When it comes to truck drivers and the trucking industry, there are several common myths that continue to remain even to this day. Being a trucker has its share of difficulties like any other job, but the misconceptions surrounding the industry either overexaggerate issues or are blatantly false depictions of drivers and the trucking industry.
The Wages are Low
The median salary of American households in 2020 was $67,521, according to Statista, which accounts for households with multiple incomes. The average salary for truck drivers is around $50,000 per year. The final salary is determined by a few factors such as the size of the company you’re working for and whether you’re a regional or long-haul driver. Regardless, the pay is excellent when you consider that training is inexpensive, and you don’t even need a high school diploma to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and hit the road. You can also get raises over the years through company loyalty and driving experience, with some drivers breaking six figures.
They’re Never Home
It’s true that drivers have to make some level of personal sacrifice, but the industry takes the work/life balance of truckers very seriously. Truck drivers can choose a company that works with their needs to get the most out of their career and personal life. In addition, there are laws protecting drivers from being forced onto the road between hauls. Of course, drivers are welcome to volunteer for more hours, but that is completely up to their own discretion and is not expected of all drivers.
Truck drivers spend a lot of time sitting in a seat and steering a big rig from place to place, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take their own hygiene seriously. Drivers are prepared for long drives with clean clothes and planned breaks at rest stops where they know they can take a shower before they begin another day of driving. They come in contact with a lot of different people on their routes, so they are motivated to maintain a clean and professional look.
They’re Unsafe Drivers
Truck drivers are some of the safest drivers on the road. If you’ve ever witnessed a truck driver make an unsafe maneuver, you’ve seen dozens more driving safely and carefully down long stretches of highway. Truckers go through rigorous training that teaches them how to manage large vehicles safely. In addition, an accident will cost a driver a lot of unnecessary time, potentially putting them behind schedule and creating a major problem for themselves. They are equipped with more reasons to drive carefully and safely than to be reckless.
They’re All Men
It’s common to associate trucking with men, but the industry has seen a massive uptick in female drivers in recent years. According to American Trucking Associations (ATA), women made up 7.8% of truck drivers in 2020. That doesn’t sound like a lot, especially as compared to male drivers, but it means there are more than 260,000 female professional truck drivers on the road. More women than ever are considering the opportunities trucking offers and finding their place in a male-dominated industry.
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