No job is perfect, and anyone you ask will tell you a thing or two that they hate about their boss, occupation or workplace. That’s just a fact of life. Take the trucking industry, for example, where truck drivers have plenty of issues. While truckers may not be able to solve their problems today, tomorrow, or in fact ever, they sure can rant and rave about them. If you are coming up short on reasons to complain as a truck driver here are some topics to keep you fussing.
While everyone is quick to embrace technology in their homes, cities, and workplace, it’s taking a bit more for truck drivers to be all excited. That’s because technology is encroaching into the trucking industry at a rapid pace. From self driving, automated trucks to electronic logging devices that track your hours of service, it seems like every week we hear something new about how the tech industry is trying to “improve” the trucking industry. If you ask a trucker, he’s most likely to tell you the trucking industry is just fine, as is. Leave the gadgets and gizmos to the side.
Truck drivers are by nature independent realists. They don’t want to be controlled by a boss breathing down their neck, which is why they take over the road trucking jobs. However, what truckers soon realize is they have an even bigger boss that is constantly in the rearview, so to speak. The government is continually regulated the trucking industry, which ticks off truckers by the trailer load. From restricting when and how long they can operate to inspections galore, truckers are getting squeezed by the government in all directions. Not a good feeling for these self-determined drivers.
Ugh, this is a biggie. For truck drivers who handle long haul loads, spending their nights and weekends in a cab, and missing all sorts of holidays and moments back home, the pay is definitely missing the mark. Truck driving jobs were once one of the best paying jobs in the USA. Today? Not so much, thanks to a stagnant pay raise for truckers across the board. Companies can get away with paying low rates because all of their competitors are doing the same thing. Other factors come into play, such as the fluctuation economy and market, but in reality these issues are escalated by the way trucking companies operate. Rather than staying steady with their pay rates when the market is good, or sour, they choose to raise and lower shipping rates to beat the band. This consistently causes problems for trucking firms who can’t seem to get ahead. In the long run it’s the truck drivers who suffer, and that’s simply not fair.
This is one that really can’t be avoided. Truck drivers who take long haul loads have to work away from home for several days at a time. That’s part of the job. However, when you have drivers who are gone for weeks or even months at a time with only a weekend off here and there, this is unacceptable. Even drivers who go with this schedule eventually either burn out or suffer from other issues, such as depression, loneliness or lack of personal relationships. While not all truckers agree this is a deal breaker, the truth is when a worker, trucker or otherwise, is away from their home and community for long stretches this takes a toil on the worker and his loved ones.
At the end of the day you just want to find a place to pull over and call it a night. Yet for truck drivers this is a constant battle. Truck stop parking lots are set aside for truckers, but they are almost always full to the max as the night rolls on. If you can’t find a place to park you are left to the mercy of rest area parking lots, curbsides of roadways, or other not so safe parking places. Worst of all, your hours of service rules dictate when you are allowed to sleep. So even if you could pull over early and get that prime parking spot at a truck stop, if your HOS rules don’t allow you to stop driving for another two hours, you can forget about it. Hours of service bounces back to the whole government regulation rant.
This is a serious issue. Truckers who live off of truck stop snacks, buffets and fast food burgers are setting themselves up for a lifetime of health problems. Obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes—these are all common problems of truckers due to their lack of healthy food options over the road. If truckers had a greater selection of healthier, fresh foods available to them, ready to eat in their rig, this would be a huge improvement.