Fuel for Thought

The Trucker Image

By Greg Huggins
Posted Feb 4th 2023 4:05AM

Jeans. Plaid button up shirt. Boots. Hat or cap. This was the attire that truckers were known for years ago. They were also known to help a fellow motorist (truck or car) when in need. They were known to be polite in public and respect others' property. They were known to keep their truck maintained and to tell tall tales at the truckstop lunch counter.

Sweatpants or track suit. T-shirt or hoodie. Flip flops. Cap or hood. This has become the new image of the trucker. They will hardly ever help another motorist (but they just might take a video of it to post later). Many are rude to the point of being downright intentionally discourteous. Too many trash the property everywhere they go. The outward appearance of many of their trucks implies a lack of proper maintenance. They can rarely be found at a lunch counter swapping tales.

One thing that has remained constant is that they all want to be called professionals. Perhaps dressing for the title would be a start. It is difficult to perceive someone, anyone, as a professional anything when they look as though they are unemployed, unbathed and vulgar.

And on the subject of vulgarity, why do so many of today’s truck drivers feel the need to be as vulgar as possible? I’m not saying they should be prudes, but every other word seems to be an expletive. If those are the only adjectives you know, perhaps silence is your best quality.

It is not only other truck drivers that hear you speak, your customers also hear your version of a professional and reflects on other drivers. Ever wonder why the shipping clerk is so mad by 9AM? He or she has had to deal with vulgar, half-wits for the past hour. Ever wonder why shippers and receivers do not want trucks parked on their property overnight? You might have heard it was a liability issue, well it is, but more likely the issue is a truck driver is liable to trash the parking area and the customers are tired of having to pay to clean up after you.

There are still plenty of hard working, appropriately dressed, polite and conscientious truck drivers around, but it seems that they are becoming the exception instead of the rule.

If you want to be treated like a professional in any industry, you should dress for the position, treat your customers and colleagues with respect and courtesy. You have probably heard the old adage, it is hard to soar with the eagles, when you hang out with the turkeys. Set a positive example for those who are watching, and nowadays, there is always someone watching. 

With all that said, it is just a drop in the trucker image bucket. The above are only done while the truck driver isn’t even driving! 

Strive to be better. Don’t settle for being a turkey. Flip flops even put where you are headed in the name… flop, wear proper clothing. Help another when you can. And for Pete’s sake, look behind you when you open a door, hold it for 2 seconds for your fellow human. Oh, and if someone holds the door for you, take your hands out of your pockets, there are no doormen at the truck stops, shippers or receivers. And last but not least, say Thank You.

Thank you for for taking the time to read this.

See you down the road,