My Experiences: Truck Driver Clichés – What’s the Story?

by | Jan 25, 2024 | On the Road, Topstory | 0 comments

Hello everyone and thank you for stopping by our blog (again). In the first few months of the #ContiEuropeanRoadshow, I’ve met many truckers from different countries, and I’ve also been able to experience a few stories in Germany that I’d like to share with you. Because: In the world of truck drivers, there circulate clichés such as: Truck drivers were uneducated, on highways they just pull over without blinking or as a driver you do not need to have any special qualifications. Perhaps you’ve already heard one or two of these? Today I would like to take a closer look at the typical trucker clichés and give you an insight into life on the road.

Before we get started: Of course, not all clichés can be applied to every single trucker and there is just as much diversity among truck drivers as in any other group. There are individual differences, and you shouldn’t be too quick to pigeonhole everyone. It is often the negative aspects that are remembered and generalized.


Cliché 1: No family and no social life

It is perfectly possible to juggle a family and a career as a truck driver – it all depends on where you set your priorities. At our company, we can be at home with the family every two days if you do it right. Organization and flexibility play a decisive role here. However, there are also drivers who prefer to avoid family life and spend their lives “on the road”. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves – but it is not necessarily an “occupational disease”.


Cliché 2: Tiredness and lack of hygiene

I can’t completely refute another cliché that truck drivers are always overtired and place little value on hygiene. Of course, it’s not always easy to pull into a service area where showers are available. But I’ve sometimes seen people who only shower once a week – once they get home. I do find that critical in some cases because we also have to deal with customers. From my point of view, however, this is not the rule, but rather the exception.

Of course, fatigue can also occur, that’s human nature. However, digital solutions such as the lane departure warning system or the brake assistant help us to prevent accidents. Nevertheless, it is of course very important to build in enough time to sleep – and this is usually possible. But if you plan eleven hours of free time for other things and then only sleep for two hours, you are simply tired. So, everyone needs to be aware of their responsibilities.


Cliché 3: Reckless behavior on the street

Reckless behavior is not exclusive to truck drivers. In my opinion, car drivers also often behave quite recklessly on the roads – braking, overtaking without indicators, risky overtaking maneuvers.

Simply because we have a bigger car and accidents involving lorries get more attention – because the clean-up work is more complex and takes longer – we truck drivers are in the spotlight.

Then, of course, there are the typical elephant races that attract attention. For example, I’m driving behind another truck on the highway, I’m faster and start to overtake. Suddenly the driver in front of me starts to accelerate and it takes forever for me to pass him. The succession of small events can sometimes lead to huge chaos!


A typical scene on German highways. Photo: Pixabay.


Cliché 4: Truckers are machos

The image of the truck driver as a macho man actually fits in some situations. I have also experienced it myself. I remember one story: a driver was waiting next to me for his papers to be processed. In the meantime, he started flirting with the employee. The bad thing about it was that it had apparently been a few days since his last shower. Young drivers in particular copy this kind of behavior from their elders, which makes many of them feel like they’re still living in the old days – even though this is of course totally inappropriate. But let’s be honest: we don’t just know this problem from truck drivers, do we?


Other countries, other habits?

In the previous roadshow countries, I perceived my colleagues actually quite differently. There was no such behavior at all. I almost had the feeling that all the cliché truckers were driving on German roads. That was really strange, especially because they have the same rules there as we do in Germany. For example, if overtaking is prohibited somewhere, then they stick to it. But of course, I have to say, as I’ve already mentioned in one or two posts, that there was much less truck traffic overall in the destination countries. This means that I can hardly make an assessment, as the sample in Germany – where we feel we have the most trucks on the roads – is simply much larger.


A glance in the mirror…

So, I’ll just look at myself! And I have to say that the clichés don’t apply to me for the most part. Sure, I get tired from time to time when I’ve been gaming for too long. I don’t eat a completely healthy diet either – I love cake far too much for that, as you know. And if I take a look back at the cliché about showering: I don’t shower every day either – after all, not every rest stop offers the opportunity to do so.

However, anyone who knows me quickly realizes that I am not the supposedly typical truck driver. For example, I pay a lot of attention to my appearance, always work with gloves on before dealing with customers and maintain a healthy lifestyle when I’m not on the road. This also includes my existing social life!


I’m excited to see what awaits me on my next trip. Maybe I’ll discover one or two new clichés, debunk certain prejudices in other countries or simply be able to tell another exciting story.

Until then – and stay on the road,
your Ronny


How do you see it? What is there to the clichés? Feel free to let me know in the comments.


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Ronny Nittmann

Ronny Nittmann

On the road – Ronny pilots the show truck at the Continental Roadshow


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