Many people think that they know what the life of a truck driver looks like, but they would be surprised to find out their ideas don’t quite match up to the reality of the profession. For a truck driver, life is generally pretty different from the misconceptions that some people may have. Today, we are breaking down 7 of the most common myths that people have about truckers and the trucking industry itself.
Myth #1: Truck Drivers are Overworked
A longstanding idea about the trucking industry is that truck drivers are overworked and are often forced to drive until the brink of exhaustion. This myth is likely derived from the fact that some truck drivers choose to work on an adjusted sleep schedule, and therefore drive through the night. This, however, does not mean that truck drivers are working until the point of exhaustion, as that would be extremely unsafe. It just means that some truck drivers that are seen on the road at nighttime may have an unconventional working schedule.
Just like any other industry, trucking has rules and regulations that are put in place which they must abide by. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry and its drivers. Truck drivers and their employers must adhere to Hours of Service regulations, which state how many hours drivers can be behind the wheel, when breaks must be taken, and other things that help to ensure drivers are able to stay alert while driving.
Myth #2: You Can’t Make a Living Truck Driving
Many people often falsely assume that truck drivers earn a lower salary than other professions. In reality, the trucking industry has shown that its salaries exceed the national average. According to a recent survey of over 800,000 truck drivers on Indeed.com, the average base salary of a truck driver in the United States was around $78,000 in February 2022. In comparison to the national average salary of $51,000 reported in December of 2021 on Indeed.com, trucking is shown to afford a much more comfortable lifestyle than the average salary does. Of course, salaries for truck drivers vary from state to state and by level of experience. Different factors, such as years of experience in trucking and a clean driving record can boost the salary that a driver may earn when they receive an offer from a shipping company.
Myth #3: Only Men are Truck Drivers
While it is true that there is a hefty gap in the number of men and women truckers, men are certainly not the only ones on the road. Women make up around 9% of all truckers, as reported by Zippia.com, and this number continues to experience growth in the industry. As more women become professional truck drivers, female representation in the profession is on the rise, which will hopefully lead more women to feel confident in starting their careers as commercial truck drivers.
Myth #4: Truck Drivers Have No Time for Family
There are many misconceptions about trucking, but truck drivers having little to no time to spend with their families may be the most common. As many people see truck drivers who drive on an unusual schedule, there is a risk for falsely assuming that these drivers represent the entire industry. A proper work/life balance is not as unobtainable for truck drivers as many might think.
Because driving is a trucker’s profession, it will require them to spend a decent chunk of time on the road, but it’s probably less than you would think. Depending on the type of trucking that they are doing, truckers have vastly different schedules. Commercial drivers may be away for weeks at a time while regional or local truck drivers may be home every night or on the weekends. For most truckers, the type of schedule that they desire is easily attainable by simply selecting the type of trucking that best suits their and their family’s needs. In addition to selecting an appropriate style of trucking, most shipping and transport companies offer options for truckers to select time on versus time off. For example, a schedule that incorporates this concept may revolve around a trucker driving for 7 days and then spending 7 days off at home with family.
Myth #5: Truckers Don’t Care About Safety
The notion that truckers care only about performance and tend to disregard safety is another myth about the trucking industry. When broken down, unsafe practices, such as speeding, are actually unhelpful and can harm productivity if they result in a collision or other road catastrophe. The time and resources spent dealing with a collision or other damage to a truck are actually more detrimental than a shipment arriving late.
In addition, truck drivers are well aware of the risks of performing such unsafe maneuvers. In order to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL), prospective truckers are required to understand the rules of the road and the risks associated with not abiding by them. If that wasn’t enough, drivers are typically required to perform additional safety training when they are hired by a shipping company.
Myth #6: Trucking is a Lonely Profession
For those who do not have experience in the trucking profession, this is a reasonable assumption. When the majority of people picture a trucker’s day-to-day, they may think of a driver alone in their cab day and night, but this is not necessarily the case. Truckers are constantly meeting new people, whether that be at truck stops, diners, gas stations, or other places on the road. Depending on the type of trucking that a driver does, they may also find themselves running into the same people while on the road and creating new friendships. Those who choose to enter the truck driving profession are generally adventure-seekers and enjoy seeing new places and new faces each day.
Myth #7: Truckers will be Replaced in the Future
There is a common misconception that the truck driving profession will become obsolete within the future due to the increasing popularity of self-driving vehicles. This, however, is likely untrue. Even if self-driving trucks are adopted by most shipping companies on the road, there is still the need for truckers in the physical cab of the vehicle. Having a physical person in the vehicle is important for various safety measures and bodes well for the professional outlook of the truck driving industry.
Drive For Roane Transportation
Learning about the realities of the trucking industry and profession can be eye-opening for many people who have held longstanding beliefs about commercial trucking. In reality, driving is a profession that offers a competitive salary, flexible time commitments, opportunity for adventure, and so much more. If you are interested in the benefits of driving for Roane Transportation, the best way to start is by filling out an online application or contacting us at 865-354-3288. We are passionate about driver support, so you can rest easy knowing that we will always put our drivers first. When you become a driver with us, you can enjoy industry-leading weekly pay, weekly home time, competitive insurance packages, and so much more.