If you aren’t familiar with the trucking industry, it can almost seem like those who run it are an invisible force. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five informative, helpful, and amusing facts about truck drivers that you might not know.
You see hundreds of trucks on the road every day, but did you know that a whopping 15-20% of American workers are employed in the trucking industry? About 3.2 million of those workers are drivers. Regional and cross-country truckers have a direct impact on the nation’s economy through the products they deliver. It isn’t a glamorous industry that gets talked about a lot, but the importance of truck drivers is indisputable.
Truck drivers are generally paid by the mile, not the hour. Long-haul truckers are expected, on average, to travel around 2,000-3,000 miles per week. Take into account that they are only allowed to drive 70 hours in an eight-day period, then factor in every slowdown, stop, and traffic jam that they face on the road. It’s easy to see how truckers’ paychecks are unpredictable and their jobs can get stressful. When truckers have to sacrifice time to make up lost miles, their health can suffer, which is why it is important for truckers to take care of themselves on a regular schedule.
And so do fog lights. Some car drivers are under the impression that, because trucks are taller, they are somehow above the line of bright lights. This unfortunately is not the case, and it’s very dangerous for every driver involved when cars don’t dim their brights for truckers.
If you’ve ever felt self-conscious while sitting by a semi at a red light, you probably had good reason. Truckers sit at a height that gives them a straight-down view into your vehicle, whether they want to see inside or not. So just keep in mind that whatever oddity you think is safe from view in the privacy of your car can probably still be seen by the trucker next to you.
Driving trucks can seem like an adventurous life of fun on the open road to some. Others see a flawed stereotype of flannel shirts and poor life decisions. The truth is that truck drivers face challenges every day that set them apart from most people and give them unique character traits. They plan every trip to a T and factor in every obstacle along they way. They learn to navigate harsh weather, mechanical breakdowns, dangerous situations, and long periods of loneliness while still finding adventure and camaraderie on the highway. The next time you’re faced with the “stranded on an island” question, consider adding a truck driver to the list of people you would want with you.
Think you have what it takes to be a truck driver? Sign up for United Truck Driving School’s classes today, and we can get you there.