Blow dealt to industry ‘bad actor’

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As someone who talks to proud and professional owner-operators and company drivers on a daily basis, I’m no stranger to a particularly common sentiment: the notion that the actions of a very few within the trucking industry strike huge blows to the collective image of the many. Whether it’s a criminal broker-fraud scheme, a big mistake that leads to a deadly accident or just a bad joke at the expense of an industry newbie we’re talking about, those proud to be in the truck-driving profession whether as small businessmen or company employees to a tee see it as on the whole made up of honest, well-meaning people. What exactly to do about the rest is another question entirely.

One driver posting to here recently took it upon himself to strike at one such “bad actor” when the driver noticed said actor urinating in a truckstop parking lot. After confronting the urinator directly about it and receiving the pat “mind your own business and leave me alone,” the driver took his fury to the truckstop manager. “I was angry,” he wrote, “’cause some of us want a better life in the industry, and told the manager that there are some of us that will say something. Anyway, the manager and I approached the driver when he was in the truck. The manager asked him, ‘did you urinate on the side of your truck?’ The reply was, ‘did you see me?’ That made me mad. I then exclaimed, ‘He didn’t, but I did!’ and showed the manager of the location and partial wet tire.”

That driver joins legions of others in moving toward public exposure of industry “bad actors” to change what some appear to view as common accepted practices that give the entire driver population a bad name. Kevin Rutherford of CDLofit (also Overdrive‘s Dollars and Sense columnist) wrote an email provocatively headed “NTDs (Nasty Truck Drivers)” to CDLofit members about the post and offered a modest proposal: “What if we created a website that made it easy to post pictures of the offenders and also posted company information. We could also send an e-mail with the pictures and a link to the site to the carrier. I’m sure it won’t solve the problem, but it may slow it down a bit. It would at least be mildly entertaining….” You can take a three-question survey about the idea via this link.

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