Truck driving is one of the deadliest jobs in North America. Truck drivers are expected to drive up to fourteen hours straight a day, receiving roughly ten hours off prior to the beginning of the next shift. Legislation regulating the amount of driving a trucker performs over the course of a day and week does exist, but these rules are commonly bent and broken.
Most of the people depend upon truck drivers to deliver goods and services safely and efficiently. Yet, crashes involving large trucks continue to take a toll on truck drivers, their passengers, other road users, businesses, and the community.
Demerits of trucking
- Higher risk of accidents
- Disturbed sleep schedule
- 70 hours/week on the wheel
- Difficulty in downhill driving
- Higher risks involved on curvy roads
- Less income
- Family life is affected
- Can cause depression
“Technology plays an important role for us, our trucks have CB radio system which keeps all the truck drivers travelling in the same area connected. Almost 50 drivers can talk at the same with one another. It really helps as you stay alert and you know what’s happening on the route all the time.”-Inder Grewal
Overall, three hundred and seventeen thousand motor vehicle crashes involving large trucks were reported to police in 2017, according to the latest vital signs report by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The estimated cost of truck and bus crashes to the United States economy was $99 billion last year.
The job involves high risk as chances of dying on the is extremely high, with deaths of truckers in auto accidents accounting for 12% of all work related deaths in North America . Therefore , one has to be really careful while driving on the highways especially during the snow season.
“The major drawback for me as a trucker is, other small vehicle drivers on the highways doesn’t really have the knowledge about air break system. It takes time to stop the truck because the air breaks literally works on air and helps the heavy truck to stop slowly. There should be a good distance between a truck and other vehicle on the road otherwise it can cause accidents.”- Inder Grewal
It’s no secret that truck drivers don’t make much money. According to Service Canada, a full-time salary with a full year of work is only $38,000 on average and a part-time salary when they’re not working a full year is $25,000 . However, they depend on that income for their livelihood and if disability befalls them in any way, they’re basically under financial burden, especially if they cannot drive.
The trucking industry in North America is full of opportunities and possibilities and the potential for career progression and growth is excellent. The industry is said to be male dominating but presents a huge economic opportunity for women as well.
The Development of an Employment Action Plan for women in the trucking industry has been introduced by Ontario Trucking Association which includes a National Employment Strategy -identification of best practices, identification of challenges, including existing barriers and promoting the trucking industry as an industry of choice for women. OTA supports the companies and provide various guidelines for the newcomers in the industry.