Halloween, Hollywood and trucking

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My son and I recently were talking about Halloween and what he was going to wear for his party Wednesday night. We went through a lot of ideas before he finally settled on Bane – the bad guy from the most recent “Batman” movie. He’s got the whole outfit ready to roll – the metal breathing mask, the fake bald head, the winter coat and military garb. I have to admit he did a great job pulling it all together.

Before my son settled on the Dark Knight’s nemesis, however, he floated the idea of going as a trucker – he said it as a joke since he knows I work for a couple of trucking magazines. Since he brought it up, I asked him what he would wear if he dressed like a trucker. Well, you know what came up – the usual token garb and accessories that the normal everyday public would imagine if they were asked to describe a trucker.

Something’s wrong with that, don’t you think? My son isn’t even in middle school yet, but he’s seen enough movies and TV shows to quickly come up with the famously negative stereotypical image of how Hollywood would envision a trucker. No wonder most of America has the same mental picture: We’ve seen it over and over again our entire lives.

That’s part of the negative image of the industry, and one that has to be tackled if its players are ever going to change America’s minds about drivers and big rigs. Somehow, someway, this image issue has to be addressed – or they’ll always be a driver shortage, and a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when it comes to trucking.