Just like any industry, trucking has a diverse workforce. Truck drivers come from a variety of backgrounds, educations and ethnicities and are a mix of ages, genders and personalities.
So, why are truckers stereotyped so freely?
Over the past 20 years, the image of the trucker has deteriorated. Gone are the days when truck drivers were considered the kings of the road.
These days, the truckers’ image has taken a nosedive. It could be down to the media’s portrayal of truckers as the bad guys. Or perhaps, it’s the result of a deregulated industry that’s seen a flood of more inexperienced drivers take to the roads.
Whatever the cause, trucker stereotypes can be cruel and need to stop.
Here are four stereotypes we could really do without.
1 Overweight and unkempt
Plenty of people think all truckers are overweight and dirty. They imagine cabs full of litter, drivers who never wash and diets of non-stop junk food.
This might be true for some, but it’s certainly not the norm. Yes, eating a healthy diet can be a challenge on the road, and some drivers struggle with their weight – but these are issues that reach far beyond the trucking community. So please don’t single out truckers.
2 Road hogs
Some people don’t respect the road, and it bears no reflection on how many wheels they have beneath them. For professional truck drivers, safety is the number one priority. As a result, you will find most truckers keep to the speed limit, are cautious in bad weather, and leave plenty of room between their truck and other vehicles.
There may be times when a truck driver does not abide by the rules of the road (with many of these incidents ending up on YouTube). However, most truckers do what they can to keep themselves, their cargo and those around them safe.
3 Foul-mouthed and badly-behaved
We all lose our rag from time to time – and truckers are no different. But to brand all truck drivers as swearing, loud-mouthed, misbehaving brutes is simply not on. Truckers are often parents who lead respectable lives day-to-day.
Besides, when you have a demanding job like truck driving to do, who’s got time for womanising, drug-taking or yelling at passers-by, right?
It’s true that men outnumber women behind the wheel of trucks, but there are definitely plenty of female truck drivers. Women are just as proud and capable of their jobs and typically get paid equal wages (take note, other industries).
It’s time for the industry to take a stand and put these stereotypes to bed once and for all.
Truckers need to remember they are representing the entire industry every time they’re on the road. That means acting professionally and doing what they can to earn the respect of others.
What are you doing to put an end to these stereotypes and change trucking’s image for the better?