What Shapes the Life of a Truck Driver?
Signing up for a unique line of work makes for some unexpected occurrences. Though most drivers know what they’re getting themselves into and appreciate many aspects of the job, everyone gets a different experience.
Trucking, to those on the outside of the industry, is often viewed as a homogenous industry. Many people still think of trucking as an old school, straight-forward industry where drivers haul goods and collect their pay.
While this isn’t wrong, it is an oversimplified view. Everything about a truck driver’s job from the company that employs them to the type of freight they’re hauling can affect their experience. For some, things are great. Others, however, find themselves in a situation they didn’t anticipate.
One of the biggest differences in freight transport jobs can be seen by examining long-time drivers versus those who feel they’re at an unfair place in the industry. Many truckers are career-minded, sticking with the industry through better or worse and having good things to say about their life on the road as they near retirement.
For others, the job is not so glamorous. One obvious example is the life of the port trucker. The ongoing situation in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas has many carriers and the retailers they work with facing backlash for supporting unfair work agreements. Truck drivers are protesting in the area, claiming misclassifications of their employment status coupled with lease-to-own agreements has turned them into indentured servants, working 12-hour days for pocket change.
Clearly, the company a driver works with and the agreement that they have affects their life to a large degree. While some carriers are known for trying to take advantage of drivers, others have a good history of treating employees fairly. Working with a reputable company is one of the biggest deciding factors on how a driver’s life on the road will be.
Even if a trucker has a good company behind them and a great deal, there are still several factors which can change things quickly. New technology, regulations, and general economic conditions all have a hand in influencing the trucking industry and the people who make their living in it.