Baby Boomers – Includes those born between 1945 and 1964, after the Second World War. The name baby boomer came about as they were born in the baby boom period, when the birth rate greatly improved in several Anglo Saxon countries, including the United States.
The Baby Boomer generation of truckers was generally dressed in blue jeans, plaid shirts, and boots. Boomers worked very hard driving outdated trucks, which lacked modern features like GPS. They would drive nonstop from one state to another in heavy snowfall, rain, or scorching summer heat without air conditioning or comfortable seats.
A number of them also worked as mechanics since Road Service did not exist in those days. There was no such thing as the internet or smartphones back then, so the Boomer truckers relied on their newspaper or the radio to find out the news.
There is no doubt that it was a very difficult time for truck drivers. Much respect for them; most of the truckers from the Boomer generation are now retired.
Generation X This generation saw up close a technological transformation from driving trucks with cassette players to driving trucks with CD players. Generation X consists of people who were born between 1965 and 1981. They did not have an easy life since, after a period of many economic difficulties, maintaining a job was a great challenge.
The philosophy of Gen Xers was focused on working and producing results. Ambitious, individualistic, and self-sufficient, they were considered workaholics. This generation was lucky to witness the technological contributions of different truck manufacturers in America. They went from driving trucks without air conditioning to driving air-conditioned trucks, equipped with airbag adjustable seats, power steering, and airbag cushioning for those long drives. Not to mention, the satellite radio in their trucks allowed them to enjoy good music on the road.
Unlike the prior generation, Gen X drivers were fortunate to have road mobile mechanic service and not fix their trucks themselves. In addition, they would write down the cargo data and then receive the cargo information via text message or radio (NEXTEL), which was a type of service that was used a lot in those days. Every year, truck manufacturers launched trucks that were more comfortable for the drivers and had better features.
Gen X drivers were mostly dressed in comfortable jeans and tennis shoes. They followed the legacy of reading left behind by the Boomers and read the newspaper or transport magazines, while phones were primarily used for dispatch purposes or to stay connected with the family.
This generation saw the transformation of the transportation industry, along with various laws that were updated to improve cargo transportation in the United States.
Millennials This generation of people was born between 1982 and 1994, and they have revolutionized the transport sector. They are also known as digital natives, as technology plays a crucial role in their daily lives.
Almost all of their day-to-day activities end up going through a screen as electronic devices are fully integrated into their lives. Although they were not born in the digital age, they are from the analog era.
Millennial truck drivers are not risk-averse, dont care much about safety, they text while driving or are distracted, and are overly reliant on GPS. Sometimes, they forget they are driving a truck and think they are on a four-wheeler. They are very much focused on their digital devices, and they dont like to read that much. Drivers from this generation use a variety of apps and social media platforms to stay connected with their loved ones and watch videos on YouTube.
When it comes to driving uniforms, Millennial truckers value comfort and are often seen in tennis shoes or crocs, a sports sweater or shorts with a t-shirt. In other words, they dress casually. They can be calm and take in everything slowly but they can also surprise you with their impatience on the road. As a challenge, they face the novelty of driving electric trucks with state-of-the-art technology.
Generation Z or Post-Millennials – This generation is slowly starting to enter the transportation industry. Their lifestyle is very different from that of previous generations. Born between 1995 and 2010, they arrived in heavy vehicles with a smartphone or tablet under their arms.
The internet is a crucial part of the life of this generation. In fact, the internet is part of their DNA. They use it in their homes, schools and colleges, and even for socializing.
The situation of post-millennials to find and keep a job is worse than the situation of Generation Y. Since Generation Z lack social skills, they prefer to do digital meetings. As truckers, it is not yet known how they will carry out their work in the transportation industry, which is taking a new direction.
Truckers from these four generations are, undoubtedly, making valuable contributions to the transportation industry.