by Pride Transport | Jul 28, 2023
The trucking industry employs around 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States (as of 2021) and is growing. It’s an important field that helps deliver goods and keep the U.S. economy moving. Unfortunately, harmful stereotypes about drivers and others in the trucking industry are common.
When you think about a truck driver, what do you imagine? Is there a clear picture in your mind? Whatever image comes to mind, take a moment to rethink if your picture is based on stereotypes. The reality of what makes someone a truck driver is often very different.
The people in the trucking industry come from all different backgrounds and have unique experiences in their roles. We’re happy to say that the industry has many opportunities, so each person’s career path has the potential to be different from another’s. Those in the industry often find roles that suit their needs, whether they want to drive in solitude, work near home, or pair up and drive with a colleague.
As a diverse, rewarding industry, there is an abundance of choices for those who enter this career path, and the possibilities span far beyond what people commonly think.
Breaking Truck Driver Stereotypes
Common public perception is that truck drivers are working low-skilled jobs due to a lack of education, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Truck drivers are educated
Did you know that many drivers decide to get their college degrees before pursuing a career in the trucking industry? In fact, over 200,000 drivers between the ages of 25 and 55 have at least some college in their backgrounds. Truck drivers are also required to go through training courses to get their commercial licenses.
Truck drivers have to build up strong skill sets, including:
- Communication skills
- Excellent focus
- Time management skills
- Mechanical skills
- Driving skills
- Navigation skills
- Organizational skills
Being unskilled isn’t the only stereotype truck drivers deal with, though. Another common stereotype is that they’re lonely.
The realities about loneliness on the road
It’s normal for people to think about truck drivers as lonely people who are isolated from others, but the truth is that many drivers aren’t lonely at all. There is a sense of community and camaraderie in the industry that many enjoy being a part of.
There is some likelihood that solo drivers could be lonely from time to time, but those who build up relationships with others on their routes may not feel that way. There are also people who enjoy being alone or in their own solitude, and solo driving is an excellent career option for them. Remember, too, that not all drivers are solo drivers, some solo drivers have their pets as company, and some enjoy team driving with another driver to take on longer hauls.
Drivers often make friends with their colleagues, get to know people at their destinations, and have good relationships with their dispatchers and others they work with regularly. And, depending on the route, many drivers make it home regularly to be with family and friends.
Did you know that this once male-dominated field is changing?
A third stereotype that hurts the industry is one that assumes all truck drivers are male. That’s simply not the case, as evidenced by a growing number of women on the roads. According to an article from CNBC, women now make up 8% of the drivers in the industry.
There are specific groups focused on increasing the number of women in trucking, too. For example, Women In Trucking Association is one nonprofit that focuses on encouraging the employment of women in this industry. Along with the association, there is also the Women in Trucking Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports women looking to get into a career in truck driving or to advance their careers after they’re on the road.
Diversity in The Trucking Industry
One thing to keep in mind about the trucking industry is that it is diverse. Not only are there various kinds of trucking jobs such as local, regional, and long-haul routes, but also specialized roles that you could choose from. For example, some specialized truck services may include:
- Hazmat transportation
- Oversized load hauling
- Refrigerated trucking
And those are just the careers you could opt for as a driver. There are also careers in dispatching, training, and other areas that you might enjoy, especially if you want to advance your career.
In fact, for those hoping to advance, there are management positions and others that aren’t behind the wheel at all. Sometimes, those jobs are a great fit for those who need to be on a regular schedule or who would like to stay close to home.
The Benefits of Working in the Trucking Industry
Setting aside the stereotypes above may make you feel more confident about working in the trucking industry, and it should. There are so many benefits to working in this industry, including perks such as:
- Competitive salaries
- The potential for bonuses
- Flexibility in your schedule
- Opportunities to travel
All of these perks are excellent reasons to consider working in the trucking industry, whether you choose to drive or you want to work in the office.
Get Your Career Started With Pride Transport
Being a truck driver or working in a career in the trucking industry is what you make of it. There is no single stereotypical role that people carry out, making this an exciting field to get into.
Now that you know the truth about being a truck driver, it’s time to get started on your career. At Pride Transport, we have job openings nationwide both inside the office and out on the road. Visit us today to apply.