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How truckers are making a second income using social media

January 16, 2024

In an era dominated by social media, where influencers from all walks of life and holding a variety of interests share their lives and expertise, a unique trend has emerged – truckers as influencers. Truck drivers are not only navigating the roads delivering the goods that keep America operating, they are also maneuvering their way through the digital landscape, sharing their trucking adventures with a global audience and generating exposure for the essential, hard-working people driving day-to-day commerce.

As many truck drivers are self-employed contractors, many are exploring alternative, additional income channels. Workers seeking side-hustles and flexible work opportunities outside of their primary responsibilities is a rising trend across all industries in the U.S. USA Today’s Daniel De Visé recently reported in October of 2023 that about 8.4 million Americans hold multiple jobs. Those working multiple jobs represent 5.2% of the workforce, which is the largest share of moonlighters the U.S. has experienced since January of 2020. The push to diversify income streams and adopt multiple funding sources coincides with recent destabilizing events including the COVID pandemic and widespread global inflation. These trends can create economic uncertainty which may account for this increasing desire among workers to build additional work opportunities. 

Creative alternative income solutions are on the rise in the U.S. Some of the most popular side-hustles include ride-sharing and delivery services, and services like trucking that can be done on a per-delivery basis for a temporary amount of time. Freelance creative work is also popular as graphic design and content writing are highly sought after services. Truckers are increasingly joining the movement as the world expresses interest in the unique lives they lead. There is a growing opportunity for content creation in the trucking industry, and with a rising interest in short-form videos, truckers potentially could generate awareness for their work, while also generating additional income.

Life beyond the windshield as a long-haul trucker

Truckers, known for their solitary journeys and on-the-go lifestyles, have found community online. Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok have become the virtual pit stops where these influencers share the highs and lows of life on the road – and who knew it could be so entertaining! These trucking influencers go beyond just showcasing the highways; they offer a behind-the-scenes look at their daily lives. From the intricacies of truck maintenance to the camaraderie with fellow truckers at rest stops, they humanize an industry that often remains hidden to the general public. Viewers get a taste of the rigor of the job and the undeniable beauty that comes with it. From stunning landscapes to unexpected challenges, their content provides a glimpse into a world that most will never experience firsthand.

Vlogging – video blogging – has been the primary form of content creation for occupational videos, like trucking vlogs. Vloggers simply pick up a camera and start recording their days, allowing audiences to experience the unfiltered lives of truckers and shed light on the beauty, freedom, and independence that comes with driving a truck as well as any unseen pitfalls they may face daily. 

Truck drivers face more safety challenges than the average worker in America because of the danger that comes with being behind the wheel for so many hours every day. USA Today’s Jayme Fraser listed truck driving as number eight in the 25 most dangerous jobs, behind agricultural workers, loggers, and roofers which makes sense considering their office is the highway. By raising awareness of the lives of truckers and humanizing those behind the wheel, these social media influencers might be encouraging others on the road to think twice before driving recklessly.

It takes work, but commitment can steer truckers to success

Being an influencer on the road comes with challenges. Limited connectivity, long hours, and the need to focus on driving, can make consistent content creation difficult. Yet these influencers manage to deliver engaging content – a testament to their dedication to both their craft and their audience. 

Adobe’s Erika Lenkert emphasizes the key features that make “day in the life” content creators so popular and gives the following: important tips to establishing a social media brand:

  • high quality production, 
  • a unique brand image, 
  • audience engagement, 
  • and consistent delivery. 

With some planning and dedication, truckers can create engaging, unique content, build a dedicated audience for themselves, and effectively monetize their life on the road.

Building a community from creating social media content about driving a truck

What sets trucking influencers apart is their ability to build a genuine community. Viewers, many of whom are aspiring truckers or simply fascinated by the lifestyle, find a sense of connection through these online video chats. Q&A sessions, live chats, and meetups at trucking events expand what starts as just a story shared online about being a truck driver into a thriving community that extends beyond the screen. The social network that is created allows truckers to meet each other, share experiences, stories, tips, and tricks, creating a supportive environment that truly reflects the camaraderie of truckers and can potentially create positive change in the industry.

How awareness can help elevate the trucking industry

The rise of trucking influencers is not just a social media trend – it’s also impacting the trucking industry itself. Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of partnering with influencers to promote their brands and build brand awareness. Amazon Relay – Amazon’s latest venture into the trucking industry – recruited popular trucker influencers and provided them with sponsorships. Truckers like Clarissa Rankin and Alex Nino, two popular social media truckers, are sponsored by Amazon Relay, and drive exposure to Amazon’s target audience: truck drivers and trucking companies. This partnership benefits both Amazon and the sponsored influencers. From truck manufacturers to logistics companies to over-the-road trucking companies, there are considerable collaboration possibilities. This contributes to the influencers’ financial sustainability and provides the sponsor companies with much-wanted exposure.

Truck drivers turned influencers are steering the trucking industry into uncharted territory, creating a digital roadmap of their adventures for the world to follow. Through storytelling, community building, and collaboration, they are reshaping preconceptions and showcasing the human side of a profession that often remains hidden behind the wheels of big rigs. As these influencers continue to navigate both the road and the internet, their impact on the trucking industry and beyond is sure to keep gaining momentum. 

WEX is a leading, global fintech solutions provider, simplifying payments and back-end business processes in the fleet management, benefits management, and corporate payments areas. To learn more, please visit the company’s About WEX page.

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