What does a trucker look like? That depends on who you ask, and the truckers they have seen. I see them every day, as I am one. Believe me; there doesn’t seem to be a standard appearance.
Does it matter how we look out on the road, in the travel centers – the fancy name for truck stops – or at the shipper or consignee? Once again, there are varied answers.
Some drivers look as though they revel in being independent of a dress code. To that extent, ripped and dirty T-shirts; sweatpants with holes; and funky tennis shoes, flip flops, or cowboy boots seem to be their fashion statement. Women with this mindset are adorned in low-cut tops, high cut shorts, and a whole lot of jewelry. Both sexes seem to sport a lot of tattoos. Many who sport this sartorial elegance have not showered in way too many days.
I’m all for independence and freedom, but in reality, we are judged by how we look. Whining that it is not fair to judge us like that will not stop the assumptions. You have to decide what is more important.
Dressing like the above will most likely not earn you a whole lot of respect from the public or shippers and receivers. Instead, they will assume, rightly or not, that if you are sloppy in your appearance, you may be sloppy in other areas. Like transporting their freight.
Clean, well-fitting clothes of a professional type – not your Grateful Dead T-shirt – automatically convey that you care about your appearance and are probably equally conscientious about your job.
Is it true? Is a well-dressed person better at his job? I am sure there are exceptions, but the general consensus seems to be that he is.
But, you may say, I’m not working in an office! I want to be comfortable!
Comfort is possible in clean clothes. And nothing gives you a better attitude than a shower.
I don’t mean to be preachy here. It’s just that I have been around the block often enough to know how people think.
Many trucking companies require their drivers to wear the company uniform. They know that professional appearance makes a difference. One study I read said that people who dress well tend to almost live up to their clothes, acting better when they are dressed up.
Be an independent in other ways. Looking professional as a driver is not, as we used to say, a cop-out. Your wallet will thank you. So will your significant other.
Be safe (and clean!) out there!