05 Jan Why Truck Drivers Should be Paid More
Being a professional truck driver is a unique profession with its own set of challenges. For people who have not been in this situation, it may be easy to overlook the troubles that truckers face every day. Reports stating that when adjusted for inflation, truck driver’s wages have fallen six percent in the last decade are really disturbing, to say the least.
One cannot help but wonder if the owners of these trucking companies fully appreciate the conditions under which truck drivers operate. Some of the peculiar challenges include:
Truckers spend a lot of time away from their families
Truckers spend a lot of time on the road. Working 70-85 hours per week is commonplace. All that time away from their loved ones puts a lot of pressure on their relationships.
They miss out on seeing their children grow, they can’t go to their son’s baseball games or their daughter’s dances. These are important things and they are irreplaceable. The pay has to at least compensate for that.
Truckers face a lot of health challenges tied to their jobs
Truckers spend a lot of time seated in their cabs on their journeys. This exposes them to diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, back and neck discomforts etc.
Eating healthily when traveling is a challenge for drivers as well. This further exposes them to other health hazards as they eat mainly fast foods. As if that is not enough, the amount of time spent traveling meant that drivers are more likely to miss doctor’s appointments.
Limited sleep is also commonplace among truck drivers because of the irregular schedules and it brings with it a host of other challenges as well.
Difficult/risky driving conditions
Professional truck drivers travel long distances usually in difficult conditions like snow, rain potholes etc.
Added to that, truck drivers have a big responsibility on their shoulders. The truck and the cargo is worth a lot of money and can be an attractive target for thieves.
All these make it truck driving difficult and extremely risky. Despite all this, the drivers are supposed to get the freight to the destination in good order.
Poor Pay despite these circumstances
Despite all these challenges, truck drivers earn very little compared to the amount of work they put in. The mean annual salary for a driver is around $38,000-$40,000.
Given that truckers can work well over 4000 hours per year this translates to anything from $7-$10 per hour. This is very meagre, it’s almost an insult.
This is why there is a shortage of truck drivers, the conditions are just not conducive enough.
We all benefit from the sacrifices made by truck drivers every day. We use a lot of goods they deliver and as such they deserve more compensation for their work.