There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the trucking industry. You may have heard that drivers don’t make much money or that trucking is a man’s job. Many of the stereotypes you’ve heard about trucking have no basis in reality and are just plain wrong! Here are 5 common truck driving misconceptions and why they are wrong.
Misconception #1: Truck drivers have poor hygiene.
Many people have this idea that truck drivers are scruffy and aren’t able to maintain their hygiene while on the road. This is actually quite far from the truth. It is true that truck driving can be physically demanding. Drivers must be able to keep their tractor-trailer going which often involves pumping diesel into the truck and performing minor mechanical maintenance.
The truth is that most truck driving stations and stops have showers and allow drivers to clean up, change clothes, and maintain hygiene like anyone else would. Moreover, while truck driving may be a more sedentary job, many truck drivers are purposefully focusing on their eating and drinking habits on the road to help them remain healthy despite sitting for hours on end. In fact, many truck drivers are healthier today than many manual laborers.
Misconception #2: Truck drivers are uneducated.
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Truck drivers must have great knowledge of how their truck works and how to fix many basic problems. If something goes wrong while they are on the road, they are typically on their own to figure it out. Whether it’s fixing a problem with the engine or putting snow chains on their tires in the winter time, truck drivers are responsible for taking care of their truck so they can stay safe on the road.
Truck drivers must also be highly skilled to control a 50,000-ton vehicle going at speeds of up to 60-70 mph down the interstate. To even get a CDL they must also know how to back up, park, and turn the truck. It takes a certain level of skill and knowledge to properly operate a tractor-trailer. Truck drivers are far from uneducated. They are good at what they do and keep our society moving along by meeting consumer demands.
Misconception #3: Truck drivers don’t make much money.
Truck drivers actually make a very good living and make a wage that is competitive to or even better than the pay of many other skilled workers. The average truck driver makes $45-70K+ each year. For example, the average Walmart truck driver makes about $73,000 per year and the top 10% of other truckers cash in at or above $58,000 or more annually.
There is no other career path that allows you to earn such a high wage in so little time. With CDL training at DriveCo, you could be finished with your training and earning a higher wage in just 4 weeks! Plus, as demand for drivers continues to rise, truck drivers are able to negotiate a higher wage for themselves.
Misconception #4: Truck drivers never get time at home.
While there are some over-the-road truck drivers that can be away from home for a few weeks at a time, many local drivers get to work a normal work week and come home every night. Some local truck drivers even work 10-12 hour days 4 days per week and get 3-day weekends. However, drivers typically start out in an over-the-road position first to gain driving experience.
Whether a driver is working locally or over-the-road, most trucking companies provide “hometime” that allow drivers to be home with their families for 5-7 days between assignments. While trucking is known as a life lived on the road, truck drivers do get to spend time and home and are usually allotted 2 to 4 weeks of annual vacation per year.
Misconception #5: There is a high demand because no one wants to do the work.
There is a truck driver shortage in the United States right now and the need for drivers is expected to rise with time. This is because the current population of truck drivers is retiring and there aren’t enough younger drivers taking their place. This has lead to an incredible need for truck drivers across the nation. Consumer demands for products and services are not going down, there will always be a need for truck drivers. The good news is that there will always be job security for those who decide to join the trucking industry.
Despite the stereotypes people have towards truck drivers, these are the jobs that keep the heartbeat of our country alive. They deliver goods and keep our store shelves full of the products we love. We really couldn’t do it without them! Are you interested in keeping America moving? DriveCo can give you the training you need in just 4 weeks. Contact us to learn more!