The Original Stereotype
Back before the 90’s when the image of a trucker was still positive, many people thought of the drivers as practical heroes. Some even called them “Knights of the Highway,” whom could be trusted and adored. If a person was stranded on the road, they knew they could count on a driver to come to their aid if need be. Drivers may not have had the same types of duties and equipment as they do today, but the respect they received nearly doubles today’s perception.
The Current Stereotype
For some reason, a driver’s image started to slide as the years went by. Instead of people viewing them in a positive light they transformed into these stereotypes for various reasons, including the media.
The “Killer Truck Driver” Stereotype
When the popular movie “Joyride” premiered, it featured a killer semi-truck driver that spooked a number of people. Although the character was purely fictional, it still raised some eyebrows and made others feel a bit unwary about drivers. People sometimes forget that drivers are just professionals who are doing their job making deliveries and such. Nothing more sinister than that.
The “Cat-Caller” Stereotype
In the hit movie “Thelma and Louise,” we see in a scene where the two leading women are being cat-called by a passing commercial truck driver. His obscene behavior really did give a bad rep for real truck drivers who did not fit this mold. Although there may be some out there that do fit into this negative stereotype, it is not true of every truck driver. Regardless, it definitely did not help the once positive trucker stereotype, and instead changed it up a bit.
The “Only Men Are Truck Drivers” Stereotype
For a long time truck driving was seen as an only-male job. Everywhere you looked, whether it was on TV, the radio, or word of mouth, it was men that were advertised as being behind the wheel. Many women felt like they could not fit into this mold because of how society portrayed the position. Although over time this has changed, it is still prevalent today.
The “Truckers are Uneducated” Stereotype
This stereotype, unfortunately, has been around the longest. It dictates that truck drivers are uneducated people who couldn’t get a college degree so they became truckers instead. This is truly a shame considering that many go to truck driving schools to advance their learning. Not to mention, with so many drivers coming from different backgrounds, there are those who hold different education levels.
The Overall Unflattering Stereotype
Unfortunately, truck drivers, especially in North America, are seen as dirty, foul-mouthed, overweight people that drive slow trucks and care little about their jobs.
Ways Truckers Are Correcting the Image
It’s not as if truck drivers are oblivious to the glaring issue of their undignified stereotypes. It is a shame that so many undermine the professional career that has been around for so long. Thankfully, drivers are aware of what is going on, and as such have been taking a stance to change the way they are portrayed.
They Take Pride in Their Image
Drivers step into the field with a passion to help others, which is something to take pride in. Being a truck driver is an amazing career with several benefits that should be noticed. Drivers know that what they are doing is beneficial for others. Regardless of what society says, they are still “Knight of the Highway.”
They Keep Their Trucks Clean
The way they take care of their trucks and trailers reflect their personal image. When everything is clean, people will think better of the person behind the wheel. Especially when they know that they care about their job regardless of what stereotypes say.
They Have a Positive Attitude
It can be hard traveling on the road for several long days. However, remaining positive during tough times helps with their image even more. It is certainly something to respect which is a far cry from the “catcalling” stereotype.
They Make Driving Available for Men & Women
Thankfully, this stereotype is still being broken today with so many women bypassing the societal views and applying for the driving positions. In fact, some of the best drivers on the road are women! Several truck driving companies have taken a step forward by making themselves more approachable for both genders.
At United Truck Driving School we are honored to teach so many people from different backgrounds the wonders of commercial driving. We understand that this is a professional business and will treat it as such. If you are ready to take the next step, contact us to get started!