Truck Driver Respect – What Does It Mean to Drivers?

You know, truckers do have it rough. The long hours, the endless days on the road, the fact that they’re driving an 80,000-pound monster – all this is pretty stressful when you think about it.

But if the above was all the trouble truckers faced, trucking would’ve been a very lucrative job. Do not get us wrong, it still is. However, it all depends on the environment the truck driver is in.

At the end of the day, as with many other jobs out there, it all comes down to respect.

So what does respect mean to truck drivers?

Reddit Has the Answer(s)

By this point, most of you have heard about Reddit and what it is. But, for those who haven’t, Reddit is a social network based on communities that revolve around people’s interests.

There’s a subreddit (one of the communities) that revolves around trucking. You can find it on the r/Truckers subreddit

June 10th, a post was submitted titled “What Does Respect Mean to Truck Drivers”. In a nutshell, it asks “If a company “respects” you as a driver, what does that mean to you? How is respect shown from an employer to a trucker?”

Needless to say, the answers truck drivers gave were enlightening, but, to be honest, expected.

Honest Replies: What Is Respect to Truckers?

Below are some of the answers Reddit truckers gave to this question:

“It means that they don’t treat you like a number, like you are a tool for them to use. It means that they are aware that you are a person with a life and family outside of the truck. It means they pay you good wages for honest work.”

By user tvieno

“Just because you can work 14 hours in a day doesn’t mean it should be every day …… quit letting consignees get away with taking 4 hours to unload a trailer that should take 45 minutes….. Maybe treat drivers as the humans they are and not disposable freight moving machines ……. Also you get what you pay for 🤷‍♂️ if you have a good experienced driver pay them what they’re worth

10 year driver 0 tickets ( excluding warnings) 0 accidents here

2 year driving instructor at a school

Edit: definitely pay drivers what they’re worth. Working at a school I can tell you first hand the new drivers coming out are about 90% garbage”

Answer by user alansmooth91

“After 44 years of LTL 15 stops a day 14 hours I retired two months ago cuz there is no respect for the driver between your boss and the receiver they treat you like s*** you have no restroom to go to your locked outside and no place to wash your hands or get something to eat 14 hour long day 7 days a week low pay no benefits I was lucky to be a Teamster I had a great benefits and pay with a pension and you don’t realize the drivers we have to put up with on the highway that can’t drive everything’s the trucker’s fault. I hang my hat up and turn the keys over to the new generation..js”

Answer by user Wooden_Rhubarb_4349

“I run about 160-170,000 mi a year. To do that I stay in the truck for months. I’m running 14-18 our days three four times a week for months at a time. I reset in rest areas if I have to.

The company ran into trouble and they ended up sitting me 6 times without a backhaul over a period of 2 months. I lost a week of driving in about 7 weeks.

I sat all those days in silence. No one from that company said a word to me. Tell me, if you make a dinner date with your best friend on Friday night and you can’t make it, do you just let him sit in the restaurant for 5 hours till he figures out you’re not coming? I guarantee you if you have friends like mine, you’ll get an angry truckers phone call eventually. In fact it’ll be worse than that; he’ll tell all your other friends what you did to him. That’s human nature.

By my calculation, I was making that company four to five times as much gross profit as a 2000 mile a week truck.

Trucking is a commodity. There’s no marketing pull, there’s no brand loyalty, there’s no pricing elasticity. You can’t just unilaterally raise prices like retail or follow the leader or do regression analysis and find some niche product to keep the little guy off the shelf. There’s only trust. You can’t have trust without communication. You get the teammates you deserve. You get the teammates you earn and together you make the profits you earn.

I left that company. They didn’t respect me. They didn’t respect my hard work. I’ll never forget that. And like your friend in the restaurant, I tell every driver I meet to stay away from that company. They don’t give a damn about their drivers. And so I help them destroy the name on the side of the building. They don’t respect that name either or they never would treat their drivers the way they do.”

Answered user socrates40000

“It is a dramatic difference between driving for a truck oriented company and a company where trucks are used but not the primary focus. Truck companies try to do the least possible for their drivers, the engine of the revenue stream. Non-trucking firms treat drivers like every other employee: hourly pay, breaks, access to decent restrooms, trust drivers without questions on safety issues or mechanical concerns, have back up trucks because all equipment breaks down eventually or needs maintenance done, 40 hr work week with optional OT, regular schedule, paid the same hourly whether driving, waiting for mechanic, offloading, or on break.

Truckers aren’t looking to be treated like princesses. Pay them and treat them like a mechanic, or heavy equipment operator.”

Answered user RockNWood

“I’m still a rookie driver, but I’ve been with my dad for years in the industry. Basically, the end goal for everybody involved in the shipping and handling of merchandise is to screw over the driver. From brokers, shippers, recieves, dispatchers, and any other person in the industry. The driver works with and through all of them, and every single one of them is trying to find a way to take advantage of the person that provides them all a job.

Instead of pushing your drivers, instead of trying to squeeze every bit of “what they can do for you” out of them. Find out and do what you can FOR THEM.

Edit: The on the road guys have it a lot harder than the local guys. You should edit your post to specify whether or not your employees will be on the road or local. These two jobs have a night and day difference.”

Answered user OSRSgamerkid

“Lack of respect from managers and dispatchers has been the biggest problem I’ve seen and experienced. They tend to treat drivers like property instead of as human beings. The f******g golden rule is to communicate with your driver and keep them updated especially if they’re sitting waiting for a load. NEVER leave a driver sitting with no communication. You want to recruit more drivers? PAY US MORE F******G MONEY HOW HARD IS THIS TO UNDERSTAND. I don’t give a f**k if the owner of CRE wants a third private jet. They know damn well why they can’t keep anyone around and they don’t give a f**k.”

Argued user stuckonadyingplanet

“Get rid of the pay by the mile model and go hourly. It’s a lot harder for companies to cheat their drivers if they are paid by the hour. Provide benefits and allow time off for a visit to a doctor or a dentist. Remember, a dispatcher is not a boss. They are a dispatcher. The drivers are the ones risking life, limb, and personal freedom out here, so put the drivers in contact with the dispatchers’ management to resolve issues and keep a check on someone who may be prone to retaliating or power-tripping.”

Said user asu3dvl