Decades-old letter to the editor about truck drivers is still true

Nearly 50 years after it was published in a local newspaper, a letter to the editor about why truck drivers deserve to earn more money still rings true.

The letter was shared on social media by a truck driver whose grandmother sent it to a local newspaper in the 1950’s. The grandmother’s husband was a truck driver and she wrote to educate the public on why truckers deserve to be paid more.

The letter reads:

Des Plaines, May 18 – In reply to the writer who compared a truck driver’s wages with those of white collar workers, factory has, plumbers, and carpenters, let us put a few things in perspective.

First of all, the truck driver isn’t allowed to make mistakes. If he makes a wrong calculation it can cost the lives of many persons on the street. He also is driving a vehicle carrying thousands of dollars of merchandise. He alone is responsible for its safe delivery, often over slippery or treacherous roads.

Have any plumbers or white collar workers tried to back a trailer into a postage-stamp-sized ramp? This isn’t learned overnight. Nor do many office workers have the “guts” to wrestle with the crazy drivers on the road, not to mention the 50-mile-per-hour winds that could topple a trailer and jackknife easily.

These men take their lives into their hands every day, as statistics show. Danger is in the street, not in an office or in driving a nail. I take off my hat to the truck drivers. They work hard for their money and deserve the raise.”

Many things about the trucking industry have changed over the years, but the hazards that drivers face and the endless hours of hard work that they put in have stayed the same.