It's a Team's Life

Displacing the Blame on Truckers

By Millennials in Trucking
Posted May 5th 2023 1:00PM

We stumbled across an article recently that put all of the lack of driver motivation solely on the driver. The writer tore into the drivers about their fashion choices, or “lack thereof.” We found it amusing that this sentiment could come from within the trucking industry without any acknowledgement of how things became to be this way. Not a single mention of a rhyme or reason as to why being a truck driver is no longer the glorified job it used to be.

So, let’s displace the blame and tear into the drivers - that should boost morale, amiright?

We don’t need to go into extensive detail of the wild range of customers we deal with on a daily basis, how truck stops don’t aid in driver health, or how driver pay hasn’t increased in over a decade; instead let’s talk about how drivers dress and the shoes they wear… Actually, yea - let’s talk about it, because it seems no one else wants to address the reality behind it and we happen to know at least one person who needs a reality check, along with a quick history lesson.

Expecting a driver to wear a suit and tie to a customer who will point them to a port-a-potty in the parking lot on a 90 degree day, while they stand inside the door frame of an AC equipped warehouse, really sounds more like a general lack of awareness. We thought, could it be possible 'luck' that this driver never came across this situation? Doubtful from a self-proclaimed “veteran.” We digress…

Historically, truck stops have evolved by the hand of the driver’s lifestyle and created what we know today, to be a truck stop. So, the issue here isn’t a new one. If you’re at all involved in the industry, you’ve likely been inside of a truck stop. In the past, we’ve covered what to expect at a truck stop – from fast food and unhealthy snacks, to the lack of healthy activities. Truck stops feed into quick solutions for hunger with some of the worst options possible, minimal locations have gyms or walking trails, and the sedentary lifestyle alone will leave you no longer fitting in your normal wardrobe. So picture this, next thing you know you’ve gained 20+ lbs. and need to find new clothes. Well now your confidence is in the gutter, and you’re buying a much bigger size than you actually need and/or you’re dressing for comfort instead of style. Of course, you’re going to reach for that t-shirt over the button up, we don’t blame you. It happens to all of us at one time or another. Guess what? That’s okay – our jobs are nothing short of a balancing act.

Now let’s talk about the general lack of appreciation of truckers – you’d think that an economy that quiet literally rests solely on the transportation industry would value it's drivers more but that’s not our reality. Trucking lost its unions ages ago and we’re watching the same thing unfold today in our railways. The once known abundant wages and what was left of bonuses have been thrown into the wind since they don’t benefit shareholders. Not to mention, regulations have almost swallowed us entirely. Did you think we forgot about trucker appreciation week? Of course not - a free day old donut and a 20% off of a shower coupon at your local truck stop! *Insert laughing emoji* How could we? No, the real taste of trucker appreciation was during the COVID-19 shutdown, and though short lived, you can bet it was nice to live through. When Logan Miller, a teenager from West Virginia used his allowance to buy lunch for truckers and passed them out at his local rest area. When Iowa DOT passed out free lunches to drivers from a closed down scale-house. When a high school in Washington stepped up to help in the parking crisis and opened a makeshift rest area. That’s real driver appreciation, and those are the stories that still keep us going.

The last thing we need is shade thrown from within our own community, and the reality is that we all share the responsibility of driver health and happiness; from the CEO, to the customers, to the truck stops, to the driver. So, the next time you hear someone displacing the blame; complaining about how truck drivers dress, or posting a photo of a driver fueling in flip flops - send them this article with any emoji you think we’d find fitting. 😉 We’d love to have a chat with them.


Run Hard – Dream Big,

-          M.I.T.