Who Are America's Professional Drivers?
by VC Parker - The Longhaul Magazine

America's professional truck drivers are very independent men...and women.

They speak English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Kurdish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Indian, Polish and Czechoslovak.

They come in all shapes and sizes. Short and tall, husky and thin, bald and bushy, groomed and scruffy.

Some are young...Some are not.

They are single...They are married. Some have children...Some have grandchildren...Some don't.

They are transportation with a steadfast temperament...distribution with a diligent determination. Their time on the road is a barometer to
the nation's economy.

They make their living steering 40 tons of steel and freight with their hands...Diesel fuel flows in their veins...Blacktop shines in their eyes.

They're America's professional drivers.

They haul diapers for little babies, gowns for pretty ladies, food for growing families and medicine for those who are sick. They haul cars
for personal commuting, books for leisure reading and treats for man's best friend.

Big boots and sneakers...Denim pants and T-shirts...Ball caps and do-rags...They are philosophers with freight, businessmen with
bills-of-lading and good Samaritans with tire gauges.

They like the American flag, green lights, smooth asphalt, regular routes, friendly food servers, a livable wage and holidays at home.

They'd like a little more respect...because when they drive today, America enjoys tomorrow.

They're tough enough to spend endless days away from family and friends and tender enough to share cherished time with a classroom
of children.

Shy, cocky, fun and serious...they hate log books, congested highways, ports of entry, small-town JPs, road construction, steep mountain
roads, moving cargo and bad coffee.

They can tell you where to get the best meals on the road and the best route to their final destination.

They're big business on big wheels...
They're America's professional drivers.

Without them there would be no fuel for our vehicles...No metal for our machinery...No material for our roads and buildings...No
merchandise to move our economy.

Born 150 years ago, they'd have been mule skinners, stagecoach drivers, frontier scouts, cow hands driving herds from Texas to
Missouri...riders of the Pony Express.

They eat their meals in roadside diners, sleep in the cabs of their trucks, take private showers in public facilities and watch TV in truck
stop lounges.

They're authorities on politics, foreign oil, the opposite sex...and the best way to run a trucking business.

They live by a rare code-of-conduct...will pass no man who needs a helping hand...are eager to support national security...are the first to
share the road with all fellow motorists.

They like changes in scenery, fresh mountain air, open roads and someone to talk to.

They have problems and they're not hesitant to vent their complaints about anything from the state of the world to how their eggs were
cooked this morning.

Every trip is going to be their last. They're going to get off the road and live like a "normal" human being, but they can't...because the
highway sings a haunting melody that's addicting to their soul.

When the engines start roaring and the wheels start whining...when the lines on the highway fly faster and farther...when the horizon
beckons with the promise of a new tomorrow...they are the happiest people in the world.
They're America's Professional Drivers!

Copyright © The American Driver
Michael (JB) Schaffner