Drivers often don’t think twice about the big trucks they pass on the highway, but the country would stop without them. More … than 70% of country freight ships coast to coast, thanks to long-haul truckers. It is also one of the most misunderstood professions, with many pervasive myths following it. What are the biggest long-haul trucking myths?
Myth #1: Long Haul Trucking is Like the Movies
Big oil rig. Big problem in Little China. Tower of joy. convoy ago tons of movies which feature long-haul truckers as the main character. These are great for a little entertainment, but they have nothing to do with what the real-world long-haul trucking industry looks like. Whether you’re looking to join the industry as a driver or just want to learn more, don’t look to Hollywood for help in your search.
Myth #2: Girls are forbidden
Trucking may look like an old boys club from the outside, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. From 2021, the industry employs more than 200,000 female long-haul truck drivers, who make up 6.7% of the industry. Record numbers of women are getting their CDLs and long-haul degrees. This growth is a valuable asset for an industry that has dedicated in recent years struggling with a labor shortage which made it impossible to meet delivery requests.
Myth #3: Bring in big
It is important to note that the amount of money a long-haul trucker earns depends on their experience, location, and the miles they drive each pay period. In some cases, a trucker can easily earn six figures, but long-haul truckers earn on average between $45,000 and $50,000 one year. The range for this career is wide, however, with those at the bottom of the ladder earning only $10,000 per year, while those at the top could earn upwards of $280,000.
Myth #4: Truckers are dangerous
The big trucks they drive can look intimidating if they pull up next to a sedan or other daily driver, but the truckers themselves aren’t dangerous. The industry is doing all it can to train and vet drivers, ensuring the safest and most skilled are behind the wheel of these long-haul deliveries. Drivers will do everything possible to prevent or avoid an accident, as even a small collision could be devastating given the size difference between their truck and other cars on the road. Even ignoring the risk of death, collisions can jeopardize a driver’s career.
Myth #5: Big rigs don’t use a lot of fuel
The myth that long-haul trucks don’t burn more fuel than the average vehicle keeps driving. It doesn’t make much sense to compare the fuel mileage of a 2,500 pound sedan to that of a fully loaded 100,000 pound big truck, but the myth still persists. The average daily driver will burn about 500 gallons per year. The average large rig will use over 20,000 gallons of fuel over the same period.
Myth #6: McDonald’s is the most transported item
Long-haul truckers haul everything from food to medical supplies and industrial materials. A pervasive myth is that McDonald’s food is the most carried item. This might make sense to the average driver, since it’s hard to take the highway without seeing at least one McDonald’s truck, but it’s not the most-carried item. Long-haul truckers are most often protect and transport furniture, clothing and mechanical equipment.
Myth #7: Truckers are not allowed to shower
Nobody wants to spend hours in a truck without being able to freshen up, use the bathroom and find a place to relax for the night. Truck stops are located along highways and highways and offer food, fuel, showers and safe places to stop for the night for long-haul truckers and travelers. Truckers are also limited on the number of hours they are allowed to drive, which will be explored in more detail in a moment.
Myth #8: Big rigs will never go electric
Long-haul trucks may be big diesel guzzlers right now, but that won’t always be the case. Tesla is working on make semi-electrics available to the logistics industry. Depending on the extras package, these trucks can go between 300 and 500 miles between charges, generate zero emissions, and haul as much cargo as their diesel-powered counterparts. They won’t completely replace traditional rigs anytime soon, but these electric tractor-trailers will likely gain momentum to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint in the years to come.
Myth #9: No sleep until Brooklyn
One of the biggest myths is that long-haul truckers don’t stop until they reach their destination. These truckers operate under what is known according to the 2 hour rule. Each duty period lasts 14 hours, but after driving for eight hours, the driver must take at least a 30-minute break. They are also not allowed to drive for more than 11 hours in a row during a single duty period. Drivers must carefully plan their routes and stops, based on when they are on the road and the distance to their next destination.
Myth #10: It’s a lonely road
Truck driving, especially long-haul trucking, is often described as a lonely profession. While it’s true that many drivers work alone, it’s not the only option. Drivers can also work together, creating a partnership that allows them to travel further, reach more destinations and get more work done. Truck driving, in general, is also a very social career, with drivers communicating by radio or simply having a coffee at the truck stop while waiting for the shower to turn on.
What myth surprised you?
Which of these myths did you find the most surprising? Long-haul trucking drives the country forward, and without the men and women who sit behind the wheel, much of what the average American takes for granted would disappear. It’s worth getting a better understanding of this essential career, even if you never intended to get a CDL or explore a career in the industry.