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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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.