There was a day and age where truck drivers were revered. But, it seems that in the past ten to fifteen years, that sentiment has faded and given way to a different view. It seems that, for most, the image that comes to mind is an uneducated, cat-calling, killer-type. It’s harsh, but, for many— the image that your mind crafts is overall unflattering. But where did the stereotype go south? When did the hardworking and driven men and women of the trucking industry lose all their street cred?
Truck Drivers: When Did the Stereotype Go South?
It begins in and around the ‘90s, when movies such as “Joy ride” and “Maximum Overdrive” came out; diving fear into the hearts of mass America. The characters were fictional, and the director— surely didn’t have a vendetta against hardworking truck drivers. However, in Reefer Madness fashion, the sentiment began to shift until the majority opinion was changed.
If you think of any movies you see with a tractor trailer driver in it, they’re typically not the lead. Usually, you see them calling to ladies from a parking lot, or flashing grins from the window to our heroine in the convertible. Ultimately, they have a long-standing portrayal of being flesh hungry, and easily distractible.
The All-Male Cast
Another thing you might notice about any portrayal of a truck driver (or that image in your head) is that they are never women. It seems like a man’s world, which can keep women form considering the career path. However, there are about an approximate 200,000 female long-haul drivers!! The career path is great for women. Plus, you get to make a difference within a career where you are underrepresented. Sounds pretty good, if you ask me.
Many people consider truckers uneducated because you don’t need a college degree to get into the field. But, the career path is a pretty smart one to take! You have job security, a flexible schedule, a steady and livable income… Becoming a truck driver has been a life-changing move for many, and you have to be pretty smart to do it. If you don’t think so— consider navigating, driving, and adapting to conditions in an eighteen-wheeler. Doesn’t sound so easy, does it?
Not all truck drivers are upstanding citizens…
This is a given. But, if you think about it: bankers, car salesmen, mothers, cashiers… there are bad eggs all around us. When it comes down to it, a stereotype is simply that… a generalization made by people with a misunderstanding. Sure, there might be some truck drivers out there that fit this mold, however, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.