There’s an article making the rounds this month, as much for its unusual source as for what it contains. Cosmopolitan, the women’s magazine that’s better known for its ‘10 Great Ways to Improve Your Sex Life’-type articles, featured the perspective of Arielle Pardes, a former professional driver.
What a great platform from which to educate a largely untapped labour pool – women – about the career opportunities that exist in the trucking industry. And for the most part, it was a fair and balanced representation of the good, the bad and the ugly that pro drivers – male or female – will experience when embarking on a career behind the wheel.
There were, however, a couple items in the article that caused me to do a double take. None more so than this one: “You learn to get by on a shower a few times a week (or less) and hold your bladder for as long as possible, because every minute you’re stopped at a rest stop is lost income. Some truck drivers even wear diapers to avoid stopping at bathrooms – not kidding.”
Really? In 15 years of covering this industry and interacting daily with professional drivers, I’ve yet to meet a diaper-wearing trucker. How can I be sure? Well, true, I’ve never asked, but let’s call it a pretty good hunch.
Yes, bathrooms are few and far between and stopping for breaks will cost you a couple bucks when paid by the mile, but if you need to wear a diaper to make money in this business then you probably need to ask yourself some questions about who you’re working for and why you’re doing this.
That far-fetched line alone probably chased off many more potential recruits from this industry than the rest of it could have drawn in.
The other point I took issue with was ‘Forget about working out or eating well.’
“You’re sitting all day driving, then you’re sleeping,” Pardes writes. “That’s your life for as long as it takes to get home. Forget exercising; you’re barely standing up throughout the day. The only way to make money is if your truck is moving, and as long as your truck is moving, you’re on your butt.”
I know it’s incredibly difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle while driving over-the-road. But it’s not impossible and I am frequently inspired by pro drivers who have committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle despite all the challenges associated with doing so as a professional driver.
Check out pg. 18-19 of this issue of Truck News for some great on-road workouts that can be done in and around the truck, pretty much anywhere you find yourself parked.
Truck stops and fleets are doing their best to make healthy meals and snacks available. It’s becoming increasingly rare to visit a trucking company that doesn’t have a fruit bowl out for drivers. Online communities have been created to share tips on cooking healthy meals inside the cab.
There has never been more information and resources available for professional drivers who want to lead a healthy lifestyle. It can be done.
I never thought I’d be using this space to counter an opinion piece in Cosmo. Tune in next month when I share 10 tips for truckers on how to enhance your sex life. None of them will involve diapers