– Transfix Surveys Carrier Network in the Final Quarter of 2022 –
Each year, we enjoy delicious feasts for family and friends, an abundance of colorfully wrapped presents under the tree or by the menorah, and a few fun treats we gift ourselves. But, where does it all come from? A truck driver.
On average, truck drivers are on the road over 300 days a year, making sure our goods are delivered on time and intact. Without even realizing it, our everyday lives are impacted by the trucking industry and the people who drive 18- and 6-wheelers. They are essential to our livelihoods.
But, how much do we actually know about the life of a truck driver? What’s life like on the road? Does it get lonely? Do they have hobbies? Do they enjoy when people pump their fists for that infamous airhorn honk? Are they proud of being a truck driver?
We recently surveyed our network of drivers in an effort to get to know them better, and the answers might surprise you. Here’s a look at what we found.
Life on the Road:
Whether you’re a dry van or reefer driver, the average length of haul is around 439 miles or the equivalent of about 6-7 hours. And that’s just one load. With an office-on-wheels, it’s no wonder drivers cite the desire of having healthier food options on the go and fewer potholes on the road as the top two improvements to their everyday lives.
A whopping 37% of the responding truckers could use a more ergonomic driver’s seat or the tension relief of a massage chair, while 24% need a new microwave or fridge setup to enjoy home-cooked, nutritional meals. Other requests for improving life on the road included the option of a compact exercise bike or access to TRX cables for better overall physical health.
But a trucker’s life is also heavily impacted by the way a 4-wheeler drives. Ashley Watson, founder of the National Minority Women Association in Transportation cited that “regulating the speed at which reckless drivers can operate their cars would help navigate the strive to not lose my professional truck driver license.” With significant speed regulations imposed on truckers over the last few years, Watson said “it would only make sense that 4-wheelers would at least be forced to attend a training course to learn how to drive safely on the road with a commercial vehicle.”.
33% of truckers agree as they would proudly display a bumper sticker that read “Please learn how to safely pass a truck.” A close second? The 23% who would prefer one that read “We have blind spots, too!”
Habits & Hobbies:
In our survey, we found that there were quite a few similarities between truckers across all walks of life. Their biggest commonality was their choice of audio entertainment on the road – specifically, hip hop and R&B, country, and pop rock. Coming in at 25% were podcast and audiobook listeners.
It’s no wonder that 47% of respondents cited their passion for music – whether singing, playing an instrument, or writing songs – the truck driving community is clearly musically inclined.
Respondents also cited some of their favorite hobbies like collecting items from different states across the country, writing screenplays, photography, ceramics, woodturning, fishing, and various arts and crafts.
But our favorite finding comes from a shared love of furry friends. 60% of truckers share their space with a dog or cat (some mentioned driving with both or even multiples!). Companionship from a pet can relieve stress by an astonishing 84% according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Four-legged friends on the road can also help with feelings of isolation and solitude that often come with the truck driving profession.
Communication & Community:
It’s why nearly 90 percent of drivers opt for making friends while on the road. If you happen to make a pitstop at any Pilot Flying J or TA, you’ll see pods of various drivers forging their own mini-communities. And when they’re driving, 80% of our respondents prefer to stay in touch via Facebook – specifically through discussion groups where niche common interests can further deepen friendships.
46% opt to stay in touch using social media, text messaging or phone calls, while 13% prefer the traditional use of communicating via CB radio as they drive in the early mornings.
So, whether you’re chowing down on Friendsgiving or watching a loved one rip open a gift this holiday season, remember it wouldn’t be possible without a truck driver. And they’re proud of being one, too (93% of respondents say so). Next time you see one on the road, pump that fist and give them the Truckers’ Salute so they know how much you appreciate them.