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Truck Drivers - Not The Dangerous Ones On The Road
Truck Drivers: Not The Dangerous Ones On The Road
Many people believe that truck drivers are “the dangerous villains of the highway.“ That they are constantly driving dangerously and erratically - scaring anyone in their path with their 80,000-pound vehicles of menace – to deliver their freight of goods.
I’ve asked people what they envision a trucker to be and they often describe/stereotype someone that might resemble a member of the Charlie Daniels Band. I hear “a smoker, a drinker, a criminal, a drug user, uneducated, dirty.” (please note this is not a slap at any member of the aforementioned band – in fact, I’m a big fan of the CDB)
The facts of life, and in this case the facts of the modern day trucking industry, are quite the opposite. Truck drivers have to go to trucking school in order to obtain the license to drive commercially. Then they have to go through a long list of tests in order to obtain employment with a trucking company. After they’re employed there are then miles upon miles of legislation (no pun intended) governing every aspect of their job. Everything from the hours of service drivers can operate, the amount of freight they can carry, the type of freight they can haul, and the weight involved with their truck, trailer, fright, and fuel. As you can see, it’s a lot more difficult than obtaining a standard state issued driver’s license and delivering pizzas.
Then you have the trucking company standards. Almost every company requires a “clean and kept” look about their applicants. All companies perform drug screens prior to employment and random screens during employment. They all perform background checks and MVR reports (motor vehicle reports). They also perform what’s called a DAC report – which is a transportation specific agency set up to keep track of truck drivers and their work histories. Trucking companies have tremendous criteria they must meet just to get an approved applicant, much less recruit and offer a job to a driver with the hopes that they’ll accept. Company recruiting budgets to find quality drivers can run in the millions of dollars – per month. Name another industry with these stringent of hiring standards and also has this high of an expense to recruit employees. I can’t name one either.
The bottom line is this: it’s more difficult to get a job as a commercial truck driver than it is to become an EMT Basic, and ambulance workers are viewed as heroes – rightfully so because they save lives. I ask that you try to change your view of truck drivers and I’ll name a few additional reasons why – food, clothes, cars, gas, home building supplies, and the computer you’re using to read this. If you ate it, wore it, drove it, put it in or on a car, lived in a home or apt, and are viewing this article then you’ve reaped the fruits of the trucking and transportation industry. Everything we eat, touch, or use has been on a commercial truck at some point. Everything. Think about it, unless you grew it or made it out of the earth with your own two hands, it was trucked in to a store for you to purchase. I say it again: Everything.
Here’s a ratio for your consideration – 4,000:1. Commercial truckers drive 4,000 times the number of miles and get involved in an accident as compared to standard drivers – referred to as 4-wheelers by those that drive 18-wheelers. This means, that if you drove 10 miles to work and got in an accident, and drove home from work that day and got in an accident, the commercial truck driver would have driven 80,000 miles and gotten into 2 accidents. Have you driven 20 miles and had 2 accidents? It’s no big deal for commercial drivers to go MILLIONS of miles accident free. This can be attributed to the care these men and women take towards operating safely on more than a day-by-day basis – it’s moment by moment. The regulations and restrictions these drivers abide by can also be attributed to their miles upon miles of safety.
I authored this article with the hopes that it would get published and read by people not affiliated with the trucking industry. I hope that in reading you may have gained a new understanding of the men and women that are quite literally driving America. They work hard and don’t get the greatest of pay. It takes a special person to commit your career to the road so next time you see a truck driver, give them a wave. They’ll appreciate it.
Authored by Kyle Jernigan
Copyright – 2007 – HiringTruckDrivers.com
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