Like most things in life, there are a lot of assumptions and myths about the trucking industry. But there are quite a lot of unflattering myths out there about trucking. This blog will shed some light on some of the most common misconceptions.
Truck Drivers are not Safe
This is one we hear often, but statistically, professional truck drivers are the safest on the road. Trucking is heavily regulated; both the equipment & drivers are inspected regularly and are held to a high standard.
Remember that the average over-the-road truck driver drives over 120,0000 miles per year. Most of our drivers will do those miles without a single infraction. That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement when it comes to safety. Making trucking and our roads safer is a constant challenge.
Truck Drivers are Poor or Not Well Paid
It’s actually quite the opposite. With a job that is so demanding, like the trucking industry, we need great people; and great people don’t usually stick around when they’re underpaid.
Professional truck drivers earn well over the Canadian average in normal times, and a company driver pulling a dry van can earn between $65k – $70k. Owner operators can earn much more. It’s a tough job, but there is a lot of earning potential.
Trucking is a “Man’s Job”
The trucking industry isn’t a “man’s world” anymore. While woman drivers are underrepresented, there are more than 9000 female truckers in Canada. Based on a recent survey, women are satisfied with their trucking careers. More woman in trucking is a great thing. Trucking is a tough competitive business, and we need great talent. If half of the population is excluded, then the industry suffers.
Women are finding more opportunities in non-driver-based positions in trucking and logistics as well. This includes warehousing, dispatching/operations, business development, sales, and planning. These are important, well-paying positions.
Truck Drivers Are Uneducated or Not Cultured
A popular depiction of truck drivers is a redneck who doesn’t speak properly and is usually wearing plaid. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many drivers have education and experience in other fields like computer, networking, accounting, etc. We have even had a driver who has a pilot’s license.
We have drivers who either help their spouse with their business or who have a business of their own. This includes owner-operators who are small business owners in a tough industry.
Truck drivers are also well travelled. They’ve met more people from more places than the average person. You’ll get a very open world view if you speak with a truck driver.
This especially holds true with the new younger drivers entering the industry. These are millennials who are tech-savvy and are very interested in the world around them. They are also a positive force for change in the trucking industry as it continues to change through technology and safety demands.
Truckers Use Drugs
While at one time, this might have been true (hello ‘70s), that is far from true now. Drivers who’ve been around awhile will use phrases like, “back in the day.” Some drivers would even use stimulants to drive longer hours – back in the day.
This is not tolerated in any way, shape or form now. Drivers are regularly drug and alcohol tested. Safety managers at reputable companies will investigate and even send a driver for immediate drug testing if they suspect a driver is using drugs. Failure of a drug test or DUI charge can effectively end your driving career.