It goes without question that the life of a truck driver certainly isn’t an easy one. No, truckers don’t just spend days – perhaps even weeks – on end away from their homes, friends and families, but the nature of their trucking jobs also makes them more susceptible to obesity and the development of diabetes, anxiety and depression, and a myriad of other potentially dangerous issues. This is certainly a lot to ask for average pay and benefits, not to mention often drawing the ire of passenger cars around them due to their slow accelerating and driving nature.
Life as a trucker isn’t for everyone, but undeniably, there are things that can – and should – be done to make a trucker’s life easier. While some of these changes are more feasible than others to make, none should be eliminated completely from consideration:
7 Simple Things That Should Be Done to Make a Trucker’s Life Easier
- Thank them: Being a trucker isn’t easy, yet the profession is essential to keeping the country’s economy moving forward. Without trucks, just about every good would be unable to get to where it needs to go. This, in turn, would lead to massive shortages. Grocery stores wouldn’t have food, pharmacies and hospitals wouldn’t get drugs and medical supplies and life as we know it would be drastically altered. While there’s an annual Truckers Appreciation Week that’s meant to honor these warriors of the road, just saying “thanks” any day of the year goes a long way.
- Eliminate/reduce “no idling” zones: No idling zones are zones where truckers have to shut off their engines if they’re stopping. While the intentions behind no idling zones are good, it can make nights at a truck stop in the middle of the desert or in warm weather climates very uncomfortable for truckers after a hard day on the road. While it may not be feasible to reverse no idling zones, a better effort should be made to equip truckers with fans or auxiliary power units to work around these regulations.
- Better pay: The average trucker salary is about $40,000 per year or about $19 per hour. Considering how tough life on the road is and how crucial the role is to the U.S. economy, better pay and/or benefits seems like the least that employers could do.
- Stipends: When most people travel for work, they lodge, eat and are entertained on the company’s dime. That’s not necessarily the case for truckers, as many pay for food and entertainment out of their own pockets. If trucking companies gave drivers some sort of a trip stipend, it would go a long way. For starters, truckers would likely be more apt to eat better and healthier meals. Stipends would also likely boost driver morale.
- Less government regulation: OK, so this might not be a “simple” change, but you know what they say – the more government becomes involved in something, the worse it’s likely to get.
- Counseling and therapy: While this ties into the aspect of offering truckers a more comprehensive benefits package, the mental health of a trucker cannot be downplayed. That’s because all truckers are likely at some point in their lives to witness – or be involved in – a bad traffic accident. This can take its toll on the mental health of drivers, and such issues only get worse if they’re left untreated. Complicating things further is the lack of company on the road. Offering more thorough counseling and therapy for drivers can prove highly beneficial – regardless of the mental health issues they may be experiencing.
- Company tablets: Life on the road can be lonely. That’s why it would be a great gesture if companies offered their drivers complimentary tablets to take with them. With these, drivers can stream video during breaks for entertainment, utilize fitness apps to stay active and healthy in a profession that poses challenges of the like and stay in touch with friends and family via social media and video chatting. Just proving drivers with a little thing like a tablet (and an adequate monthly data package) can go a long way to improve the life of a driver.