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October 7, 2015

Why Are Truckers Not Knights Of The Road Anymore?

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.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. It’s time that drivers started taking more pride in themselves and started acting more professional by reporting any suspicious activity, looking and smelling clean and having a good attitude. If drivers will begin doing these things, their reputation will increase fir sure.

  2. You hit the nail on the head. Years ago I used to Broker Freight with my business partner. We ran into a wide range in levels of professionalism. There were some great folks to work and more than a few that I’m glad I do not have to work with now.

    If you want respect from the public, you can’t stand in line at the gas station looking like a vagrant. Most people do not know a lot about logistics or how important truckers are to our economy. Their perception is shaped by what they see on the highway and the truck stop.

  3. Man, every time I’m driving down the road and get passed by a big dirty semi with huge company logo I cringe. That can’t be how the owners want to brand their company.

    I expect our fleet of cars and trucks to be spotless. That way they reflect the values of our firm.

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