There were times when truckers were seen as the knights of the road. They were clean cut and proudly wore their uniform with badges showing the years in service. It’s very different nowadays. When we meet a trucker, it’s usually a guy who looks like he’s been forgetting to shower for a week and his T-shirt is dreaming of laundry.
No wonder there’s a problem with truckers image. Often we tend to blame others, be it the general media or pressure groups. But what we have to realize is that many times only we are responsible for our image. People can base their opinions on their own interactions with truck drivers. And what kind of opinion are they going to have when they meet a trucker in a dirty T-shirt and old sweatpants?
Truckload Carriers Association is determined to work on the public image of truckers. And the first step is to remind truck drivers that they should respect themselves. It would be hard to change the way truckers are presented in media without starting to improve the actual truckers image.
Fleets must remember to show respect to truck drivers, for instance, the managers must remember to stay respectful. Also drivers must be cleaned up and professional and not forget that trucking is their job. Why would you go to work unshaved or wearing dirty clothes? When a customer sees a trucker, the client needs to see a clean cut guy who’s a pleasant person to talk to and doesn’t look like he hasn’t showered for a week. Presentation is what actually sells and a typical truck driver is not likely to be a good kind of presentation. Is saving ten dollars on shower worth it?
There are many great programs like Highway Angel or American Trucking Association’s Share the Road and others. They do a good job trying to improve the way the public sees truck drivers and the industry. But this process should start within from the truckers and their self-respect, and only that will make the returning of “nights of the road” possible.