Clash of the generations

Carolyn Magner and Misty Bell | July 01, 2010

TN: Do you think the old-school guys are willing to help the new-school guys out?

Chris: No. Seven or eight years ago, if you were backing up into a parking spot, it would be nothing for an older guy to go over and help you. But not anymore. The older guys sit back and watch. The same thing goes for the young guys. Nobody helps anyone.

John: Well, I always used to ask if a struggling driver needed help and was happy to do it. But these days, I’d say most of the time they either tell you they don’t need your help or, if you do give them a hand, most of them don’t even bother saying thank you.

Chris: I think the younger guys are afraid to ask for help because then they won’t feel as smart as some of the older people out here. They don’t want to feel like the newbie out here, so they won’t ask the questions.

Jayme: I hate to stereotype, but I do hear a lot of the freight drivers that say that they’ve been trucking for 40 years, and all these new guys are idiots, and the trainees are idiots. I see the maturity level of my generation decline, which frustrates the older drivers to the point where they say, “You’re just another new guy. Get out of my way.” And then that’s where the breakdown begins, because the older guys don’t want to talk to the young guy because he’s a newbie. And the new guy doesn’t want to ask a question of the old guy because he’s going to look like an idiot. So, you know, they’re canceling each other out.

Entitled or ‘working smarter’?

TN: Old-school drivers believe the young guns don’t have the same work ethic they do. How would you describe your work ethic?

Chad: I would say I’m an overachiever.

Chris: (laughing) I’ve got a very strong work ethic, and I consider myself a highly sophisticated, professional freight relocator/agent/specialist-in-training out here.

Trucker Steve: I have a strong work ethic. At the same time, I think some of the best things that happen to us happen outside of the truck, so I play just as hard as I work.

Jayme: Oh, I think I have a very strong work ethic.

Kathy: I have a very strong work ethic. I can outwork the younger generation and most of the older one as well!

John: My work ethic is that I do whatever it takes to get the job done. Young guys are trained as machines: Run your 11 hours, shut down.

Lacey: I think it depends on my mood of the day!


Technological know-how

TN: How tech savvy are you?

Chris: I use the CB. I don’t have a laptop in the truck. I’m not very tech-savvy. I’ve got the CB on about a third of the time.