Rewriting Industry Stereotypes by Being a Professional Truck Driver
As with anything you do in this life, your attitude can and will determine your success. No matter what your job is, if you get up in the morning with a chip on your shoulder and/or a bad attitude, you will have a bad day. If you go into the day thinking “Man this day is going to suck,” then that’s what you are looking for and that’s what you’re going to get. Perception is reality.
Being a professional driver, you might think your attitude would affect only you since you are driving down the road alone every day. However, a positive attitude will benefit you so let’s look at that:
- Your positive attitude not only reflects you but also your carrier. A friendly smile and good nature will benefit you in all areas of your day.
- When it comes to shippers, a good-natured driver will get in and out of their loading docks quicker and easier. If you are nice to people, they will have more of an inclination to be nice to you. And the sooner you get in and out of your shipper, the sooner you get to making your money for the day driving. Remember, if the truck isn’t moving you’re not making any money.
- Receivers are very similar to the shippers. In and out — that is the goal, an upset dock worker is not going to be concerned about getting you back on the road. A friendly smile and understanding goes a long way on getting you out and back on the road.
- Scale houses – going into one of these upset or with a bad attitude will only make bad things happen. Remember that these individuals have a job to do as well. Simply provide them with what they require, be friendly and courteous, and get moving back down the road.
- Police officers and DOT inspectors – In all honesty only a fool would choose to be discourteous to these individuals. If you by chance get pulled over for a traffic offense or just a random inspection, it’s critical that you remain courteous and helpful. It is what it is and being bad tempered or disrespectful will only delay you more. Be the professional you are and get back to driving down the road.
Safe & Professional
As the professional driver, you must always be looking for the average, every day drivers that are out there on the road doing unsafe acts. From the business person in a hurry going to work, to the distracted mother and housewife with children in the car, and of course the teenager out joy riding and having a good time. By being the professional you are and by utilizing training you have received regarding safe driving habits – you will be ready for any and all non-professional mishaps.
Presentation of a Professional Driver
Unfortunately the professional truck driver’s image in the past has been tarnished by too many people being unprofessional. Here are some common misconceptions:
- Dirty – too many drivers in the past have gone days without showering, shaving or changing their clothes. Unfortunately, their appearance is often what the public perceives all drivers to be (and we all know that’s not true!).
- Ill-tempered and foul mouthed – drivers who yell out their windows and send messages to cars through obscene gestures also help build the public’s perception of the truck driving image.
- Drugs – back years ago it was unfortunately common practice for drivers to do drugs that would keep them awake to keep moving down the road. This is a practice that we have eliminated through changes in the law by DOT and through drug screening. Unfortunately today’s drivers are still looked upon for past transgressions. The only way to fix this is by being the professional that we need to be and changing the public’s opinions of professional driver.
It’s important to the entire industry that drivers today not present themselves in this way. A “professional” driver is neat, maintains a level head and does not have to resort to drugs to properly perform the duties of their job. In addition to that, a professional driver maintains a positive attitude while keeping the truck moving.