Maybe It is Us!

There is always a new generation. At one time, I was the new generation. The old dog drivers would criticize new drivers and call us driving school graduates. We had to learn a lot on our own, but many of the old dogs would help. If we wanted to learn how to truck the right way, we could. Some of those old dog drivers back then were just the drivers with the loudest CB. You may know them as blowhards. It took a little extra effort on our part to find the old dogs, who actually would help. That hasn't changed.

Communication has evolved. It has not necessarily gotten better. Social media has become prominent. When I started there was no Facebook. It seems to me that the loudest voices on face book are the most negative. That is not that much different than when I started and there was no social media. Have you listened to the news? Media tends to dwell on the negative. We do too. It seems as if you can get more “followers” by going negative. The easiest position to take – is that this new generation is no good. They don't work hard. They don't listen. They aren't as good as us. That is the same thing that we heard about us.

There was a video on Facebook. It was recorded by one driver of another driver attempting to back into a spot. The video lasted several minutes. On more that one occasion the driver doing the taping blew his air horn at the driver attempting to back in. The backer had gotten uncomfortably close to the taper's truck. At no point did the taper get out of his truck and attempt to help the other driver. You could hear his voice ridiculing these “new” drivers who couldn't back up a truck. It was posted on a few sites that I visit. Drivers joined in the ridicule of the backer. I posted that I was embarrassed by the actions of the taper. That he should have gotten out and helped. Some of the posters ridiculed me. Others joined me. It made me think. Actions still speak louder that words.

Recently, I told a story on Facebook. A customer asked me to back into the middle dock in a 3 dock location. It was easy. About 15 minutes later another truck showed up. They had him back into the dock on my left. It was not that hard, but the driver was struggling with it. I put down my smart phone and went out to spot him. I stopped him just before he hit my sleeper. It took him awhile, but eventually he got it docked. He was an older man, and a complete gentleman. He told me that he would have hit my truck, if I had not stopped him. It reminded me of a terrific blog that Linda Caffee wrote. She wrote that companies would do well to recruit older drivers. This was an older man. That does not mean that he was an experienced driver.

I could have done better. Instead of continuing to play with my smart phone, I should have gotten up right away. We all could. Our new culture seems to be to keep our heads down and drive our own trucks. I will drive my truck. You drive yours. It doesn't have to be that way. We can advance the culture. We can stop complaining. We can help.

Comments (5)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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Great Job - Jim. I would like more of our generation to remember how hard it was - and those who helped us.

August 08, 2015 18:42:56 PM

When I see a younger driver struggling with something. I see myself 27 years ago doing the same thing. I'll lend a helping hand to anyone, they don't even have to ask me. Guess I'm an oddball. But I had a veteran trucker help me out when I started. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be as successful as I am today.

August 08, 2015 16:31:02 PM

Yes, I see too much of that and not enough helping. Linda, I thought of your blog when that older driver was struggling to back up.

August 08, 2015 16:01:26 PM

Jeff I agree in stead of laughing at someone reach out and offer a helping hand.

August 08, 2015 11:08:51 AM

I could not agree more . What ever the the younger generation becomes is a result of how our generation did to mold them in their learning years .

August 08, 2015 9:09:56 AM