What irritates truckers most and why.
There are a whole lot of reasons to become a truck driver. Travel the country? Yes, please. The feeling of controlling such a powerful machine? Of course. Job stability? Who wouldn’t want that?
But just because there are so many pluses, does not mean the trucking industry is free from frustrations that make you want to pull out your hair. (Or maybe someone else’s.) Sometimes it’s good to just acknowledge those annoyances and bond over them. So, we will get it started with this list of 10 things we know annoy a lot of drivers.
Some of these will be things we can help you overcome. Some are just part of doing business as a truck driver. Still, overall, we think the good outweighs the bad – especially when you’re driving for Variant. And we hope you agree.
Let’s just start with the most obvious and the one that least needs an explanation: traffic. It’s the worst. GPS and other tools can send you on the best route, but we will never fully be free of traffic until we invent transporters or time travel.
2. Sharing the Road with Bad Drivers
So, this isn’t unique to truckers, but with the amount of time you spend on the road, we are willing to bet you’ve seen more than your fair share of bad drivers on the road. Who taught these people how to drive, and why didn’t they do a better job?
From drivers who don’t know how to merge, to those who love to tailgate or side-car; anyone in the trucking industry can tell you that the roads are filled with people who need to return to driver’s ed.
Let’s just brainstorm some bad driving habits that we wish others would ditch
- Passing on your right
- Passing at lights
- Passing and then breaking
- Stopping past the white lines at intersections
- Not letting you merge your truck
- Merging 2.5 inches in front of your truck
- Side-caring (I mean, just pass or don’t. Make a decision!)
Can we all agree to chip in for some driving lessons?
3. Long Waits/Delays
Of course, it’s not just the people on the road that cause the problems. Sometimes it’s the people you have to interact with when you aren’t on the road. For starters, who hasn’t gotten to a customer site only to be told they aren’t ready for you? And then you wait. And wait. And wait.
Your time is valuable, and you shouldn’t spend it waiting around. At Variant, dwell time is limited by route planning software and operations specialists who have your back.
4. Lack of Parking/Lack of Rest Stop Options/Poorly Kept Stops
The average truck is around 75 feet long. It’s not like you can just pull it into a normal parking lot without getting the side-eye for taking up 17 spots. Yet sometimes it’s near impossible to find designated truck parking.
By the same token, you can’t really just pull up to the drive-through to order the #4 meal. So, when there are infrequent or poorly kept rest stops without food options on your route, it’s a problem.
We suggest gathering a team of fellow drivers who can tell you where to stop (or where to avoid stopping) when you are on a new route. In addition to our highly connected Squad of drivers, Variant provides multiple parking suggestions along your route – just ask Jessica one of Variant’s road warriors.
5. Weigh Stations
Picture it: You are driving along, making great time, and really getting into the sing-along you’ve got going, when suddenly you see it — the weigh station sign.
Yes, we know they are important. Blah, blah... It makes sense. But that doesn’t make it any less annoying. Taking the time out of your drive to pull in and do the inspection can add to your trip in a way that isn’t fun. And if you are running behind on a deadline, they can cause major problems.
If you have to stop at one, you have to stop at one. It’s not fun, but it’s part of the job. But many drivers recommend this great site that will alert you to where weigh stations are and if they are open. This can help you plan your trip and prepare. That helps a little, right?
6. Trucker Stereotypes
Truckers are just old-fashioned, uncaring, tough guys who like to keep to themselves. Or something like that. Who hasn’t heard ridiculous stereotypes about truck drivers?
But that might not be true. Drivers are as varied as they are cultured. After all, they spend all day in a truck listening to music, news, books, podcasts, all while traveling the country.
Forming a trivia team? You should probably consider having a driver on your team. They are filled with random knowledge, especially about geography/landscapes. Or maybe they aren’t. Who knows? Truck drivers are all unique and can’t be defined so easily.
The only thing every driver has in common is that they drive. That’s it.
7. Not Enough Home Time (or the Opposite: Not Enough Miles)
On one hand, it can be a problem when you are too busy. Yes, road life is great, but family time is important too. And when your trips take you everywhere but home, it can be lonely and tiresome. The paycheck may be nice, but seeing your loved ones is the best.
Of course, on the other hand, it’s equally annoying to not get enough miles. Being stuck at home waiting to be called to duty can be just as problematic.
Figuring out a balance to your schedule can be tough, and it takes a lot of coordinating with your team. But letting your needs/wants be heard is a great step in finding that perfect balance.
8. Bad Weather
Whether the weather is so bad it cancels/postpones your trip (i.e. cutting into your miles) or it just makes the trip more difficult (i.e. driving in heavy rain, snow, wind, etc.), no driver appreciates bad weather.
Other than paying attention to the weather channel or whatever you use to get your weather-related news, there is not much you can do. But no matter what, always prioritize your safety (and the safety of others on the road) above all. Getting your miles is great but making sure you and those around you are safe is always a better option.
9. A Lack of Communication
Something is wrong with your truck, but nobody is helping you. The facility you are delivering to isn’t answering, and headquarters isn’t either.
Communication: It matters.
Finding a company that cares about your problems and stays on top of things for you is important. If you can’t get in touch with us, then we aren’t doing our job. (That’s why Variant and our ops specialists work hard to minimize this one for you.)
10. Faulty/Messy Equipment
We all know that feeling when you go to get a trailer and the last driver left it a mess — that you now get to clean up. It’s not that hard to run a broom through the back, guys!
Of course, a little mess is better than this last annoyance, and it’s a biggie: faulty equipment. When something is messed up on your truck, it causes delays, frustrations, and safety concerns. A pretty awful trifecta. Making sure you are driving a safe, fully-equipped truck should be a top priority for every company. (Not to brag, but we think we do a pretty good job of this.)
As much as we wish we could, we can’t get rid of all your frustrations. (Believe us: If we could rid the world of bad drivers, bad weather, and traffic, we’d do it ASAP.) However, we do our best to minimize as many of these annoyances as possible.
We offer top-of-the-line trucks, a team of people waiting to help you with any issue you may have (our beloved ops specialists), and communication tools like our Roger App. Plus, we just restarted our weekly feedback surveys. That way, we hear all your concerns so we can implement solutions as quickly as possible. Even better, we actually listen to the feedback we receive and try to make changes.