Reader: FMCSA attacks safety ‘from the wrong end of the beast’

| December 03, 2012

If FMCSA with all their education and all their data took the time out to go and sit behind the wheel of a truck the driver is making payments on, if they got out here and saw just how low rates are and how many people have their hands in the pockets of truck drivers, they would not be so quick to make so many crazy rules and regulations.  They might just try to fix the low rates that brokers are giving drivers.

We as drivers pick up for some companies only to get to the delivery and be told it will cost anywhere from $50 to $375 to have the product unloaded. In some cases we have to pay to be loaded as well. This is one practice that is downright crazy and unfair.  This type of payment should be prepaid by the shipper and/or receiver.

We as truck drivers are just out here trying to make the best living we can by keeping America moving, providing for our families and just maybe getting a little slice of the American dream.

If rates were up where they should be, drivers wouldn’t have to complain about receiving and loading fees one bit. How can a broker honestly expect a driver to operate a truck for $1.50 a mile with fuel up at $4-plus per gallon? I am using $1.50 just being nice — some rates are down at $0.90 per mile, and the brokers think this is good money to run 2,300 miles across the country in some cases.  I run with a refrigerated trailer hauling dairy, produce and meat. Most brokers want you to run your reefer continuously to ensure that the product is fresh and edible on delivery. Now you cannot expect a driver at $1.50 a mile to be able to afford to put fuel in both truck and trailer. If you think this is an adequate rate you’re in the dark about the cost of owning and operating a trucking business.

At the very least, loads like this should be at $2.75 per mile – or better yet $3. Maintenance on a vehicle never stops and is very costly – it’s not a question of if something will break, rather when. The government has set minimum wages for the regular working American — why don’t truck drivers have this set into place for them? Who is looking out for us?
–Greg Trott, Second Wind owner and operator, DeLand, Fla.

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