Doing a tough job
In the last few months I’ve been yelled at for using the bathroom at two companies I delivered to. My fuel surcharge was cut by 75 percent for short hauls. For the first time in 35 years, a receiver complained to my dispatcher about my actions, which were completely justified.
Most owner-operators are one breakdown away from going out of business. What other job requires a $125,000 piece of equipment to run all day and have nothing to show for it? The large carriers have us in their grip as they try to exploit us by keeping us barely above the poverty level.
Being an owner-operator is not only one of the most dangerous jobs, it is the hardest and most stressful job in America, with the least amount of respect and pay. To anyone getting into this industry, good luck – you’ll need it. I’m glad I am now retired.
STEVEN ADAMS | Leominster, Mass.
“I’ll go along with it because there are too many of them out there that aren’t reliable to be on the road.”
— Trucker Benny Michael commenting to WLFI-TV in West Lafayette, Ind., on the need for increased spot inspections after more than half of trucks stopped were found unsafe.
Intermodal equipment providers should be responsible
In my 40-year trucking career, I learned that reform comes slowly. The letter “Better intermodal chassis inspections, equipment needed” in the September issue speaks to that segment’s much-needed reform.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation is holding shipping companies responsible for the chassis, but DOT will not conduct onsite inspections in a timely manner. Drivers and owner-operators want shippers to pay for and maintain their equipment. A lot of it is old, and shippers need to decommission and replace it. That, too, is unlikely.
It’s business as usual and, most likely, a tragedy will be the only instrument of change. Even then, change won’t come overnight.
Retired owner-operator | Elkins, W.Va.
Should truck stops be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages?
“It’s all right for someone to have a beer, but there’s a certain place for it. The truck stop’s not it.”
Greatwide Logistics Services, Fort Bragg, N.C.
“We’re under federal regulations – we can’t get behind the wheel within four hours of having a drink. The longest we’ll be at a truck stop is 10 hours. I just don’t see the point.”
Leased to Colonial Freight Systems, San Antonio, Texas
“Some drivers don’t pay attention to the not drinking and driving already. It’s a safe bet just not to sell it.”
Lone Star Transportation, Channel View, Texas
“I don’t see why not. But they should always make you show your license and not sell to people with a CDL. We’ve already got enough stuff to worry about.”
KLLM Transport | Slidell, La.
“Sure. Sometimes truckers need to unwind a little bit.”
Leased to Land Carriers, San Antonio, Texas
“Doesn’t matter to me. Some do. Some used to have bars.”
Leased to Marion Transport, Prospect, Ohio
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