10 Things I Wish Would Change About Trucking

November 9, 2007

The Boss Say's.....

Ten things I wish would change about trucking 1. Pay by the mile only. I think that a drivers pay should be a combination of hourly pay and mileage pay. By the hour to reflect and encourage respect for a drivers time spent away from home. By the mile to reward and encourage driver efficiency and productivity.

  1. Trucking company policies against the use of inverters. Drivers need household AC power in their trucks for comfort and economy. DC appliances are unreliable and inefficient at best. I would like to see Companies kill two birds with one stone. Idle time fuel waste and a truckers need for household power can be addressed with the use of APU's.

  2. Tendency of law enforcement to hold drivers accountable for things that need to be addressed by trucking companies, the dot, and shippers. For example the burden of compliance for anti-idling laws are placed on drivers when really trucking companies should be required to provide alternatives to idling to provide in cab comfort to drivers. Another example would be parking restrictions on interstate on ramps. I agree that parking on access ramps is undesirable, however I don't see much effort to provide additional parking to alleviate parking shortages.

  3. The long way home - I always find that I always have to take the long way home. I live in central Ohio, but I will deliver a load in Tennessee only to get a load going to Wisconsin from there to Cleveland and then finally somewhere near home. Why is it so complicated.

  4. Drivers need more time at home - The general expectation of most companies is that you have to spend 6 days out for every 1 day at home to make a decent living. That is just 16 hours out of 168 to take care of your personal business and spend time with loved ones. 16 hours because a driver will need at least 8 hours of sleep in the comfort of a real bed. Compare to 9 to 5er's Who I estimate will have 57 hours per week to dedicate to personal activities. In a modern society wouldn't you think that 4 days or 84 hours per week should be enough time dedicated to earning a living.

  5. Lack of respect and appreciation. A couple things that I do believe are required for an individual to consider his job a professional level occupation is the the society in general shows a sense of respect and appreciation for the job you do. However as far as I know the Department of Labor still classifies truck driving as unskilled labor. Would you even contemplate having a medical doctor spend 24 hours away from home for 8 - 11 hours pay. This on a good day. A sales rep will have all of his meals, accomodations, and other work related expenses paid when he is away from home overnight.

  6. Clueless office personal this doesn't describe everyone, but it surely is frustrating that when you really need some assistance you end up dealing with someone who has no insight for what you are dealing with.

  7. Excessively punitive traffic fines. I am all for highway safety, rules, law and order, and all that stuff, but I am a bit tired of law enforcement lining their pockets with money from truck drivers for trival offenses. Few examples Louisiana miss a scale $500.00, Kentucky headlight blown out have replacement on hand that's great $138.00, Ohio used left lane briefly on turnpike to avoid traffic hazard $250.00

  8. Complicated regulations that vary from state to state. If we can't get rid of the complexity can we at least get a uniform set of regulations across the continental 48. I am not a lawyer, and I don't have a paralegal to research ever archaic law for the various states I travel in.

  9. Customers that treat drivers like crap. I hate going to a shipper who thinks it is okay to ask me to do extreme things for their benefit. I mean the things I do are done for free because I only get paid by the mile. For example it is becoming a more common request that a driver leave the comfort of his cab while waiting to be loaded or unloaded in exchange for sitting in crowded room in a plastic lawn chair, another customer I visited has a staging area nearly a half - mile from the shipping office. They expect you to park your truck in the staging area and walk to the shipping office to get a door assignment, and then walk back. I am not exaggerating about the distance, I counted 83 trailers parked along the walk.

I think everything I mentioned would be remedied if Truck Drivers could get the respect and appreciation that we deserve for the skillful job that we do, and the sacrifices that we make to provide transportation of goods that our economy is so dependent upon.

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