America’s 1.7 million men and women working as long-haul truck drivers say the job has changed from being a ticket to a middle-class existence to a grinding, low-wage job, according to a profile in The New York Times.
Truck driving, the most common job in most states, earn about $43,600 a year on average, less than in 1980 when adjusted for inflation.
“We’re throwaway people,” Greg Simmons, a trucker interviewed by the NYT. “Nobody cares about us. Everybody’s perception of a truck driver is we clog up traffic, we get in the way, we pollute the environment.”
The job dissatisfaction shows in the turnover rate for large truckload fleets, which was 81 percent last year. And that was the lowest reading in five years, according to American Trucking Associations.
Because truckers get paid by the mile and they’re restricted by federal rules on how long they drive, some feel squeezed