Every Holiday season you probably visit your family, whether they are next door or across the country. For many of us, this is the best time of the season. Gathered together with family and friends for a warm holiday meal, by the shiny Christmas tree most likely.
Yet, did you know that in one industry, for many of its employees, things are completely different? This industry makes our holidays and many important dates happen. Are you still wondering what this industry is? It is, in fact, the unpopular trucking industry. For all the goods on your table, you have to thank the unpopular American truckers.
When the trucks stop rolling …
The American truck drivers never stop moving, whether it is a major holiday or not. Many people don’t realize that almost everything we put on our tables has been transported by a truck.
Today’s roads are full of trucks hauling products and materials across the US. These long-haul rivers are away from home for days and even weeks to bring us what we need, including food and clothes. Any truck driver will confirm that this is a lifestyle, not just a job.
So, you will be surprised by the tons of trucking jobs in the US very few people want to take. And consider this, the trucking industry is one of the biggest industries in the US, and it’s still growing.
It’s an interesting topic for debate because, in a shrinking economy, one would wonder how come the trucking industry is growing. Well, this is partially due to the fact that many goods are imported from abroad and then distributed all across the US.
The other reason, of course, is that many goods simply come from one state only, and again, have to be distributed throughout the States.
America runs on trucks, not on donuts.
So, the industry is growing, but there aren’t enough drivers. Why? Because this new lifestyle is hard, and not many are willing to commit to it. Also, many experts and amateurs alike see truck driving as one of the deadliest jobs in the world. By deadly, we mean the few facts mentioned in the article on io9.com and more.
Truck drivers are constantly on the road, most of the time eating various unhealthy foods at the truck stops. This positively leads to obesity, in most of the drivers, spinal injuries, and in some cases, to heart problems and cancer.
Long–haul truck drivers sleep in their cabins, (sleepers; some have very nice cabins!). But this is not a normal comfy bed, so a good night’s sleep is also kind of missing. This then leads to sleep deprivation, which can be deadly in this profession.
People say one-second distraction could lead to a life of anguish. That, in combination with the lack of physical exercise, can be the end of an unhappy tale.
Work-related accidents are also common in the trucking industry. Accidents on the road, leading to death, happen very often, accounting for about 12% of all work-related accidents in the country. Now, imagine a truck rolled over in the middle of Wyoming, in the winter and the nearest hospital is hundreds of miles away. If you have ever driven through Wyoming, you will know that this is a scary scenario.
But let’s say the case is milder. The truck driver has felt some pain in the abdominal area, a symptom, which to most of us living the city lifestyle, means doctor’s appointment on the schedule. Yet, a truck driver, away from home will often ignore the symptom and eventually forget about it. Health-related issues are one part of the high turnover in the trucking industry.
Another very real problem, many truck drivers won’t confess is loneliness and depression. If you would like to read one real truck driver’s story about life on the road check Brett Aquila’s story.
Just last year, the President’s Administration pushed a new law implementing new rules and regulations in the trucking industry. They all say it will help the industry and make America’s roads safer. If you haven’t heard of the new law, MAP21, or America Moves Ahead for Progress, now is the time to research more about it.
Now, do you see yourself becoming a truck driver? Check out “Truck driver’s traits” for more in-depth information about becoming a truck driver.
Do you see an alternative for the trucking industry? Maybe in the future, all trucks will be operated by robots, or remotely.