The replaceable commodity- The American truck driver
I know you’ve heard it said by many who complain on a regular basis that truck drivers are “disposable.” In other words, in some cases and at some companies, there’s a list of new recruits just waiting for your job. I believe this has become the case.
Sadly most trucking companies think we are easily replaced. They have adopted the attitude that this is no longer a “skilled job” and any “monkey” can move a truck. The company exec’s come in and drive “this truck drives like an RV” around the parking lot and that is all that is needed to handle it out in the real world. They forget all the nuances it takes to keep this truck out of trouble.
I have talked to new drivers from many companies. A good portion of them have no clue. From the basics like how to read a map, knowing what the color of signs mean to knowing what interstate assigned numbers were originally for.
Forget the life threatening stuff, like how to merge and who has the right of way in any given situation.
Then go another level to the courtesies which we learned and used to help a truck in an “uncontrolled” situation, like a parking lot or passing on hills.
There is something to going back to the old ways, where you had to know someone who sponsored your “entry into trucking” over this mass production of drivers thru trucking schools. 90% of the new drivers have no clue what they are getting into. They go to truck driving school either because “unemployment is paying for it” or they are lied to about the facts of this new “job”.
This is not a job, it is not “McDonald’s” nor like any other 9-5 you have likely ever worked before. It is a life changing career. Then you have the attitude of “I don’t need to know”. They don’t care nor do they want to learn.
Friend of mine came up with the term “Flatlander”. This perfectly describes the new breed trucker. Can run triple digits out on the open road, but give them a curve or more and it is twenty miles below the speed limit and braking all the way.
You know the ones, pull out of the truck stop in 2nd gear and won’t up-shift til they are in the right lane and in open road.
If you’re out here as a professional, try being one. Take the time to learn your job. It will save your life one day, or someone else’s…TRI
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