WASHINGTON DC – 22 Sep, 2017 – Let’s look at what the uninitiated don’t understand and should before trying to regulate the trucking industry. Now I personally hope Missouri and Virginia politicians are under the mistaken impression all these trucks are mini rv’s. Since that would explain why they feel it is a good thing to segregate truckers from the general public with our own rest areas. Which would be fine except they are missing one thing. Modern rest rooms. They only have out houses. I mean seriously people if their is any group of people on the road daily that needs running water it’s truckers. My hats off to West Virginia though they actually have a rest area with showers for truckers.
Now a truck drivers 24 hour day has nothing to due with the 24 hours on the clock. From the time a driver decides to start work it can be 0200 or 2000 it doesn’t matter. We have 14 hours we can legally work. Within that 14 hours we can legally drive 11 hours but no matter where we are or what we are doing at the 8 hour mark we are required to take a 30 minute break. Yes that includes while in traffic. But most of us plan better than that. Now after the 11 hours of driving or the 14 hour duty shift has been reach then we are required to take a 10 hour break before we can work again. There is a split sleeper birth rule but it is complicated and makes little sense to begin with. I feel I can safely say the majority of us are over the road drivers and operate under the 8 day 70 hour rule. Which means we are not allowed to drive more than 70 hours in an 8 day period. Get that where ever we are is where we sit if we run out of time.
Now it is obvious most people in power either don’t care about their driver’s or simply fall into the oldest delusion suffered by most humans. Which is everyone has a life similar to mine. I say that for a very simple reason. The trucks being bought show absolutely no understanding of the fact we as drivers spend 75 to 85 percent of our lives in these trucks. We are supplied with a bed and a few cabinets for storage. Their great new insensitive to sign on. Are you ready for this? Is to offer to put a tv and satellite dish on the truck. But you pay for the subscription. Their are several custom sleeper manufacturer’s that will turn your work truck from a work truck to a work truck with rv amenities. These trucks are not bought or supplied to drivers. Some have done well enough to buy them for themselves.
These truck make a great deal of sense in today’s society. For the simple fact there are just as many truck stops that close at 2300 or midnight and open back up at 0500 or 0600 as stay open all night. At a lot of truck stops the back truck lot smells like an open air latrine. Drivers do not feel safe walking the parking lot at night. Very few truck stops have security on site. I saw a driver at a Chicago toll way oasis stand on the steps and piss of the right side of his truck just 2 nights ago. I know a percentage of the population thinks we are driving rv’s trust me we aren’t. I know that because I have been asked to let people use my rest room during bad traffic jams. Another fact of life for trucks is the fact that there are customers who don’t provide bathroom facilities to drivers and take hours to load or unload their freight.
Now I ask you what do they think we are going to do without a rest room? There is no obvious signs of appreciation from anyone. Even though it is a fact our hard life makes everyone else’s easy life possible. Now it is a well known fact no one feels their life is particularly easy. Ride on a truck for a week you will quickly realize how easy you have it and why. Now I admit I am mildly surprised and some what amused at times when people talk about the freight rate and how it never goes up. When I hear that I just have to wonder. Do they have no idea how trucking companies work? It has been obvious to me for years trucking companies are cutting their own throats.
Here is how I see that happening. In order to get better prices or pay you need the ability to negotiate. So I have to guess most people think trucking companies can do that. Think again! Now I don’t know about Schneider, J B Hunt or Swift. But the trucking companies with 500 or less trucks I have worked for have 5 load planners at most or as few as 1. Now each load planner is finding loads in their region of the country they are not working together. Now let’s put this in perspective. For efficiency the company we are currently looking at has 500 drivers. Now that means on a typical day those 5 load planners have to find 100 loads. They work a 10 hour shift. Which means they have to find 10 loads an hour. Leaving 6 minutes per load to find it and negotiate the best price. Sounds like they are taking what they can get to me. As I have said for years trucking companies are not and have not been competitive for years.
When I have tried to share my ideas with my supervisors I get told what we are doing works for us really. The last man to tell me that a few weeks earlier had told me. We used to have all company drivers but providing insurance and the unemployment insurance was killing my company so I forced all my drivers to do lease purchase or go some place else. We are profitable again. Guess what his lease drivers aren’t. He shifted the debt to his drivers. They have 1 maybe 2 dispatchers/load planners. I made enough to cover the truck payment and fuel that is all. So if you consider screwing over your drivers good business than he is a great business man. Now let’s look at dispatchers they work a 10 hour shift and have between 25 and 50 drivers and must have to wait for the load planner to give them loads for they drivers. Now if they have 25 drivers on their board they have 24 minutes a day to devote to each driver. If they have 50 drivers on their board they have 12 minutes a day for that driver. Considering the amount of data that has to be taken into account for each load and driver. How is any team leader supposed to do a good efficient job with so little time?
There is continuous talk about regulating drivers. Take your blinders off; you fixed the driver problem. Now fix the culture if you really want the roads safer and to get young people in to the industry.
Company Name: Dreksa Transportation LLC
Contact Person: Andrew Bork
Country: United States