I do not want this list of problems facing truck drivers to turn into a reason as to why you decide not to be a truck driver because there are many advantages in choosing a trucking career. These are things that can be irritating but if you are aware of then from the start you will be more prepared. Having a good, positive attitude is a key factor in truck driving as well as any other career.
In many parts of the US, particularly the northeast, I-95 corridor and west coast there is a severe shortage of available truck parking areas. Truck stops, rest areas and parking areas fill up very early in the day and it can be nearly impossible to find a parking spot at times. It very frustrating when you can not find a spot especially when you have no hours left on your log book. The best way to avoid this problem is to start driving early in the day so you can finish early as possible. Good trip planning skills and a Truck Stop Guide book are tools that will help you avoid the parking problems facing truck drivers.
Shippers And Consignees
Most, but not all shippers and consignees demand that you be on time but have no regard as to how fast you are loaded. It is just a fact of life and something you will have to let roll off your shoulder. Often it can take many hours to load or unload just 3 pallets for some customers but in the end there is nothing you can do about it. Go take a nap, go for a walk or talk to another driver. Just don’t loose your cool because you are the only one that will loose in the long run. Being nice, kind and courteous will get you much further than being a jerk.
Public Perception & Media
The public perception of truck drivers has changed drastically over the years. Once seen as “hero’s of the road” and as as an industry that was looked up to are know seen as an unskilled labor force that plugs up the roadways. The media along with personal injury lawyers have painted a negative image of professional truck drivers that shows truckers as dangerous outlaws even though we are one of the most regulated industries in the US .
The truth is that only 1 in 8 traffic related fatalities involve a commercial vehicle of any size, type or class resulting in 5,000 total deaths . While people driving non commercial vehicles involved in the cause of 33,561 deaths. Commercial vehicles represent only 2.4% of all accidents within the US and there are only in 1.1 fatal accidents per 100 million truck miles driven.
Truck drivers are professionally trained on safe vehicle operation while the general motoring public has almost no training. Regardless of the statistics the public has a horrible perception of truckers and the industry.
The below video is in reference to a driver that had a tire come loose from his trailer. The tire rolled into opposing traffic and killed another person. The family of course then sued for money and pressed criminal charges. The driver will always be held responsible for everything concerning his truck whether within his control or not.
Government Red Tape And Over Regulation
Truck drivers and companies are regulated about as much as the medical community. Permits, taxes, posted roads, medical certification, DOT authority, EPA regulations, hours of service, state laws, DAC report, federal laws and the list goes on and on. This is one of the biggest problems facing truck drivers and the industry as a whole. Government will only continue to grow and make more laws and regulations so it it is vital to stay on top of new regulations.