It has been a busy time in trucking. On Saturday at 8pm Falcon Transport sent a message to everyone saying they were ending operations and basically you no longer have a job. Crazy! Here is yet another company simply closing its doors and ignoring the WARN act which requires notice of 60 days before closing when you business is the size of Falcon. Some drivers have reported that they have not been paid in weeks. After missing the first check the company and I would have a talk. Missing the next check? I'm done. There is no point in staying, I'm not being paid. Drivers, always have a access to at least a few hundred dollars to get yourself home in case your company folds while you are on the road. I personally would drive the truck back to wherever my car is if it had fuel to do so. Otherwise, park it in a safe spot and take a video of it in case there is later damage. Remember, the company did not make any effort to get the drivers back home, the fuel cards are off and the company closed. File with the state for unpaid wages and get yourself a new job. You cannot sell parts off the truck, sell the fuel or any of that. Some drivers were suggesting that they could keep the truck and demand storage. That is also not true. You do not have an agreement for storage with Falcon. Just give them the truck or leave it somewhere and move on.
I am sure many of you saw the huge accident in Colorado recently. Terrible. A truck driver was coming off a mountain and plowed into stopped traffic at the bottom. Speeds of 75+ were estimated. There has only been an initial hearing with more to come. The driver said the brakes failed. He apparently has at least 1 year of experience, maybe 2 and the truck was completely burned up in the wreck so we might not know what happened. We do know that he passed a runaway truck ramp on the way down. Folks, always use that ramp if you need to do so. You are much better off dealing with the aftermath of that rather than killing 4 people and injuring dozens. If you are unsure of how do descend a grade, learn before you head to the mountains. I will have more on this after the hearing later this week.
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I get pictures of driver manuals sent to me all the time with varied rules and regulations in them that are never discussed by the recruiters. Also, some contain deductions which the company is not allowed to take. Because of this and all the lying the recruiters regularly do, I recommend that all drivers get the driver manual in advance of working at a company. If you are interested in going to a company you should completely read the driver manual before you go to orientation or agree to work there. If they won't show it to you that would lead me to believe that they have something to hide. There should be no reason they would not want you to see the rules and expectations they will have for you and from you when you work there. If you knew there was a $150 pay deduction every time you were late would you go work there? I wouldn't. You never know what you will find in that manual. Get it in advance and save yourself the trouble of having to find yet another job. This has now been added to my page with questions to ask a new company.
Do you carry a good knife with you? You should. It has many uses from defense to just cutting an errant line. Check out the knife I carry right HERE.
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Today is the day of the big truckers shutdown that will cause all of America to stop and the government will have to bow to our wishes. Ha! I can hardly even believe I wrote that! The group that is pushing this hasn't even updated their webpage since March 19! Their Facebook page is locked so only members can see it. If you want to spread your message you need to let it be open to the general public you morons! I have been searching news sites and I really can't find anything and the group does not even have a YouTube channel so I already call this shutdown a flop as I figured it would be. Now, there may be sporadic drivers doing something, maybe even a few hundred. I am going to talk more about this on my podcast today but if you want to get better pay you are gong to need to take individual action. Any company that makes you sit around for free should be avoided. Asking the government to do something is useless. What will they do, conduct a study? The ELD did not change the log rules so having one or not should not change your day, or were you cheating before? Get paid for all of your time and you won't need to cheat your logs. Black Smoke Matters is on the slow roll to nowhere.
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An astute viewer of my YouTube channel sent me some pages from the driver handbook at a company. They have fees for everything like a dirty truck, load locks, out of route miles, lost fuel card and just about everything else. Folks, those are not allowed. As an employee they are only allowed to deduct for certain things like health insurance, union dues and a few other things outlined in the law. They even make you pay the insurance deductible if you have an accident! Those type of deductions are specifically prohibited and just because they make you sign to agree to them, they are still not allowed to take them from your wages. Many companies do this type of wage theft and I don't like it. If you are a victim of this from any trucking company please send me the driver manual pictures and then file with the state for unpaid wages. Tell the state they have deducted things they are not allowed to deduct and you want your money and you want it now! I also think that from now on I will recommend that drivers looking to go to a new company should get a copy of the driver manual before going there and read it cover to cover. Then you will know what kind of place you are getting in to.
Who is taking off April 12 for Black Smoke Matters day of no work? I think that these BSM people will have at least 92 drivers participate but if just a few get together they could block roads. If this happens please immediately call 911 and get them arrested and their trucks towed away. Some of us have work to do. Send me any pictures or reports of what you see and I will of course be doing a video about this at the end of the week.
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Do you want to get into trucking but don't want to get taken advantage of by some company that will deduct things they aren't allowed to deduct? Sign up for my next free webinar and get the information you need. WEBINAR.
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At the Mid-America Truck show this year the FMCSA had an HOS presentation and the most asked questions were about personal conveyance. I think it is very abused in the industry. Anyway, the thing to remember is that the movement of the vehicle has to be personal in nature and cannot be business related or at the direction of the motor carrier. It must be for a non-business related purpose. They specifically mention that taking the truck to a shop for repairs or maintenance is not personal conveyance and that rule has not changed. This would include any movement of the vehicle on your off time to get it serviced. If the sole purpose of driving is to advance the load that is also not personal conveyance. Remember, it will be up to you to prove that the personal conveyance time you logged is actually personal. The FMCSA also noted that many drivers at roadside inspections do not know if they have an AOBRD or and ELD and they also do not know how to transfer the data at the roadside to an officer. These are both REQUIRED so learn which you have and how to use it. The device manual is also required to be carried so get a copy of it if you don't have it. The display also must be MOUNTED meaning you cannot have it in a cupholder. These are all common violations that can easily be avoided. I will be talking about this on my live show Monday at 1PM EST on YouTube if you have any questions. Article HERE.
Take a 2 minute survey, help the industry and maybe get $100! That's right. A paper about the trucking industry is being written and the author has asked me to get drivers involved. Take a couple of minutes to fill it out HERE. Some drivers will be chosen to have a 1 hour call with the author and for that you will be paid $100.
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The CDL drug and alcohol clearinghouse takes effect January 2020. What is that you say? Every driver as part of the hiring process will have to have their record checked through this database. The database contains information on failed and refused drug tests. If you are going to be changing jobs from January 2020 forward you will need to be registered in this database so the company you are applying to can check your drug test record. Only positive tests and drug test refusals will be recorded. As part of the hiring process you will need to give your consent for the company to check your record on this database. To do that you must already be registered. You can register beginning in October of this year. Since this is run by the government I am sure everything will go very smoothly and there will be absolutely no problems whatsoever. As it is worded, after January 2020 if a company cannot search you on this database they cannot hire you to drive interstate. I don't know how long or involved the signup process is but I will let you know when they open up for registration. In fact, I will be your guinea pig and register to let you know how it goes. Read the article about it HERE.
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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.