It’s no secret that the freight industry is currently experiencing a bit of a driver shortage. While there is debate as to just how serious this shortage is, the question that should be on everyone’s minds is just why this debate has arisen in the first place. Concerns about the target demographic for employment, the potential for autonomous trucking to fill in a gap and, of course, the lifestyle have led to fewer people willingly applying for the training involved in becoming a freight driver. These are all valid concerns, but are the worries necessary? We’re taking a look at some of the biggest expectations vs. reality situations in trucking and why there isn’t as much to worry about as you might think.
You’ll Be Miles Away From Home
One of the biggest turn-offs in the industry, particularly for drivers with families or significant others, is the sheer number of hours spent away from home. The stereotype has seen an image arise of hours spent sitting alone in a cab, hundreds of miles away from home and your loved ones but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, while these long-haul deliveries definitely happen, the industry has far more short-distance alternatives for those with commitments at home. You could hop in a delivery truck and spend the equivalent of a 9-5 doing your job, before heading home for the night and starting again the next morning. The industry is diverse and there are plenty of jobs available for every kind of working pattern.
It’s A Job For Men
Another misconception is that freight forwarding is a typically male-focused job. While there are a higher percentage of men in the industry today, women are definitely represented and are even encouraged to apply to start evening out the numbers. Any amount of training can be given regardless of gender and by targeting women in recruitment drives, companies could start to fill in those employment gaps.
It’s A Lonely Job
You’d be forgiven for thinking that life on the road is a lonely affair. Sitting in the cab, staring at the open road can mean hours on your own but it’s hardly as lonely as you might expect. You’ll meet people out on the road that you may not have otherwise met working locally, and you’ll have the opportunity to call home during breaks or at rest stops. For many local or regional drivers, you’ll often get to see your family daily, much like your average day to day job. You can choose the role that suits you and interact with as many or as few people as you see fit, making this the ideal job for those that like the open road, but still have commitments at home.
You Don’t Have Much Freedom
While the life of a delivery driver often means a lot of scrutiny and strict enforcement, this is for the safety of the driver, other users on the road and the recipient’s cargo. In most cases, your truck may be fitted out with cameras or monitors to keep track of how you’re driving, where you’re going and any idling habits you might have. Keep to the rules and this will never become a problem. Companies don’t track you to penalise you for every little thing, but it is important to remember that the cargo industry can be relatively intense. Any accidents or issues will be reported to plenty of different entities for insurance and claims purposes, therefore these procedures are put in place to reduce the overall risk of the job.
While truck driving isn’t for everyone and has its pros and cons, the reality of the industry compared to ongoing expectations is considerable. Not only do regional and local jobs offer drivers the chance to join the industry without venturing far from home, but it’s also an industry opening its arms to people from all different walks of life. Would you consider a career in freight driving?