Five Things Drivers Wish the World Knew


National Truck Driver Appreciation week may be wrapped up for 2021, but we’re determined to keep the momentum going for as long as possible.

That’s because, at The National Transportation Institute, we’re a little obsessed with drivers. We encounter so many of them who take pride in their job and want to do their absolute best at it. The men and women who get behind the wheel work hard, stay committed, and know that they make a substantial contribution to the economy.

Of course, we all know there’s no shortage of daily challenges in the role, either. Even after the two years that we’ve had, truckers often still get treated like nuisances instead of heroes. There’s a lot that they just wish the rest of the world realized, both about them and about their job.

Today, we thought we would share some of those insights. And after 26 years in business, numerous hosting appearances on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Trucking, and thousands of hours spent talking to professional drivers and the people who employ them, it’s a lot! Here are a few of the top things that drivers wish everyone else knew:

  1. Treat Them With Respect – Long haul trucking is one of the most in demand professions in the country right now, but all too often, drivers are treated like pests. Often, they are subjected to limited parking or even denied access to bathrooms. Drivers don’t need a party thrown in their honor at every stop, but basic accommodation and common courtesy can go a long way in making them feel appreciated.
  2. They Are Team Members – And they want to be treated as such by their employer. That means incentives to grow with the company via articulated career path, good pay, and benefits regularly explained to them. It also includes advocacy on the job and making sure that their mistakes aren’t scrutinized more than in other roles.
  3. Don’t Micromanage Them – To a driver, micromanaging so many details of their work is the opposite of respect. Long haul trucking uses a lot more technology than it used to, and it can be used to keep an eye on drivers or call out their mistakes. We all understand the necessity of ELDs, but to drivers, that technology can start to feel like a leash. One way around that is to use your tech to issue compliments, not just negative feedback.
  4. The World Looks Different Through a Woman’s Eyes – Trucking affords the same independence and financial opportunity to women as it does to men. But currently, women make up less than 7% of total drivers. Plus, issues of safety and hygiene look a little different in this male-dominated industry. There are more recruiting opportunities lately, thanks to the Promoting Women in Trucking Act, so if you’re looking to attract more women to your fleet, give us a call.
  5. They Want Their Loved Ones Along For the Ride – What’s your policy when it comes to travel companions? We’re going to let you in on a secret – all drivers want more of this. Sometimes it’s a mom who wants to spend more time with her child. Other times a husband and wife team up to see the country together. We’ve even heard some drivers say they just don’t want to leave their pet behind for weeks at a time. No matter who it is, truckers love having a passenger. If this is not currently a part of your policy, but you would like it to be, make it happen!


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Listen live every month

On the first Thursday of every month, NTI President & CEO Leah Shaver, aka the Sunshine Girl, goes live on air on SiriusXM Channel 146, Road Dog Trucking, to talk with drivers about all things pay. From paycheck questions to working with fleets on resolving issues around compensation, HR and legal, life on the road, and relationships with their employers, Payday on Road Dog Live dives into topics drivers care about most.

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