Even though some truck drivers are earning $80,000 a year, not enough people want the job according to Joyce Brenny, head of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota. America has a truck driver shortage.
“Many trucking companies are so desperate for drivers that they are offering signing bonuses and pay raises. So why don’t more Americans want this job? We asked truck drivers who have been doing the job anywhere from four months to 40 years for their views,” Heather Long of the Washington Post reported. “Most said the answer is simple: The lifestyle is rough. You barely see your family, you rarely shower, and you get little respect from car drivers, police or major retailers.”
Long spoke to several truck drivers to get their take on things. One driver, Michael Dow, said he wouldn’t recommend truck driving to anyone who has a family.
“My kids are in their 20s now,” Dow said. “I missed most of their lives growing up. They tell me they wish I would have been home more. I have been divorced two times because of truck driving. For a real perspective, talk to a trucker’s wife.”
Donna Penland, a 50-year-old truck driver from Texas, said she thought it was a good job for women, but that there were a lot of doors to break down.
“The guys treat you like you’re stupid and don’t know anything,” Penland said. “And companies are almost always asking you to do stuff that’s illegal — to work extra hours or to dump trash illegally.”
Ryan Kitchel, a 36-year-old from North Carolina, makes $100,000 a year, but said it was the same as what his truck driving father made in the 70s.
“A lot of guys don’t realize everything that is involved in trucking,” Kitchel said. “It’s more than getting behind a steering wheel and driving. You got to be able to do your paperwork. You got to watch your surroundings. You have to keep the truck and trailer in line. You have to watch everyone around you, because cars aren’t watching.”
Kitchel did, however, say he would recommend the job to others. “What other job are you going to do minimum training for and jump out of the box making $50,000?”
Photo Credit: D’oh Boy (Mark Holloway) – Wikimedia Commons