Does it really take a special breed to be a truck driving man? We find out

eb4b32b1-62ce-42f6-804f-b59219c5e5da-620x372There’s a line in a Merle Haggard song that goes, “It takes a special breed to be a truck drivin’ man.” I wanted to know what exactly that meant, so I ended up driving 2,668 miles with one to find out.

There is a shortage of truck drivers in this country: according to the American Trucking Association, the US is in need of more than 35,000 drivers. There are many foreign workers coming over to fill those slots; some 16% of those behind the wheel are foreign-born. But the industry is having trouble attracting young workers, especially women: only 6% of truckers are female. It’s difficult to lead an active and healthy lifestyle when you live your life on the road.

But what about the romance? The Grateful Dead, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Red Sovine: they’ve all sung about the life of truckers and the lure of the open road. In song, truckers are, in many ways, modern-day cowboys, their families left behind, facing difficult, dangerous roads. Leather saddles have just been traded in for leather seats.

Read more here.

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