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Driver ‘appreciation,’ respect needed at the loading dock

| September 12, 2013

dockDoes National Truck Driver Appreciation Week put driver appreciation or driver necessity at the core of its annual week-long campaign? 

The two are not the same thing, writes Kevin Jones on Overdrive sister site CCJ. If carriers really want to show drivers their appreciation, Jones writes, they need to work with their own customers to mitigate the disrespect drivers are shown by shippers and receivers, especially when it comes to detention time.

Protecting trucking from misguided regulation and trying to win the support of the public are important, Jones says, but those aren’t the only facets of showing drivers they’re appreciated. 

To that point, he writes, driver turnover at truckload carriers has been hovering around 100 percent for the last few years, begging the question — Do drivers really feel appreciated? 

Click here to see his full write-up on the subject.


  • John Scott

    Here is my story. This week I showed up to pick up a load. Only to be told the product was not ready. So then they wanted me to come back much later or even the next day to pick it up. Did they make any adjustment to the delivery appointment? Nope. I told them where to go. Why should I have to change everything for their mistake? Run harder, get less MPG and push my logs to make it work? When obviously they can’t? Since when do companies sell product, setup pick up dates and delivery dates with no product? Used to be, get the truck loaded then setup a delivery time.
    I know everything is JIT even though not every load is called that. We could get more respect if we demanded it. You want that load hauled. You better treat me right.

  • mousekiller

    Far too many instances of disrespect for me to list here. I just do my thing and it depends on the shipper or receiver. One customer would not let me leave. Called the cops and told them I was being kidnapped. Legally I was . Guard had gun. Would not open gate.

    Things got changed after that. Made the news too. So If every body stood their ground this BS would be in the past.

    More important is for drivers to present themselves in a professional manner. It is hard for the customer to see professionalism when the driver looks and talks like a dumpster diver.

  • ronaldquint

    If drivers would simply dress better they would be treated with more respect plain and simple.

  • g

    Most of the dock people are mexicans today with an attitude against America and Americans….dont expect any sympathy from these savages…they come from dirt and many are here illegally….notice the prison tatoos….that gives you a clue as to the treatment you are likely to get…..

  • rc1234

    If only drivers would clean up their act and be professional, they would find it much easier. I have seen them show up looking and smelling like a slob and running their mouth off, so naturally this turns people off. Until the trucking regs change for the better, no one in their right mind would want to be a truck driver anyway. The gene pool for drivers is getting pretty shallow,and it is our own fault for not getting involved with our elected officials and putting a stop to all these unnecessary regulations .

  • David S. McQueen

    There are good and bad shippers, just as there are good and bad truckers. I always tried to be neat, clean shaven, professional. That never stopped the prejudiced dock workers from harassing me. I even had one dock supervisor (a black guy) laughingly say that “white boy is getting what he deserves”. Other places, they treat drivers as employees, even letting the driver eat in the company cafeteria.

  • Mike Baumann

    Too many instances to list about being disrespected. I’ve been doing it on and off for so many years and nothing changes. It doesn’t matter if you’re dressed up and neat, or walk in looking like a slob, at most shippers/receivers you will be treated like trash. I’ve always walked in with a smile and try to get a laugh or two when I walk in. I stay cordial during the whole process and most times it works and I am treated nicely, remember, we’re all human and we all have our good days and bad. When I get delayed for whatever reason, I’ve learned to just shrug it off and go crawl back into the truck and chalk it up as “another typical day”. It’s not worth getting upset anymore over it because it’s not going to change anything, or get them to take care of you any better or faster, if anything, you’ll get the opposite effect. It’s an imperfect world and by far the most imperfect industry. When they start charging/paying hourly wages to the driver for each time at the dock on either end, things will move quicker, but the attitudes will remain the same. What the industry needs is “an enema”, and start over from scratch, but I’m wise enough to know I’ll never see it in my lifetime.

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    Respect has little to do with the appearance of the drivers, and more to do with what shippers and receivers can get away with.

    They know that there are little or no repercussions from treating drivers like dirt, no one will call them out on it, the large carriers won’t ever back their own drivers in fear of pissing off ‘a good customer’.

    As long as shippers and receivers are not penalized for their increasingly bad behavior toward drivers, it will keep happening…and by penalized, I mean forced to pay indemnities.

    The increasing amount of foreign-born or illegal immigrant labor working loading docks is a whole other problem. Getting treated like dirt in my own country by foreigners is something every American citizen needs to undergo at their job, at least once.

  • Nova Scotian

    Have long agreed with this. I don’t take loads for our drivers when it seems like their time wont be respected at the dock, or we leave – unless our customer wants to pay for it.

  • Kent Marshall

    One thing most people fail to recognize is that the driver is paid by their employer, NOT the customer.
    When a carrier says they can’t bill for detention time, well that’s just too bad. The carrier still has an obligation to compensate the driver, irregarless of whether the carrier is compensated or not. As long as the trucking industry allows the driver to bear the brunt of detention time with no compensation, there will continue to be high rates of turnover.
    Carriers wring their hands over retention, when they should instead focus on detention. When paying detention time starts to come out of their own pocket, then they will start to do something about it. Until then, as long as the driver is forced to spend time on the road for free, they will continue to seek out employment that compensates them adequately.
    Honestly, ask a dispatcher to come to work, answer the phone for a while, perform the duties and responsibilities of a dispatcher, then, just before lunch, tell them to move off to a corner of the room and sit – off the clock. Maybe let them go back to work after 2 hours of wait time, but remind them that they will not be paid for the time they sat in the corner. And oh, so sorry you missed your lunch, but we have work to do and maybe you can go to lunch tomorrow. By the way, you are running late and need to hurry up to get things back on schedule.
    Yeah, like that would ever happen …..

  • Every Trucker In America

    Shut up stupid!

  • Every Trucker In America

    It also helps sometimes to show them you won’t put up with their shit. If they start giving it to you for no reason then shove it right back in their face. Some of these people out here have to learn the Golden Rule one way or another!

  • Jon McLaughlin

    I just picked up at a place that I asked where the mens room was and told to use the (filthy) port-a-pot out in the parking lot. The shipping clerk also threw the BOL at me when the load was complete. This was at a plant that makes potato chips.

  • texasmorrell

    I never worry about detention because I always bill for it and I never ask permission. And I always get paid, every time. If its not paid I file suit against the broker, shipper, and the bond. That is what the system is there for folks. If you do not use it, it will not work for you. You would be shocked how quickly a broker will pay when they see their customer’s name on a civil suit filing. I also never haul for that broker again because I do not work with deadbeats. Luckily, brokers breed like roaches and there is an endless supply of them.

  • Guest

    Calif passed the License for Illegals to drive all over America hauling OUR freight and taking OUR jobs…instead of being ARRESTED and deported JOSE will be taking every thing the trucking industry has to offer……if you dont speak Spanish you will be an OUTSIDER in your OWN country.

  • 2wildT

    Until either the large trucking companies come together on this issue, or a significant number of O/O and lease operators make their voices heard, this isn’t going to change, period. But we as drivers know neither of these things are going to happen. Do your best to find a company you can tollerate, drive safe, and always watch anything moving around your rig. reguardless of how many wheels it’s got.

  • g

    If you are an American Citizen and you walk into one of these warehouses that are DOMINATED by mexican nationals….you can bet their “brothers” will be getting served FIRST and YOU will be treated like an irritation that got stuck on the bottom of the Warehouse mexican’s shoe.

  • g

    Welcome to the No Comprende Warehouse…..

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