Many older truck drivers have fond memories of the way truckers used to help each other. They say that all of the truckers nowadays only care about themselves. They also say that selfish drivers are causing truckers to have less of a community. Well, I’d say that they’re partly right, but I’m too concerned with myself to care about anyone else’s opinions. Kidding.
The biggest compliant I’ve heard is that “back in the day” you’d never see a broken down truck on the shoulder without another driver who has stopped to check on him. That’s true. I rarely see two trucks pulled over together anymore. But why is that?[box]Listen to the audio version above and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.
Or enter http://abouttruckdriving.com/truckerdump.xml into your favorite podcast app.
Download the intro/outro songs for free! courtesy of Walking On Einstein
Mystery Feedback Song – Only a cheater would click this before listening to the podcast! You aren’t a cheater, are you?[/box]
I’ll admit something here. I never check on a stranded truck anymore. The only time I do is when it’s 20 degrees outside and someones life might be at risk. But by and large, I don’t stop. “Back in the day” I tried to be the good citizen. I rarely stopped, but nearly always contacted the broken down truck via CB radio.
Over the course of my 12-year driving career, in every single case, the driver had either contacted someone for help via his/her in-truck satellite system, his/her cell phone, or both. So the fact is that with modern day technology, the need to stop and help has been rendered unnecessary. Furthermore, I don’t even bother contacting them by CB anymore either. I figure that everyone and their Gerbil has a cell phone these days.
As for the lack of community, well phooey on that. Walk into any truck stop restaurant or driver’s lounge and you’ll witness plenty of community. Drivers still tell stories to each other like they always have. They talk across tables as they eat. Even further out of site is the myriad of truckers that have taken the community on-line.
There are trucking websites, trucking blogs, trucking forums, and social websites such as Facebook and Twitter, just to name a couple. Even more convenient is that all of these websites can now be accessed through a smart phone. No computer required! Many of these truckers talk back and forth on-line like they’ve known each other for years. Maybe they have. It’s just that they met on-line. The fact is, they’ve probably never met face-to-face. But does that matter anymore?
The point is that, like every other industry, trucking is being affected by technology. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to the individual. Sure, there’s nothing like quality face time with real live people. But I’d be willing to bet that some of these old timers who complain the most could actually be more involved with the trucking community if they’d trade in their dial phone and typewriter for an iPhone and a laptop computer.
Photo by @boetter via Flickr