Someone once said, “Any day spent without learning something is a wasted day.” (I probably murdered the actual quote, but it went something like that.)
We headed out from Aurora, Colo., toward Kansas City after taking our time and waiting for a load that didn’t weigh a gazillion pounds and pay dirt and rocks. I’m gonna put it right out there and say shame on the agents and brokers who have the nerve to list 44,000-lb. loads for less than a dollar a mile with a .46 fuel surcharge. You gotta be kidding me. After figuring the math on two or three of them, I was ready to call and cuss them all out. Seriously guys? Alcohol is almost pure profit, you can’t afford to pay a driver a living wage to haul it? I hope your loads sit. We sure ain’t gonna haul ’em.
Thing is, they will only sit until someone desperate to get out of Golden, Colo., will take them, or they’ll be brokered out to the crooks who pay their drivers .25 a mile.
We waited it out, which is really hard for me. I haven’t developed the nerves it takes to play these monkey games. I’m still panicky when the truck isn’t rolling. I’m getting better, but it’s hard for me to break the habit of having to move to survive. We found a good-paying load to K.C. that weighed 9,000 lbs., which is more like it. Again, the freedom to be able to do so is awesome, and as soon as I get a little more hip to this deal, we’re going to rock it. It’s a numbers game, and numbers haven’t always been my friend. I can do nurse math, but fuel mileage/pay math is a whole other animal for me.
So I’m having what I like to call “Truck College” on a daily basis. I’m learning a lot out here — you’d think after two years I’d be pretty well-schooled, but I’ve found the more I learn about this business, the more I have to learn. That being said, I do know one thing, you can put all the regulations in place you want, but until the driver training issue is addressed, none of it will matter. You can’t regulate people into knowing how to do their job properly, and drivers with six weeks’ experience on the road don’t have a damn thing to teach anyone, which is something the aforementioned .25-a-mile bastards don’t seem to care about or get at all. You can’t put someone with no experience in a truck with someone who has no experience and expect them to do anything but screw up.
Even a dummy like me who has trouble doing truck math can see that.