Are truck drivers getting treated a little unfairly
Are truck drivers getting treated a little unfairly, do they always get picked on by the general public as an accident waiting to happen, or are they highly professional hard working underrated people.
“I’d be a truck driver if only they didn’t have any cars on the road”, the fame, the glory, the freedom of the road … that’s where it’s at.
And that’s partially right about trucking. But if you’re talking about the big rig truck drivers on the highway, (high milers) well, they do see a lot of beautiful country, but if you’re talking about driving a local dump truck, you don’t see a lot of country, but you see a lot of dusty old gravel pits.
At one point in time, it was a selected trade amongst people that just didn’t want to punch a time clock, or have a timekeeper over your shoulders, cooped up inside a factory, “with a not for me attitude”.
How did trucking become so popular?
Years ago, it was decided that the national rail service was probably, not reliable or certainly if for no other reason, too slow in getting the product to the homes, stores etc. Maybe the rail system just wasn’t showing enough profit, who knows the reason, but one thing is for certain, the decision was made to cut the system back. So, one day our fearless leaders decided to do away with the rail service and the next day, they were already pulling up the Rail Road tracks. At that point there was no turning back or changing anyone’s minds, the tracks are gone.
But how do we still move our products around? There was trucking before, but the trucking industry must have changed dramatically overnight.
You have to admit, with these hated truck drivers on our highways, they do bring your products to market virtually overnight as predicted, and not the way I remember the slow-moving rail service to be.
The item you bought on E-BAY today gets delivered the next. “How do you think that happens” Eh. It’s hard to thank these same people that you bad mouthed and always thought they, were the cause of all road accidents on our highways, it’s just hard to think, they had something to do with your food being fresh and the toys you ordered being delivered the next day.
The fame and glory days of a truck driver, (if there ever was) are over. It’s a hard, demanding, and majorly skilled job. Yes, it looks easy. You look up at this driver as he’s driving a nice shiny new truck, he looks down at you and gives you that biggest contented smile.
God, that would be a fun job !!
But it’s not all glory. Yes, the freedom of the road, and seeing the country, yes. But the traffic you have to contend with, the people that are running late for their morning commute, you know, the guy that just decided to cut you off, so maybe he can get to work a little faster but not realizing, he just started a chain reaction of a 10 car pile-up. …. Darn truck drivers.
“I hope he made it to work on time, because some of us didn’t”
Like I wrote in one of my other posts, there are hundreds, if not thousands of new cars on the road, daily and most with inconsiderate drivers in them. The average public car drivers “do not “make it easy for truck drivers.
These truck drivers’ schedules are more demanding today than they ever were. Heavy traffic or not, if the delivery time is 5 pm then the shipper/ receiver wants and expects it there by 5 pm.” I have a crew of people waiting to unload that product, accident or not, you have to be on time”.
Secret Hint to a truck driver…. If you happen to get a grouchy receiver (always carry a bottle of Hooch with you for those late delivery times) That always helps ease the tension.
So you still think truck driving is fun?
Now, this is not always the case when you’re late. Purchasers do depend on their product to be on time and your company depends on you to be on time, but in all fairness, most people in the industry do understand unforeseen circumstances. Today, most trucks are equipped with GPS, so their employers, not necessarily keep track of the trucker, but their investment. So they know if you’re stuck in traffic or where-ever you are.
AND there… goes your freedom of the road! … Big brother is watching!!
The “fame and glory” Well, most people don’t realize it, but these highway drivers, dump truck driver, small delivery truck drivers, all have to have a special drivers license and extra drivers training. They have to be half accountants to make sure their daily paperwork is in order, AND, IF NOT, they’re in deep du-du. Fined, or worse case scenario your vehicle and content seized, Yes seized!
Truck drivers, big and small, by law have to do a complete mechanical inspection of their equipment, that’s before moving a wheel, before starting out on his days’ deliveries. By law, their equipment has to be safe on the road, daily and some of the conscientious drivers give it 110 %. They look their truck and equipment over after each stop-over (Lunch, supper, etc.) The older more experienced drivers have to take regular medical exams, just to keep them and everybody else safe.
SO YOU WANT TO BE A TRUCK DRIVER.
All truck manufacturers do the best they can by improving the safety and comfort of the driver, but they are still a lumpy, rough riding, heavy piece of equipment, which by the way, takes a lot of skill to operate. So for the comfort of the drivers, the manufacturers invest major dollars on developing seating for these trucks and it’s not uncommon to pay thousands of dollars on a driver’s seat. And why not? Those highway dudes spend a big portion of their life in their truck. The funny part is, most of these drivers have bad backs to show for their life on our bumpy roads.
This post is not about some truck drivers but all truck drivers. It is a way of life for these people. It’s like once you’ve done it, you would never look for another type of job. You will never get trucking out of your blood. But having said all that, it takes a special someone at home and a family who understands that way of life. The life of a truck driver is not easy for him or family.
The sad part is, the public is the first to blame all truck drivers for accidents or a mechanical malfunction that happens on the road. In reality, the average truck driver will put on a few million miles in his career. He drives in and out of heavy traffic, fights the weather conditions, just so you can have your flowers fresh for the next day. And remember, there’s no phoning in sick when you’re on the road. In most cases, there is no pension plan, no internal RRSP contribution, you know, where the company matches your yearly donations. It is not a 9-5 job. In some cases, you might not be home for weeks. So you still want to be a truck driver.
SAFETY OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Checking the equipment on all commercially licensed vehicles is a daily, mandatory adventure for drivers.
“Do you check your car over?”
CAN WE SAY THE SAME, do we, THE PUBLIC, check our vehicles over daily? Do we have mandatory driver’s education? Do we have to go for medical exams and drivers exams regularly? Do we have the same amount of driving skills and miles as these drivers, that, any one of these trucks drivers puts on?
TRUCK DRIVERS IN GENERAL
This post is not about some, but all truck drivers in a general form. It is a way of life. They are a different breed of people that have a major role to play in our own lifestyle and economy and I think we should give these drivers a little more respect and leniency on our highways. Most drivers, when they retire will not have a big pension cheque coming in for a life of hard service. No, one million dollar bonus cheque at the end of the year for doing a good job/bad job and for a lot of these people, they will go through divorces caused by their choice of trade. A majority will suffer from major back ailments at retirement, but they are still the backbone of our economy and our fast-paced way of life and, most truckers, would never change a thing. Other than the attitude of car drivers.
Maybe, we should all cut these Road Warriors some slack for doing a hard day’s, demanding job.
So, you still want to be a truck driver? The fame and glory days, … not sure.
Please check out my other related articles on road safety.
Is your car safe for the road http://sixpaque.ca/wp/is-your-car-safe-for-the-road/
Working lights are the law http://sixpaque.ca/wp/public-highway-safety-law/