Trucking Industry Myths
The trucking industry is often seen as a lonely road, fraught with perils and in danger of shutting down, but with manufacturing at an all-time high, there are many myths in need of being dispelled. Some of these myths may even have elements of truth to them, which makes them even more difficult to detect, but for those involved in the industry or hoping to join, there are a few things to consider that create a much more positive light.
Truck Drivers the Main Cause of Accidents on the Road
Only 3% of all accidents involve commercial trucks. Of those 3%,
81% of the time, the car drivers were assigned the fault, not the truck driver.
With statistics like that it’s pretty easy to see why this myth is simply not
true. Much of this assumption is due to the fact that accidents involving
commercial trucks generally receive more media coverage than those with solely
passenger vehicles. In reality, the FMCSA regulates the industry and its
drivers very carefully on aspects such as monitoring driving hours, allowable
highways and roads, speed limits, etc. Car drivers are much less supervised and
thus offer a much higher safety risk on the road than truck drivers.
Truck Driver Shortage
For those in the trucking industry, this is one of the most common myths, but
the fact is that it's only half true. There are many vacancies in the trucking
industry, but there is no actual shortage of people holding commercial licenses
or with the skills to transfer into the industry. This myth is multifaceted; to
begin with, there are many new regulations in the works that are making
qualifications more difficult to acquire and maintain. Strict fees and changes
in load maximums are also on the horizon, forcing companies to spend more to
send less. That said, there are a number of other factors at play.
Employment benefits simply have not kept up with the times; food costs are on
the rise, and travel is expensive. Until truckers are compensated according to
today's standards, many qualified employees have no interest in the enterprise.
To meet the rising demands for higher qualifications, some states are turning
to the military, looking to pass laws that will allow for an easy transition
between retired personnel and the industry. With all of these different
factors, it's easy to see where this myth has some grounding in reality, but
this one may simply be a matter of oversimplification. Once companies and the
government are both on-board with the current economic climate, this is a
matter that should resolve easily.
Truckers are All Unhealthy
With life on the go, it's easy to see how this one remains popular. Ask someone
to describe a stereotypical trucker, and the portrait will probably be an
uneducated, overweight slob with suspect habits, but this is an image that
needs to be laid to rest. Truckers come from many industries ranging from
doctors to lawyers to just people in need of employment. Their habits are
equally disparate, and despite stereotypes, many truckers are more
health-conscious than ever, looking for ways to eat better, sleep more and have
a richer social life.
Trucking is Freedom
It may be true that a trucker doesn't have to maintain the 9-to-5 grind in a
cubicle all day while donning a suit and tie with a micromanaging pencil-pusher
looking over, but truckers do put in long hours meeting tight deadlines,
spending time away from family and friends. These hours are mostly spent in a
small cabin along the same highways. While the lifestyle may not be for everyone,
it has its benefits, allowing those who long for a change of pace ample
opportunity to try new restaurants, stay in places off the beaten path and even
meet a few characters along the way. The idea that truckers are freewheeling
may be a myth, but that doesn't diminish the appeal many find in the open road.