Which negative trucker stereotype would you like to see gone for good?
June 1, 2005
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. Any driver out there can tell a story about how they've been stereotyped just because they drive a truck. And even though statistics show these negative labels only apply to a small...
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. Any driver out there can tell a story about how they’ve been stereotyped just because they drive a truck. And even though statistics show these negative labels only apply to a small minority of drivers, they still seem to rear their ugly heads on a regular basis. Truck News stopped by the Husky Truck Stop on Shawson Drive in Mississauga, Ont. to find out where these stereotypes come from and which ones drivers would like to see gone for good.
Keith Fullerton, a company driver for Mississauga-based Roadfast, says drivers often earn their bad reputations through their behaviour. He and his on-road chum Pepper think if those few bad seeds would change the way they act, it might help the industry as a whole clear its name.
“I’d like to see less aggressive drivers,” he said. “I’d like to see less foul language used on the radio.”
Steve McGregor, a Mack-driving owner/operator out of Windsor, Ont., says new truck drivers are the ones giving the industry a bad name because they’re improperly trained.
“They’re out of trucking school so quick because there’s such a demand for drivers,” said the driver of 26 years. “Everyone just gives them a truck and says, ‘Go.’ It’s not right. You can’t even do that for a car.”
Brampton, Ont.-based owner operator Rod Ferguson doesn’t like how many people think truckers are “all painted with the same brush” especially when it comes to safety on the road.
“When a truck goes across the median and hits a car and kills somebody, (the public says) it’s always the truck driver’s fault.”
At the same time, Ferguson says he understands where the public is coming from.
“A four-wheel car driver doesn’t know anything about trucks, therefore he sees what he sees and he knows what he knows. So what else can he discern?”
Reuben Miranda, a driver for Mississauga-based Hansbro hauling produce and frozen goods, would like to see truckers stop being labeled as dummies.
“Wherever you go, people say, ‘You’re a truck driver. You’re stupid. You’re dumb.'”
Miranda says that he’s actually learned a lot more on the road than the people who look down on him because of his occupation.
He attests that the same is true for many of his fellow drivers.
“There’s a lot of very intelligent people out there. People who have held professional jobs like lawyers, doctors, engineers and pilots. People sometimes do different jobs for 20-odd years and then say, ‘Now I’m going to drive a truck.'”
William James Davidson agrees with Miranda.
The owner/operator from Abbotsford, B.C. says the general public sees truckers as “the biggest idiots coming up and down the road.”
“But with some drivers, it’s their own fault,” he admits, referring to their driving habits.
“They act like one so they get labeled like one. But most are smart guys. They wouldn’t be driving a truck if they weren’t.”