| I could not find a "REAL" driver for the picture above
I was reading an article about a driver who recently won an award. Instead of focusing on the accomplishment of this individual, fellow drivers commented on whether or not this person was a "REAL" driver.
It's all too common when reading many publications and even sitting at the counters at the travel center, drivers seem to make claims about the qualifications of a "REAL" driver. There are many examples of this:
If you speak with an east coast driver, he/she may tell you that you're not a REAL driver unless you've driven in major cities on the east coast. Such as: New York City, Washington DC and Philadelphia.
The mid-west driver may tell you how difficult it is to get around in Chicago. He/She may feel that drivers are not experienced unless they've driven in this city.
A truck driver from the west may feel that you need to experience the high winds of Wyoming or a blinding snowstorm while crossing Donner Pass.
A flatbed driver feels he/she is the "REAL" driver due to tarping, chaining and securing loads. A tanker driver may feel more qualified as their load is constantly shifting and sloshing inside the tank. Of course we all know that the cattle hauler is responsible for keeping his/her shipment alive during transport. A refrigerated driver needs to keep all of their product at just the right temperature which gives them a stake on being a "REAL" driver. Let's not forget about the Haz-Mat driver... as he/she has a huge responsibility to transport chemicals, explosives and other hazardous materials.
If you talk with an over the road driver - long haul, they will tell you that the driver who makes it home every day isn't a "REAL" truck driver. The local driver who makes deliveries all day within the city will tell you that it's much easier to be "over the road" which would qualify themselves to be a "REAL" driver. The old time driver who drove trucks in the 60's will share their experience driving without anti lock brakes, power steering and some strange transmission combinations.
I realize I'm missing some more pieces of the pie in relation to what qualifies making you a "REAL" driver. Some of these include: car hauler, oversize transport, team drivers and finally solo drivers.
In reality... we are all "REAL" drivers today. In fact, I have many friends from different parts of the trucking industry that fit into each of these categories mentioned above. For me, I learn everyday from all my various driver friends out on the road. This is regardless of what their mode of transport may be. We are all out here together making a living and we can lean from one another. Let's support each other instead of creating division within our industry.