Humor in trucking

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Updated Oct 6, 2012

I took my son to one of his favorite stores the other day, and he saw a “Transformers” t-shirt that he just had to have. I can tell when he REALLY wants something as opposed to just looking an item he SORT OF likes and saying something like “That’s cool.” But when it’s something he REALLY wants, I get the repeated “Can I have it?” chant in a wide variety of vocal volumes and intonations.

Anyway, I bought the shirt. It’s a picture of the main “Transformers” robot, Optimus Prime, and the theme is a play on the current election season. The word “Change” is highlighted in large type, followed in smaller type with “into a truck.” If you’re not familiar with the movies, Optimus “transforms” into a Class 8 tractor whenever he wants to get somewhere in a hurry.

Trust me, the shirt is funnier than my description of it, but anyway, it got me thinking about the trucking industry’s image-boosting efforts like the Truckload Carrier’s Association’s recent National Truck Driver Appreciation and Wellness Week campaign that concluded recently. It’s a great week where fleets, truckstops and organizations of all types hold events and health fairs to recognize truckers for the often unappreciated hard work they do all year long.

This is all really well and good, but sometimes I think these campaigns have a way of coming off as somewhat straightforward and uncreative. Why so serious? How about injecting a little levity into the mix? Turn on a TV today and you’ll see some pretty creative advertising. Maybe TCA and the American Trucking Associations should consider having more fun with the promotional aspects of recruiting and retention. Perhaps they should consider hiring ad firms that can come up with some clever, memorable marketing efforts to promote the industry and maybe convince more folks that a career in trucking isn’t the negative stereotype they remember from some cheesy 1970s movie.

Change … into a trucker.