Who Are Truck Drivers?
Many people think that truckers are some sort of traveling perverts, killers or
bums. This is so patently ridiculous that it makes me laugh. Of course, I have
been in trucking for many years and have worked in the office of trucking
companies as well as in the truck as a driver. Truckers come from every walk of
life. When I worked for a company in their personnel office, I hired; a school
district administrator, several lawyers, several doctors, several law enforcement officers, a couple of college professors and lots of military veterans.
In my personal circle of friends, I have lady driver friends who come from various ‘first’ careers consisting of accounting, teaching, military veteran, law enforcement, artist and two were nurses. Of the male drivers I know personally as friends, one was a farmer, one a Marine, one an Army vet wounded in action, another Army veteran honorably discharged after Viet Nam, one was a lawyer and finally my late brother who was also a driver after being a successful tree trimmer and a retired Navy Seabee.Some of my friends have spouses/partners long term with children, some are single; all are hard working dedicated professionals who are patriotic and extremely safe drivers.
Truckers are anybody and everybody though some are a little strange looking to those outside the industry. Trucking allows for individuality much more than working in a factory does. You will see truckers dressed in everything from sweats to suits and with every type of hair cut and body size. You will see tattoos and piercings on some; others will be very clean cut and look like your pastor.
Some truckers may appear dirty to you because they are. This is usually not through choice, but through the nature of their particular aspect of trucking and get dirty doing their jobs. Road grime is a fact of life for all of us and it gets in our pores if we are not careful. Furthermore, many of us run just in time freight with very tight schedules, we do not have time for or have to choose between showers or sleep.
Many truckers are very religious, while others are of different belief systems or not religious at all though all believe in a higher power of some sort; one cannot survive what we do daily without that belief. Many truck stops have chapels for Sunday services for truckers and other travelers.
Because of the dangerous nature of our jobs as truckers, we are the 9th most dangerous job in the country, many of us might come across as tough. We have to be able to survive; trucking is not for sissies for sure. However, that toughness hides big hearts.
Many truckers are talkers; this is due to our being so isolated in our jobs. Thus, when we get a chance to talk, we talk a lot and tell stories that can be likened to folk tales. Also, many truckers are artistic; musicians, poets, song writers, singers and writers abound in the industry.
Bottom line is that we are no different than you or your family and co workers. There are some characters and bad actors in trucking; with 3.5 million of us drivers, it would only follow that a few are not the best people; just like at your job or in your town.