What Generation Of Trucker Are You – March 2010

This can be a controversial topic of comparing the older trucking generation with the new truckers that are being trained. There are some key elements that have changed. The most important one, I believe, is the quality of life on the road and balancing our personal lives at home.

Back in the stone ages, say when Steve McEntee was driving, getting on the road and staying on the road for extended periods of time was considered the “norm”. There was more personal sacrifice on behalf of a trucker to take care of the family at home. Even if it meant that the driver was just a visitor at home even for a couple days before hitting the road again for another 2—4 week run.

This is the same era that truck stops were providing poor services for truckers on the road. Lack of showers, lounges, and other amenities that we new truckers believe were always there. At the same time, a trucker would look for a pay phone to call dispatch or call home. Cell phones weren’t available so it could be hit or miss if someone would be home to take your call.

Today’s generation is different and you can see that at the Truck Stops. Truck stops are like a mini vacation destinations between the long days. Hop in a hot shower, play some games, get some grub, and/or watch some TV in the lounge. More so, drivers are now more in tune to what’s happening at home through the convenience of lap top computers and cell phones.

I’m not saying today’s trucker care more about the family at home then they did in the past, just saying it’s easier to stay connected.

Many truckers today want to make “just enough” money to get through the next pay period, but be home long enough to keep a healthy relationship with their spouse and children.

The industry has changed, merely by the people who are driving. Not everyone is the same and nor can you make assumptions about the entire fleet. Some drivers have that passion to always drive and other’s have the passion to trying to balance home with their jobs.

Disturbingly, many of the hard core truckers believe that new drivers that are trying to balance out their lives don’t deserve the word “Trucker” when it comes to their jobs. They merely state they are “Wheel Holders” because they appear to be lacking the commitment to being on the road all the time.

I believe that is a true shame. Products go from Point A to Point B, regardless of who takes it. You can still have a lot of trucker pride and enthusiasm about our job and yet have a healthy loving relationship with your family that goes beyond just providing financially.

It’s an interesting time to watch how our generation is changing the future of the trucking industry.

What’s your thoughts on this?

Michael

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