Speakout: The Voice of the American Trucker

| October 01, 2009

Years ago, we gathered around truck stop coffee tables, exchanged large doses of blather and doled out advice to younger guys about an occasional route around a scale or other helpful tips. Years ago, someone grabbed a pair of gloves if another driver needed help.

Now, truckers sit alone, playing on computers or eating truck stops’ idea of food. Now, over the CB, truckers make fun of inexperienced newbies.

Some changes in the profession have been positive, but shows of disrespect between veterans and rookies need to stop. If a rookie driver asks a question on the CB, he shouldn’t be put down as stupid.

Maybe we should recognize one another for who we are: drivers, pure and simple. None of us were born with a CDL in our diapers. We have earned that distinction solely by climbing behind the steering wheel and driving.

All of us fight battles of fatigue, long hours, storms, traffic and other situations that do not distinguish between those of us who have been on the highways forever or for a day. We should make those challenges easier by acknowledging our common ground instead of belittling one another.

STAN De LEEUW | Rolfe, Iowa

E-mail your letter to the editor or Reflections submission about your trucking memories to LCoulter@rrpub.com or mail them to Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403. Include a photo of yourself if you can. Published Reflections submissions will receive a keychain pocketknife and Overdrive hat, license plate and T-shirt.

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.