Learn the cold hard truth about the top 3 worst myths plaguing the truck driving industry.
Myth #1 - No Time with Family
It's easy to assume that trucker drivers lack a proper work-life balance due to the ample time spent on the road. Time spent away from family can also depend on the nature of the job. Commercial drivers may be out for several weeks at a time, while regional drivers typically come home each weekend, similar to your average 9-5 office job. When working for a more established carrier company, you might find policies that specify how much time on vs. time off. In this case, it's often 7 days on, 7 days off policy. This type of schedule brings myth #1 to light. Having time to unwind and connect with family every other week doesn't amount to a life of isolation.
Constraints can add stress to the life of a driver. However, there are many advantages and ways to reduce some of those significant issues. There's no doubt that being away from family for any amount of time can be lonely, but when you focus on the positive aspects of being a truck driver, the pros definitely outweigh the cons for some. If you're struggling to balance your truck driving career with family life, you're in luck!
Here are a few things you can try:
- Prioritize time at home by working with shippers and trucking companies who have repeatable work with consistent schedules. During routes, you'll find returning to the same destination and taking the fastest, the most efficient way will allow you to return home in a timely manner, more frequently.
- Be proactive in finding familiar routes and loads to add a level of proficiency to your work schedule. Even though you won't always be able to rely on a direct route home, this will increase your chances of returning home sooner.
- Build your problem-solving techniques when it comes to truck driving. There no doubt will always be issues or delays every once in a while. Still, the more you familiarize yourself with quick problem-solving strategies, the more quickly you can move on and continue your route, reduce risk and minimize the time spent on each issue.
Those who chose the truck driving career for the long haul often master these steps right away, achieving a sense of balance in their work and home life. Driving in the transportation industry can be an enriching and lucrative career that allows you MORE time with family when the proper balance is there!
Myth #2 - Drivers are Over-Worked and Create Unsafe Driving Conditions
A common myth or misconception is that truck drivers are overworked and tired as a result. It is believed that these drivers can barely stay awake and therefore are a hazard to other vehicles driving on the roadway.
Let me put this one to rest by saying this is rarely the case. We have laws put in place specifically for this reason, to protect both the drivers of trucks and passing vehicles, as well as their passengers. The law specifies exactly how frequent meal breaks and rest stops are to be taken, so even if a driver felt they wanted to keep going, it's simply not allowed. Truck driver logbooks are kept to show precisely what breaks are taken and when, in addition to other important information. These laws are in place to keep fatigued drivers off the road.
Believe it or not, these required breaks and stops are so frequent that there's even been push back from the trucking community requesting a change in the laws, permitting them fewer breaks if they choose. As of Feb 15th, 2022, no such changes have been made. Whether you agree or disagree with the current laws, one thing is for sure. Truck drivers are afforded all the stops they need to function properly, stay nourished, well-rested, and all.
Another related misconception is that our commercial truck drivers are reckless on the road, speeding through to complete each route. This couldn't be further from the truth. The raw facts point to how impractical this would be. Driver's often receive bonuses and rewards from their company when they obey the rules and guidelines provided as well as the laws and policies truck drivers have to follow. Speeding may seem like it would help you complete a route quickly. People fail to notice that speeding can hinder a route's progress and increase the time it takes to deliver a specific load. How, you ask? Fuel Efficiency. Most truck drivers know what speed their "sweet spot" is on the speedometer (typically somewhere between 55mph and 60mph.) The "sweet spot" would be the speed they get the most fuel efficiency. Once their speed exceeds 70mph, the engine will begin to prioritize speed over the gas mileage. This will result in a faster speed for the time being, but unfortunately, wasted fuel means added stops to fuel up once again, taking more time than it would save the driver to begin with.
Additionally, most truck drivers value their safety. It's not hard for them to evaluate the risk of speeding. We know speeding has the potential to cause an accident which would take far more time to resolve than simply going the speed limit in the first place.
Myth #3 - Only Men can be Truck Drivers
Trucking is a male-dominated field, and there's no denying that. However, this is one of the top myths permeating the industry (albeit less so now that times are changing and women are being recognized more and more in nearly every male-dominated sport, class, or career.) Trucking no longer belongs to the men! While the diversity increases, more and more women of different ages and classes have taken on successful careers in trucking. The workforce has grown tremendously, and as it does, stigmas like these prove false! Women are truly a great asset to the trucking industry, providing help and relief from the current driver shortage we've faced and continue to shrink the amount of stress added to those seeking new drivers by adding to each companies' pool of drivers to choose from.
Has learning the truth behind any of these myths opened your mind to a possible career in trucking? Fill out our application online, or call us at (435) 609-8187. We're happy to help! ABL trucking takes pride in offering schedules that allow families to stay together while providing and building solid careers in the transportation industry.