By Sandy Long, OOIDA life member
An oxymoron is two words or concepts that don’t really make sense together. One oxymoron might be “giant shrimp” or another might be “dry snow.” The trucking lifestyle is an oxymoron in itself because it is the job we love to hate.
If you hang around drivers and ask them why they drive truck, you will hear at least one talk about the freedom of the road.
They want to do a job without supervision and be their own boss. Uh, excuse me, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, trucking is one of the most regulated industries in the country. Everyone from the broker to the state trooper is supervising us all the time, telling us where to go, when to get there, and how to do it. Then there are the satellite tracking systems making note of our every move.
Truck drivers are perceived as lazy because we sit on our butts all day and get paid for it. Yet the truth is we work a 70-hour week without overtime. We have all heard that truckers drive to escape responsibility. But we are responsible for a $150,000 rig and a million-dollar payload. Yep, guess we don’t like responsibilities.
We truck drivers haul everything that the public uses, but are looked down upon by the same public we serve for doing it. That is one of the biggest ironies in the transportation industry. Makes as much sense as cursing a farmer with one’s mouth full.
Yet we drivers continue doing this job we love to hate. Among truck drivers there are as many reasons to drive as there are drivers.
Bottom line, though, drivers are individualists who love to travel and enjoy the glory of hearing the Jakes kick in when falling off a mountain, all the while hating being away from home and living in an 8-by-8 box. LL