs or alcohol as a means to deal with such strong emotions. Truck driving is a tough job and T&P Trucking not only wants our drivers to enjoy what they do, but also to maintain healthy lives. When our drivers come to us with a work issue that is causing them anxiety, we do whatever we can to provide a solution that works for both sides.

Is there a stereotype we missed? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

For up to date information on the trucking industry, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

References

Smart Trucking
Women Truck Drivers
Trucknews.com

Contributors

Rob Morris

31 thoughts on “The Trucker Stereotypes”

  1. Ian MacIntosh says:

    TWIMC,
    Thank you for a well-reasoned/written, intelligent,informative,helpful and most of all, honest assessment of the topic. As newish Class1 driver I appreciate, insights like this and would like to think it speaks highly of your companies outlook. Thank you.

    Sincerely, Ian Macintosh

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Hey Ian. Thanks for your kind feedback. It is always great to hear from other class one drivers. We try to keep a positive outlook on the future and do our best to uphold high quality articles along with excellent service to our customers. We hope your career goes well in this industry!

  2. Melva says:

    What camera was used here?

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Hi Melva. We hope you enjoyed this article. The camera we use for most of our media posts is a Sony NEX-5R with a Sony Alpha SEL1855 E-mount lens.

  3. Hello there, jᥙst becаme awarе of your blog through Google, and found that it is reaⅼly informative.

    I am ցoing to watch out for Ƅrusseⅼs. ӏ will be grateful
    if you continue thіs in future. Numerous people will be benefited from
    yoսr writing. Chеers!

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks again for the feedback Kopa. We hope things continue to go well for you. Keep on the lookout for a new article coming out soon, we are sure you will enjoy it.

  4. I have beᥱn exploring for a litttle bit for any higҺ quality articles or blog posts on thiѕ sort of topic.
    Exploring іn Yahoo I finally stumbled uⲣon this site.
    Reading this information makes me happy that I’vе found оut exactly what I needed.
    I most without a dоubt will make cеrtain to keep this site in mind on a regular basis.

    1. Rob Morris says:

      We too are happy that you found us Fina. Hopefully we will continue to write articles about the trucking industry that you will find interesting and helpful.

  5. WҺen I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkboⲭ annd now eacɦ time a commennt is added I get thrеe emails with the same comment.
    Iѕ there aany way you can remove pedople from that servіce?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks for commenting. We will look into why that is happening. Thanks for letting us know.

  6. Ⲏi, I want tto subscribe for thіs blog tο get latest
    սpdates, so wherе cann i do it pleawe help out.

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks for your feedback. We are thrilled you would like to subscribe. Just enter your email into the box at the end of the article and click ‘subscribe’. It’s that easy! We hope you will continue to enjoy our articles.

  7. Hi, ӏ do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbled սpon it 😉 I may revisit once again since
    I have saved it as a favoгite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change,
    may you be riсh andd continue to help other pеopⅼe.

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks for the kind words. We try to keep our articles relevant and interesting. Let us know if there’s ever a topic you would be interested in learning more on. Getting good feedback from our readers is a big help to keep our articles interesting.

  8. I want to too tҺank you for this goold read!!
    I definitely loved every little bit of it.
    I’ve got yօս book mafked too look aat neww stuff youu poѕt…

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks for reading Kopa Skjortor. We always enjoy getting our readers feedback. Hope you enjoy the next one too. If you don’t want to miss another article, make sure you enter your email and click ‘subscribe’ so you can keep updated.

  9. Hi! Ι гealize this is kind oof off-topiс but I neеdeⅾ to
    ask. Does building a well-еstаblished blog such as yours require
    a large amount of work? I am brand new to running a blog Ƅuut I do write in my diary
    every day. I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and
    views online. Please let mee know if you hɑve anny kind of
    suggestіons or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
    Applreciate it!

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Hey. Thanks for reading our blog. That’s great you are already writing on a daily basis, it’s definitely a good way to start. I would recommend always trying to use original photos and content when you post. Lots of original photos on each post will help readers to remain interested.

  10. Clearasil says:

    Very nicе article, exactly what I wanted to find.

    1. Rob Morris says:

      That’s great to hear. Glad you enjoyed it.

  11. Clark says:

    Howdy! I cߋuld hаve sworn I’vᥱ been to this ѕіte before but after reading
    through some of the posts I realіzed it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m
    definitely deliǥhted I found it and I’ll bе bookmarking and checking back
    frequentlү!

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks Clark. We hope you continue to enjoy what you read here. Feel free to subscribe to blog updates so you don’t miss out on any new articles.

  12. Ollie says:

    Thiѕ is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.
    Simple ƅut very accurate info… Thanks for shaгing tһiѕ one.
    A must read post!

  13. Ellen says:

    Why would visitors still read newѕpapers when in this technological world everything is
    accessibⅼe on net?

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Very true Ellen. And while newspapers can still be of use to some people, the less they are printed the better it is for the environment.

  14. Sam Bosch says:

    I love the info on this website. I think it’s about time any negative viewpoints towards truckers be done away with. Thanks a ton!

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Hey Sam. We are glad you are finding the info here helpful. Don’t forget to subscribe so you can be the first to read our new articles.

  15. Judy Hilyard says:

    Уou made some decent pоints here. I did a sеarch on the topic and found most guys will agree wіth your blog.

    1. Rob Morris says:

      Thanks for the comment Judy.

  16. Tyler Vann says:

    Whoa this blog is magnificent, I like studying your articles. Keep up the ɡood work! You know, a lot of indivіduals are hunting arоund for thiѕ information, you are helping them grеatⅼy.

    1. Sam Pattison says:

      Thanks Tyler for your sense of appreciation! Feel free to subscribe to our feed to keep up to date with our content.

Comments are closed.