Myths About Trucking and Truckers
Our culture loves myths and stereotypes. It’s not a bad thing. Actually, it’s quite natural. You can’t be an expert on everything so our brains will create overviews and stereotypes to characterise people and place.
Unfortunately, trucking and truckers have some pretty untrue and unflattering stereotypes. Like all stereotypes, there’s some truth to it and a lot of misrepresentations to them.
Let’s take a look at 4 myths.
Truck Drivers Are Uneducated or Not Cultured
A popular depiction of truck drivers is of a redneck who doesn’t speak properly, usually wearing plad. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many drivers have education and experience in other fields like computer networking, accounting etc. We had a driver who has a pilot’s licience.
We have, and have had, 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 millenials who are tech savvy and are very interested in the world around them. They’re also a positive force for change in the trucking industry as it continues to be changed through technology and safety demands.
Truckers Use Drugs
This is a myth that started from a lot of truth. Drivers who’ve been around a while will use phrases like, “back in the day.” Some drivers would 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.
Trucking is a Man’s Industry
Not true any more. 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.
Woman are finding more opportunity in non-driver based positions in trucking and logistics. This includes warehousing, dispatching/operations, business development, sales, and planning. These are important, well paying positions.
Truck Drivers are Poor or Not Well Paid
The median income for an individual in Canada is $27,600 and $76,000 for a family. A company driver should be able to make between $65,000- $75,000 and owner-operators should be pulling down even more (depending on how they run their business).
The trucking industry has lots of opportunity for career advancement. It’s a complicated industry with many important positions besides driving. It’s also one of the largest best paying industries in Manitoba.
Plus, it’s never boring!