The Problem with Truck Drivers

Authors note:  This was originally supposed to be a comment on another blogger's post. It was too long to be accepted, so I posted it here.  Needless to say, there's no editing or proofreading.  It is what it is.

I saw this at Just a Car Guy, and it's funny, 

It's easy to rip on Swift, Schneider, J.B. Hunt, etc., but the problems we have with incompetent truck is not entirely the fault of these firms.  Much of it is due to the unintended consequences of the policies put in place of our governments in the name of safety.

Conjure the image of the stereotypical truck driver in your mind.  He's a boot, jean, and t shirt wearing red neck.  Maybe he has a cowboy hat and listens to country music too.  Right?  Well those guys  are so much more than that.  What makes them truck drivers goes well beyond the fact that they managed to get a CDL, and like the highways they drive every day, the road to get where they are today has been a long one.  Many of them grew up that way.  Their fathers were truck drivers and they spent countless hours riding in the passenger's seat riding with them.  In the course of all that time they learned more about trucks and driving form watching and listening to their fathers, than anyone could ever learn in a school.  Truck driving is in their blood.

Others took a different route.  They didn't have the advantage of growing up inside the cab of an eighteen wheeler, but they did pay their dues.  They might have started out driving a pick up or delivery van.  After a few years, they moved up to driving two and one half ton straight truck, then up to a tandem axle flat bed, or a concrete mixer, or a garbage truck.  After years of experience driving smaller trucks, they finally earned the chance to drive a big rig, and at that point, truck driving was in their blood too.

Men like the ones described above are the safest, most responsible, and most courteous drivers on the road.  The indiscretions that many drivers are guilty of, have been worked of their systems many years and miles ago.  To them safety isn't a matter of rules, laws, and policies, it's their mentality.  It's what they count on to get them home  to their families alive, day after day, year after year. They don't have to think about it, they don't have to try to remember it. It's second nature to them.

Men like the ones described above are more than just drivers. They're operators, much in the same sense that a surgeon is an operator.  They can sense if something is about to go wrong before most people would have a clue.  They know when to shut down a rig before a catastrophe occurs, but they also know when to keep on truckin'.  Downtime is lost money, whether it is due to a breakdown or an unwarranted service stop. They know how to handle adverse weather conditions and they can make the right call whether to pull of the road or keep moving.  They can weigh the odds and walk the line between getting the load to its destination on time and not getting there at all.

Men like the ones described above are a dying breed because the employment market for truck drivers has changed.  Many of the men described above, or have the potential to become like the ones described above, made the mistake of going to the tavern in their own personal car on a Friday after work and had a few beers.  Then, on some deserted country road, about a mile form home, they get pulled over by the cops for a burned out license plate light and it's all over.  The possibility of getting or keeping their CDL, and getting or keeping a job in the truck driving industry has been eliminated.

Cops pull over white guys because it's easy.  It's an easy bust and it's easy money.  Cops can spot a working man by the vehicle he drives, and they know he isn't going to pull a gun on them. On any given Friday or Saturday night, there's an excellent chance you will see some poor white working man going through a field sobriety test. Why isn't it ever a car full of gang bangers?  Because that isn't easy.  It's dangerous and there's no money in it for the government.  The white working man is going to be paying thousands of dollars in fines and the gang bangers will end up costing the state money by being housed in prison.

We've lost thousands of good ol' boys this way, but the industry still needs drivers.  What to do?  That's easy.  Just hire foreigners.  They have no previous record because they haven't driven in the United States before.  The problem is, that they haven't driven ANYWHERE before.  They grew up in Bumfuckistan and the only thing on wheels they ever drove just a few years prior was an ox cart.  This is the new breed of truck driver, and if you don't believe me, the next time you see a truck driver doing something grossly stupid or incompetent, take a look at him and see what ethnic group he is part of.  That driver will almost never fit your stereotypical image of truck drivers.

Between what I have just said and the fact that foreigners will work for wages that no traditional driver would be willing to work for, your stereotypical image of a truck driver is becoming a thing of the past.

Given the choice, I would much rather have, and feel much safer on the road, with the old breed of truck driver than the new


  1. Yup, Follow the MONEY!!!! Go to any of those MADD meetings, AA meetings and/or Alcohol awareness classes that get assigned to people who get busted for DUI and all the faces are WHITE!!!!! Like the post says, the cops aren't going to bother with Gang Bangers, there's no money in it and they're libel to get shot!!
    Got Gunz........OUTLAW!!!!!,

    1. I've been saying this for years. It's surprising how few people realize it.

  2. You forget to mention the fraud committed to get a CDL.
    Don't worry the state will make them take the test over. NOT!

    1. That happened in Illinois too, so it probably happened all over. There are so many problems with the trucking industry right now, and NONE of them were caused by traditional, home grown, American truck drivers.

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  4. This was a very interesting read. My mother was hit by a truck driver and he drove off and they never caught him. I do not even understand how that is possible. But anyway, this was a very accurate analysis from my understanding and I appreciate you getting the word out there about what is actually going on behind doors.

    Kourtney Heard @ Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport

    1. If you ever witness a large truck being operated in a stupid, incompetent, or careless manner, try to get a look at the driver. Ten to one odds, it's not a traditional American truck driver.