Truckers News Staff | March 01, 2011

Quit Wasting My Time

I’m a new driver in the trucking industry, so I’m not going to pretend to be an expert. But I already see a lot of things that work against drivers that are BS.

There have been several times even after having 10 hours off that I couldn’t move because of the 70-hour rule. I think this rule needs to be done away with. If a driver has 10 hours off, there should be no reason he shouldn’t be able to drive.

Another thing working against drivers is shippers and receivers taking their sweet time loading and unloading, getting your paperwork, making drivers wait hours or even a day or longer. They should have to compensate drivers for their time. Even truck companies waste drivers’ time, with not keeping them loaded, short runs, going out of route to swap trailers with other drivers and going to a fuel stop only to have it canceled on them.

Then you have states like Oregon or California that make drivers chain up when there is very little or no snow on the roads. Then there is the pay, which is a joke. Trucking right now is a minimum-wage job. The hours I put in and what I get paid comes to making maybe just over minimum wage.

If companies want people to become drivers and stay drivers, and shippers and receivers want their goods trucked, they need to pay us better and not waste our time needlessly. I like the job, but if things don’t change, I don’t know if I’ll stay with it.

Jim Daugherty

Nampa, Idaho

Run Right and Get Labeled ‘Job Hopper’

I need help. I am a truck driver with more than 20 years’ experience. I have perfect safety and legal compliance records. My problem is that I am “unemployable” because I’ve had too many jobs in the past 10 years. I don’t lie, cheat or steal, and I don’t associate with people that do. However, when a company lies to me, cheats me or steals from me I quit.

I quit a very large flooring company because they would not maintain/repair their equipment properly. Every day they would bring me a trailer with bald tires, lights out, wheel seals leaking, brakes out of adjustment, etc. When one of the drivers was nearly killed as a result of their refusal to comply, I quit. A very large and respected company fired me when I told them I could not pull an empty trailer from Milwaukee, Wis., to Green Bay in 60-mph winds on 10 inches of ice and snow. I was told by a large and respected company that if I did not falsify my logs — if I ran 100 percent legal and logged it exactly as I ran it — that I would “have a rough row to hoe” at that company. I quit.

The other drivers at one company vandalized my truck because I refused to take illegal loads. They told me if I didn’t take the loads, then they had to. Two drivers died in crashes because they were getting no sleep. I quit.

As a result I am considered a “job hopper.” I’ve had too many jobs. What can I do? I have a perfect record otherwise. I take my driving very seriously. I am safe above all else. I am legal and have undergone numerous DOT inspections with no violations. I always run legal, and I log it exactly as I run it.

I need to get a copy of my DAC to see what is on it, and who is on it. There may be companies I have worked for that are not listed. I don’t know how to get a copy of it.

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