I have been reading more and more complaining lately from drivers about long wait times. Really the complaint seems to be that all or most of the time is unpaid. The common thread is that shippers and receivers don't value your time. Well, duh. You don't work for them, why should they value your time? You know who should value your time? YOU. So, if a driver is willing to sit 10 hours to pick up fruit and does not get paid for that time, who should be do blame? I get the story from someone complaining on Twitter about this. You know who we should blame. THE DRIVER. I said it. "Mark, that isn't very nice." Ok, I can deal with that. If you are unwilling to value your own time then why should a shipper value it? If you are willing to sit around for free and just complain about it expect nothing to change. See, I value my time. There is precious little of it that we get so if a company wants to take some of it from me I expect compensation for that. Sitting 10 hours for free at a place to pick up citrus, or anything really, just wouldn't be my thing. I would have done at least some research BEFORE signing up to work somewhere, though. A place that is not going to compensate me for things like this is not a place I am going to work. If drivers did this companies would be forced to pay for this time. Drivers don't, though. They just sit there and tweet about it. Sailing a ship on a sea of complaints doesn't get you paid. As in every endeavor in life you need to take action to change your situation. Firstly you must value your time.
I never accept "that is just the way it is". It is that way because no one dares to change it or even question it. The industry, and even some older drivers, seem to enjoy putting out a narrative of the "Trucking Lifestyle" whatever the heck that is. I want to enlighten people that trucking is a JOB like any other job and you should get paid to do it. It is not a "lifestyle". Wearing parachute pants everyday is a lifestyle. You would never tolerate working at any other place where they said the first 10 hours of work are free. Why do drivers tolerate it in trucking? For anything to change people have to take action. I get emails from drivers getting $30+/hr and OT asking me to advertise their company so they can get drivers. I always find this ironic and a little sad knowing jobs like this go wanting and drivers sit for free for 10 hours for Florida fruit.
When you are ready to get paid for your time take action and find a compatible job that gives you the compensation you want. If you are unhappy with what you are making or how you are being treated you can always make a change to a better job. Complaining about it on Twitter won't get you paid.
This always fires me up. I think everyone should get paid for their time at work but I also think people way undervalue their own time. Some people have figured it out as we see many jobs not being taken because the pay is too low. Good for them. Don't do a job, any job, that doesn't compensate you fairly for your time. It is up to the individual to not accept no pay, though. I guess it kind of amazes me to have to tell people it is ok to be paid for work. When did we get in a mindset that working should not come with compensation? That needs to change as does the old mileage pay system. More on that in a future post. Until then, take action to get what you want.
Among the many lies trucking companies put out one that I am growing weary of hearing is the safety aspect of a driver facing camera. It is always touted by trucking companies as a way to absolve the driver of wrongdoing in the event of an incident. Recently I was speaking with a trucking company representative and they said that their driver was accused of being on the phone and the driver facing camera cleared them. They said this as if there is no other way for the driver to prove they were not on the phone, like A COPY OF THEIR PHONE RECORD. I am still patiently waiting for the video where a driver is absolved with the video of them and that would have been the only way, no other way possible. As of today no camera company and no trucking company has provided even one instance of this. The other thing companies say is that it is about safety. Well, if that was in fact the case why don't these same people have the camera in their personal car? I mean, surely they want their own family to be safe, correct? The truth of the matter is the camera is all about MONEY. They save the companies money in their insurance rates, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with safety or the executives at these companies would have all of their own cars outfitted with cameras. They should do it just to set the example for the drivers. At least I would respect someone who said "I won't ask a driver to do anything I wouldn't do" and then put it in their car and post any videos they may get. Companies should just be honest and say it is about money and any safety benefit is a secondary consideration. Just be honest.
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I want to get this out everywhere I can so here is a blog about this camera placement. As you can see, the company could care less about safety.
The driver wrote to me and said the company actually moved the camera down the windshield because drivers were using the visor for its intended purpose. As you can see, they left the glue from where the camera used to be. I don't like them no matter where they are but this is ridiculous. I also did a video about this.
It is way past time that we allow this. It is unsafe. The FMCSA says the bottom edge of the camera can be NO LOWER than 8 inches from the upper edge of the swept area of the windshield wipers. Also, the camera cannot block the view of the driver of traffic, traffic control devices or street signs. Does this look like it blocks any of those things? I give the driver what I would do in the video. Do you have any advice for this driver?
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I recently did a video about a driver that wrote to me about a long breakdown he had and his inability to get paid for that time.
sWell, I have an update about it. I asked the driver about what is in writing with the company, like what is in the driver's manual. He sent the page from it and it shows you will get paid $100 a day after the first day and for up to 2 days total. So, he is due $200 and that is what they are offering him. I find this all the time. Most companies do actually pay what they say they will pay. Now, we may think they should pay more but this driver is getting what they said they would pay. I think he should look for other employment and not accept this kind of pay in the future. I would tell them it will cost them more to hire someone else instead of paying me. They may fire you on the spot for this so get ready. The moral of the story is to not work at a place that is not willing to pay you for your time. This driver was down for 14 days, yes 2 weeks and is getting $200. This same company complains about the driver shortage. Of course! Who wants to tolerate that kind of pay?
Are you a driver who is a RESIDENT of Illinois and has a driver facing dash cam? You can work for any trucking company as long as you at least go through Illinois from time to time. There is a law firm interested in talking to you. NO obligation and they don't collect money unless they win. You MAY be entitled to compensation from the Illinois BIPA statute. Write to me and I will let you know how to proceed.
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How is it in this world truck drivers get treated so poorly? This place, BUNZL, expects truck drivers to pick up and deliver but will not even provide the most basic bathroom so drivers can go about their day. They at BUNZL expect us to be professional in picking up and delivering at their facility but will not give drivers a place to relieve themselves. This forces drivers to use other places, including the parking lot there as there is no other facility. They should be ashamed. They cannot use the current situation in the country as I am sure there are shared bathrooms in the office and everywhere else on the property. This mistreatment of drivers who deliver all the products that we use needs to stop. The sign from this video is from the Bunzl in Tracy, CA and I do not know if any of the other ones do this but if they do I want to hear about it. With some effort and publicity these places will have to change. We will not take this sitting down! Bunzl Distribution Tracy, CA 209-229-7315 Twitter @Trucking Answers
In a recent article it was noted that truck drivers are the second most likely occupation to be injured on the job and require time off of work because of it. Since it is open enrollment time I thought this is a good time to talk about that.
During open enrollment you can choose to change your benefits at your company. Many larger companies offer long and short term disability. This pays you a certain percentage of your check if you are unable to work. Short term is generally for up to 26 weeks and long term takes over from there. Depending on the plan it can be for 5 years, 7 years or even longer. We currently have a driver that is injured and has been off for 11 months. Without the short and long term disability he would be in a real pickle. I take the short and long term disability at work and I recommend it to you if your employer offers it. If they don't, ask them to. It is very expensive to buy on the open market. In the event of an injury you will be able to recover and keep a roof over your hear. As you get your open enrollment information look for the disability part and give it a read.
See you on the road!
The time has come. For those of you that are on my live show Monday's you know that I am going to lose the weight I have put on over the years. About 9 years ago I got sick of being fat and lost close to 100 pounds by changing my diet and moving myself but I have slowly let myself go again and I now find myself closing in on getting all of that weight back. UGH. So, I now embark on losing it again. I have a short intro video to the series and I will chronicle my path to 200 and beyond. Each video will have the same thumbnail so if this is something that would interest you it will be easy to find and if you are not interested it will be easy to ignore.
I am already in my extreme upper 30s and this weight is a problem. Obesity is just as bad for you as smoking so I am done with it. Remember, it will take time. You didn't put it on overnight and you won't take it off overnight. Stick with it. Ready? Let's roll. I have the beginnings of a webpage as well.
See you on the road!
Although Maverick is the latest one to do it, I see this from many companies. A large Sign-On bonus. Companies are ramping this up as the Rona has taken a toll on drivers. Some are not coming back and many are now looking for local or close to home jobs. Road companies, though, are going about hiring all wrong. These sign ons only benefit you for a year or two at the most. Then, you in effect get a pay cut when the bonus ends. Crazy. They put all this effort into getting a driver and virtually no effort into keeping the drivers they already have. In some cases a new drivers gets a higher pay rate, at least for a year, than a driver already working at a company. This leads to increased turnover after the first year as the bonus ends. A circle of turnover. I think companies should end this sign on garbage immediately. OTR companies should do some soul searching and really ask DRIVERS how to make their company better. A good company attracts good drivers. Never choose a company because of the bonus. Take the bonus if they have it but don't go there because of it. A bonus should not even factor in to what you are thinking as it will end and you should be looking for a company to stay with over the long haul.
See you on the road!
The new hours of service to into effect TODAY! Are you up to speed on all of the changes? I made a video about it to help and I will go over them here as well.
Short haul drivers who start and end AT THE SAME PLACE are now allowed 150 air miles and 14 hours a day without a log as long as their hours are kept track of. This is to better align with OTR drivers.
The 30 minute break can now be accomplished by on-duty, off-duty or sleeper berth time and is only required after 8 driving hours instead of 8 hours on-duty. 3 separate breaks of 10 minutes don't count, the 30 minutes must be consecutive.
Adverse driving conditions now add 2 hours to your day and 2 driving hours instead of just driving. So, adverse driving conditions give you 13 driving hours in a 16 hour day. Adverse driving condition is defined as something unusual that could not have been know by you at the time you leave and could not have been know by dispatch at the time of dispatch. Just because you didn't know does not mean you could not have known. It is easy to get a weather report.
Split sleeper changes to allow 7-3 split. 8-2 also still allowed. Both parts of the split now stop your clock and can be taken in any order. Also, it can be 7.5 and 2.5. The short part must be AT LEAST 2 hours and the long part must be AT LEAST 7 hours and they must add up to 10. Need a break or want to wait out some traffic? No problem. Take 2 hours and stop your clock. When you stop to sleep later be sure to get at least 8 hours and you are good to go. I will be doing a separate video on the split sleeper as that is what I get the most questions about.
See you on the road!
Drivers wanted this for the new HOS that goes into effect on Sept 29 but it didn't make it. Well, it is back. The FMCSA is going to start a pilot program to test a new break. Here is how it would work. You would be able to stop your clock for between 30 minutes and 3 hours, once per day, and have it not count against your 14 hour clock. It would stop the 14 hours so you could theoretically mean you work 17 hours. Now, at the end of this you MUST take a full 10 hour break, no split sleeper if you use this. This could very much extend your day. In fact, here is the longest day you could have. Start at 9 am. At noon stop for a 3 hour sleeper (allowed under new rules for split sleeper). Now 3 pm and that section stopped your clock under the new rules in effect Sept 29. At 6pm stop for 3 hours off duty, stopping your clock again. It is now 9 pm and you only have 6 hours logged. At 5am you hit the sleeper. WOW. You just legally worked from 9am one day until 5 am the next day. Amazing. This would be allowed under the new proposal. I think they might change so you can't use the first split part to stop your clock as well but currently this would be just fine. At 5am you would be required to get a full 10 hour break. Since all this does is extend your day without extending your pay I am against it. Sure, it might help avoid traffic but companies don't have to become better at dispatching as long as drivers continue to accept sitting in traffic being paid mileage. I encourage everyone to carefully consider this new proposal. Going from 14 hours to 17 hours or even more without an increase in pay means I am against it. We are already expected to do work for free so I don't support more free work.
See you on the road!
Hi! Welcome. I'm Mark and I've been a professional truck driver for over 33 years, the last 19 years at the same company. It is time that drivers got paid for every minute that we work and we are treated like the licensed professionals we are.