There is a wide variety of stereotypes surrounding truckers and their community. These generalizations are largely negative, without any proper basis. Not only are these myths insulting to truckers, but they can encourage misinformation about the entire industry. This type of negative association impacts the reputation of transport companies as well as insults the integrity of drivers themselves. We’re here to set the record straight. Here are some of the most prevalent myths about the trucking industry and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: Average Salaries are Low
People often assume that truck drivers make a fairly low salary, or that trucking is not a dependable career choice. In fact, there is a hefty plethora of people who spend the entirety of their working years as a big rig driver. The U.S. national average annual salary for truck drivers was $52,420 as of October 2019. This hovers right around the overall national salary average. Also, salaries are usually dependent on how experienced and efficient someone is as a driver. Things like years of experience and a clean driving record will bump up salary offers over time.
Myth #2: No Time for Family
Many people assume that the nature of long haul trucking doesn’t foster a proper work/life balance because it takes too much time away from home. While driving a big rig does require a decent amount of time on the road, it’s not as much as you might think. While certain commercial drivers are away for a few weeks at a time, regional drivers are usually home every weekend. Most established carrier companies have policies about time on versus time off. For example, many companies follow a general schedule of 7 days on, 7 days off. Schedules such as these allow for ample time to unwind and connect with your loved ones.
Myth #3: Drivers are Over-Worked
There is a public assumption that truck drivers are constantly tired and overworked. This is rarely the case. There are strict laws in place to protect drivers, which include frequent rest and meal breaks. Recently, drivers even pushed back to decrease the severity of these types of laws, as they preferred to not take as many breaks. However you feel about these laws, one thing is for certain, drivers are guaranteed meal and rest breaks every single day.
Myth #4: Truckers are Unsanitary
Truckers are sometimes assumed to be unhygienic because of their on-the-road lifestyle, but this isn’t the case. Even though driving isn’t a traditional desk job, their cab is still their office. Drivers often take immense pride in presenting as professional and polished. Showers are readily available at virtually all truck stops for drivers to wash up at the end of the day, and cabs are usually kept in tidy condition since it will be their home for a few days.
Myth #5: Only Men can be Truck Drivers
This is one of the most toxic myths out there, and it’s important to note its falsehood. While this field has been male-dominated since its creation, that’s all changing now in this modern era. Trucking is no longer a man’s game, and it’s increasing in diversity by the day. As more and more women are hired in the transportation industry, the workforce grows and these stigmas dwindle. Women are helping aid in the current driver shortage and easing the stress of a shrinking workforce by doubling the potential pool of drivers.
Myth #6: Truck Drivers Create Unsafe Conditions on the Road
You might not think that truck drivers care much about safety. It’s often rumored that they tend to speed to increase efficiency, which might sound correct in theory, but this concept falls apart in practice. Speeding drastically increases the risk of a collision, and collisions are far more expensive and time-consuming than slowing down a bit. Drivers are heavily trained and informed of proper safety measures before they are even issued a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and are usually put through additional safety training after they are hired by a shipping company.
Myth #7: Autonomous Semi-Trucks Will Replace Drivers
With the recent innovations in the autonomous vehicle field, many are wondering if truck drivers will soon be replaced with self-driving semi-trucks. While the name “autonomous” indicates an independent self-driving vehicle, this is far from the reality of the situation. Even trucks that claim to be autonomous need a human in the cab to account for error of other drivers and unexpected factors. While it won’t be exactly the same job, truckers won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Become a Commercial Truck Driver Today
While the nature of the transportation industry is always changing and evolving, it certainly isn’t dwindling anytime soon. In fact, it’s growing at an astonishing rate. The recent rise of shipping demands and the increasing shortage of drivers makes now a better time than ever to get involved in the field. Many companies are offering incentives to start a career with them in order to meet their growing demands. If you think you might be interested in getting into this industry now that we’ve debunked those pesky negative myths, check out Mission Financial and get help with your financing today.