In the past, the trucker was always thought of as a free spirit. He was the modern cowboy with the highway as his pasture. And while it may seem as an exaggeration, some would even consider him as their hero and proudly paint him on posters and trucking christmas cards.
The skills to be a successful trucker is no joke. It is a talent that could awe many and would impress even those that have extensive driving experience. The huge stature of the machinery made it seem that they are tamer of wild beasts. And the way they roamed the highway with such power exuding made them the symbol of both freedom and authority.
As mighty as they are often portrayed, they are also seen as the most helpful people around. Most would not hesitate to help out stranglers and strangers that have car problems. Because truckers normally have extensive knowledge when it comes to cars, they are often the go-to help when one is stranded in the middle of nowhere. That huge blaring light from the truck’s headlights amidst the darkness of a cold night becomes a beacon that signals the help that is coming.
The image of the trucker is generally positive among most of the population of North America.
Trucking Christmas Cards: What the Trucks are Before
There was a time when the trucks were a lot slower and way less complex. It would also not be too cool as what we see today in tricked-out trucks. The load that it can carry was also smaller, and well, fewer rules and regulations were also followed. This was a time when there are no cell phones, the streets did not have as much traffic, and, generally, people did not have to spend the earth to survive.
What a truck had in the 1970’s to communicate with the outside world was the trusty CB radio. This was crucial when they wanted to warn, help, or get help from other truckers that is near their vicinity. It was not at all unusual for individuals that do not drive to even set up a small radio based on a command center. They use this to facilitate the communication between truckers and from trucker to command centers. As a trucker who is mainly following a lonely path down a road towards his destination, it is often a welcome sound to hear from other truckers that are experiencing the exact same thing.
The truckers truly enjoyed the independence brought upon by the the open highway. And because of the hazard that they put themselves into, they were given the right amount of compensation during the 70’s and 80’s. And no, they did not have to work harder before than they do now. In fact, it has been seen that the truckers are working in much more difficult conditions now than they did before. It was a harsh and difficult time then but the sweet pay would compensate for that.
It was way more happier time for the trucker as they are showered with love and respect. The image of the trucker was positive and if they had a stereotype that they had to deal with, it is that they are strong and are admirable.
Trucking Christmas Cards: When it all went down
Beginning in the early 1990s, the image of the trucker deteriorated.
The truckers would be sometimes be thought of as the bad guy. They would be called thieves, cheaters and in worse cases, even serial killers. It was not at all unusual to try to put the blame on a simple hardworking trucker whatever serial murder was unsolved during those times. The logic was that since they have roaming lifestyle, they would have the best opportunity to commit these gruesome crimes.
So what exactly happened for the trucker image go downhill in such a steep and slippery slope? Among other things the media portrayal has not been kind at all for them. Whenever they are shown on the television or any media, it would be regarding news about something shady.
Then came the trucker brand of entertainment that never seem to have any substance. This reinforced the idea that truckers were not smart at all and were only trucking because that is the only job that they are capable of doing.
It is no surprise that, after years of constant ridicule in front of the camera, the trucker image has suffered some permanent damage. The hurtful stereotypes naturally came after and this is what the common trucker have to deal with nowadays.
Think about the last movie that you saw that featured a trucker. At best, the trucker would be a dolt who might have accidentally aggravated a situation. At worst, they are the serial killer that the protagonist is running away from. This is a sharp contrast to the movies of old that featured truckers as the heroes of the day.