LETTER: Do unto drivers as you would have done unto you

| May 17, 2013

Many drivers call me for prayer because of the way they are treated. Too many shippers and receivers do not provide restrooms. We are treated like cattle — no overnight parking, long waits for loads either to pick up or deliver.  Many times I myself have waited some 30 hours or more for a load.

The Bible says to treat others as you want to be treated — we sure are not. You can be nice, polite and courteous and still be treated like an animal. I had a recent delivery to Dallas, Texas. First, we were given the wrong address and the wrong phone numbers, and when I finally got to the wrong place they gave me directions to where I was to deliver, and it was still wrong. After a 9-mile round trip to get back to the first incorrect place, I still was no closer to finding the receiver. Finally, one of the company’s own security officers spotted the errors and as a result he was polite enough to escort me to the correct location – there was no street address posted there at all.

To top it all off, it was already 10:15 a.m., and I had a second drop due at noon, standing in front of a desk waiting for them to assist me and take the paperwork for the load. Fifteen minutes went by before they acknowledged I was even there. Then, as I sat there watching and listening in wait to unload, I was amazed by the attitudes of the workers, treated like cattle as far as I was concerned. Time kept on going by; they were all talking about some scanning problem from a different department, which had nothing to do with them or their job. It would not have been so bad but that it took them all, everyone stopping everything they were doing to chat about this instead of talking while they were working.

I finally was getting a little concerned for the time, and I went up and excused myself and asked them how much longer it would be, for I had a second drop at noon and still had 30 miles to drive. I was snapped at and told “sit down, we’ll get to you soon.” Finally, after more than an hour, they took my paperwork and gave me a dock number to go to. They told me that after

Letter writer Bob Sauter's third truck leased with Prime Inc. is this purple 2013 Freightliner Cascadia, lettered with the message of the pastor's Sunday call-in CDL Drivers Church of Delivery. Read more about it here.

Letter writer Bob Sauter’s third truck leased with Prime Inc. is this purple 2013 Freightliner Cascadia, lettered in part with the message of the pastor’s Sunday call-in CDL Drivers Church of Delivery. Read more about it here.

docking to come in, I should open the door and set the ramp. As a person who has been in management, I well knew the liability for a nonemployee would not cover that if an injury were to take place.

This was just a mild situation. I could go on about more, and some were total nightmares, to say the least.

Bottom line is we need help to make changes so drivers are not treated like animals and we can deliver or pick up from safe, friendly staffs and locations. It’s hard enough out here to make a living, and when we don’t drive there is no revenue. Shipper and receiver staff get to sit and procrastinate and they still get a paycheck. Drivers do not. –Bob Sauter, Driver and Pastor, CDL Drivers Church of Delivery

  • No Reform

    So True!! This scenario is SOOOO familiar with every truck driver in America! Treated like absolute DIRT. Not ONLY by the “customers”..but by our own Dispatchers and company Management..they wont Hesitate to beringthe “BOY” onto the carpet and chew him out. Drivers are treated so Rudely by nearly everyone they come in contact with.

  • No Reform

    MANY of the “customers” today have become more
    driver friendly and at least AWARE of the driver’s needs for restroom and quick service…but STILL alot of the shippers and receivers will treat the driver like dirt, try to get the driver fired, make his time on the property a living HELL…certainly other drivers have NIGHTMARE Stories of beligerent RUDE “customers”..but then again their are some real good ones too..in all fairness……

  • xl500james

    I had my fill of grocery whse’s and all the other second rate places i got to go and having other companys trucks get priority unloading one place had dock workers posing as lumpers on the dock to extort mor emoney when i refused to pay they said i coudl unload but might get charged to use an electric pallwet jack i sayed GTH finaly got a pallet jack after 3 hours they asked me if i knew how to opperate it i said yes and ran it strait into some skids of their product …. took about 10 seconds to have them take it away and them to start unloading as i laughed walking back to my truck was outof there in 15 mins

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  • cjmarley

    Been in the situation where receiver is clueless on where you are supposed to be. First ever solo load out…in GA. Go to address given. “Wrong building…you have to go to this address.” Drove 20 minutes away to address I’m told to go to. AND OMG…they sent me to an empty warehouse. yes it was theirs…but no longer in use. Took them another hour back and forth on the phone for them to tell me where to take it…2 blocks down the road from the first stop. Got there…no…I’m supposed to be at where I stopped initially. I had been told by dispatch this was a drop and hook. Nope…it had to be live unloaded. By then…it was too long past my appointment time so they would not unload until next day so I had to go to the nearest company yard to sit for the night. ::sigh:: Some receiver are just clueless.

  • John Barsness

    Well Said Bob. jb

  • gary d

    what I hate is you have an appointment time you get there about 1/2 hour early just to find out its first come first serve and there is 40 trucks ahead of you. can you say out of hours before you bump the dock. so after you load it they make you swap the load with another driver to make the delivery appointment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lenaprasolov Lena P

    My husband has been treated disrespectfully many times, I believe there should be a complaint cards available, so businesses would hire people that actually do their job and follow code of ethics.

  • disqus_DzigYehm9O

    what I cannot figure out is hwy drivers put up with this crap,

    i have driven close to thirty years and while this has always been a tough crooked business the pas 4 or 5 years have went over the top and just last month I parked my truck and while everyone said i would miss it because it was in my blood,guess what I got out of the truck shut the door and haven’t even looked at it since,my blood pressure is down I am now enjoying life and hell will freeze over before I open that door again.
    I wish all drivers well that think they are making a good living but as far as I am concerned today if you think trucking is a good life you have drank too much of the companies cool aid

  • Jimmy

    All I can say is stop cryin. Tell them I’m here! Take it off or it goes back. If you own the truck and trailer it’s COD. Take it off after you get paid or take it back. Pretty simple.
    48 yrs of heavy haul. Gets the receivers attention fast.
    You don’t have to be rude, just aggressive some times.

  • Henry j.

    Third truck leased from prime …. Very very expensive job there. You will all ways be treated like cattle if you don’t start minding your own business.

  • bigred

    With the new hours,csa,dozens of inspections it seems like we are on our own now. I now pick my loads where the traffic is less, coups are few and the shippers and receivers are not union or require lumpers. I also am driving at night now (90%) time as i don`t have much headaches associated with this business this way…We got bunch big companies that think they deserve all the fuel breaks, best freight, and all the money in this business and instead of trying to get along and pay their drivers what they deserve they have gotten their heads so far up the DOT and our corrupt governments asses now that they think they walk on water….Damn shame what this business has become now

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1482395402 Rich Charles

    I’ve been in this business for 26 years.Drove for plenty of companies.I find,if I don’t like the way I’m treated by management,there is always somewhere else to work.I worked both as a company driver and owner/operator.You make your own bed.No one has a knife in your back,don’t like it,leave,find drivers from other companies.Ask them what conditions are like at their company,don’t count on a recruiter,or an ad in a book or online.Ask a driver,before a recruiter tells you who to talk to.Like anything else,they have their pocket list of kiss asses,who will say anything,and get the GOOD loads.
    Warehouses won’t change,because drivers are unable to do anything,you agreed to terms with the company you work for,and to just leave a location with their shipment,can and sometimes will be considered “Hijacking a load”.That makes it federal.If your dispatcher doesn’t care,call the owner of the company you work for,especially if he hasan open/door policy.You claim to be a “MAN” OR “WOMAN”,WELL DMMIT,STANDUP FOR YOURSELF.

  • Dcc

    A lot of this is brought on by the way we act and dress !!!!!

  • SMTI

    We have 12 trucks. I can drive only one at a time. Best treat your drivers fair and be helpful to them. I have my rules for shippers and receivers.
    1. I’ll treat you fair if you treat me & my drivers fair.
    2. Don’t you ever cuss or yell at my drivers. (I have a way to get your freight on or off and it is legal). No brag, fact!
    3. Be polite, my drivers are, or they are no longer driving for me.
    I beileve in giving the very best service we can. If you deal with me I expect the same. I may sound hard to deal with or maybe soft to some. But I have been dealing with trucking for 40 years.
    God has blessed me,.
    Nikki Singletary

  • No Reform

    So True…the industry has become a piece of crap.

  • No Reform

    Yep…trucking industry has the RUDEST people you will EVER find…many managers come from the PRISON Systems….Lots of Criminals and Corrupt “bosses” that have done time in Prison..and are used to being ABUSIVE, Sneaky, Unethical. trucking is purdy uncivilized…lots of Scumbags.

  • No Reform

    Yep..and NO PAY for being the Slaveboy..getting the crap out of the trailer…could take all night…NO PAY.

  • No Reform

    Again NO PAY to the driver for all the running around and waiting till Noon the next day to get unloaded..this crap ads up and keeps driver pay LOW when considering all the Time spent on the job.

  • No Reform

    Yep..treated like cattle for sure….Mooooo

  • cjmarley

    That is the one thing I will miss about running the flatbed…I don’t think I ever waited more than an hour to get loaded or unloaded.

  • mousekiller

    Some times justice is served to those that need it.

    I had gotten a bum rap with a Kansas HP officer. Then a couple of weeks later I had the opportunity to get a load of office equipment from Ohio to the Kansas training center in Salina KS. Pulled into the place Saw the officer that was the jerk. told them I was returning the load to Ohio. They argued but since it was on my truck, in my care I won out. They had to cancel the class. About the only time a driver has had a chance to win or at least get even. Back to the point. I know that if your kept against your will it is kidnapping. You do not have to be locked in trunk of a car or tied up and or gagged. Being kept against your will is against the law. That has been proven several time in my career of being adriver.

  • Lee Brau

    Respect is a two-way street, and too often I see drivers failing to offer it as well. Courtesy is the first step, but don’t be afraid to write the facility manager a clear, concise letter detailing problems you encountered and your treatment. Never use profanity at a customer, and the person you are dealing with face to face is more important than the one on the phone, hang it up while conducting business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hammiewalter Walter Ostroski

    it hasbin going on for 50 years u young guys have at lot to learn and see with the shippers and recivers..GOOD LUCK.

  • Kris

    When you “lease” your job from a giant corp and then work for giant corps as a truck driver what do you think you will be treated like ? Driving a truck is like McDonald’s or wall mart , there till you find a good job then get the hell out of there and get on with your life.

  • Duane Osborne

    Question is, what are (all of ) you going to do about? I got news for you, talking about the problem is not going to change a thing! Guys have been “talking” about this for as long as I have been driving (17 years) and nothing has changed. If anything it has only gotten worse. When are you people ( truckers) going to get it through your thick skulls that the only way things will ever change is if we unite and shut everything down. Not for a week, not for three days. A one day nation wide strike would be all it would take to force a change.

    Now, if you are not willing to stand for what you believe in, to stand together for a better life for not only you but your family as well then you have no right to complain!

  • Steve Paris

    I started in Reefer 13 years ago. The lumpers were the one thing that ALWAYS bothered me. Why do I have to pay to have their product unloaded. If a lumper has to unload then the receiver should just hire them as a dock worker. One warehouse in Arizona called the cops to have me removed from the property because I refused to pay & they would not allow me to do the work myself. I thought I was going to have a great sale on pork that day. Eventually the dispatcher cut a T-check & I was to remain in the truck while being unloaded. What else was I going to do?
    Since being in flat decking, that has no longer been a problem.