Today a number of trucks are lined up the DC to protest the low rates currently seen on the spot market, increasing insurance costs, over regulation and vehicle automation. They are apparently honking SOS in morse code on their horns to the 32 HAM radio operators and a few in the general public that still understand morse code. OK, wonderful. I fully support under the first amendment the right to protest by peaceable assembly. I just think they are wrong. Under that same amendment, I am going to tell you why. Rates are what they are because GOVERNORS have put citizens on house arrest without charges. GOVERNORS. So, when people can't work they don't buy things. Less freight moves but there are the same number of trucks in the market. Rates fall. The drivers are asking for fair rates on loads. Who determines that? Would they like the government to set a fair rate of say $1.30/mi? Is that fair? This is the problem, isn't it? In America, things sometimes aren't fair. You want higher rates, tell the GOVERNORS to open up the states for business. Ironically, there is no national shut down, it is state by state. They are protesting in the wrong place.
Increasing insurance costs are the same. Free market. The costs go up as the risk goes up. It is the same as car insurance. Each company sets its rates on what it believes the risk is. Are insurance costs up? Yes they are. What should the government do about it? NOTHING.
Over-regulation is brought up every time there is a regulation. While the industry is highly regulated, it is to be expected. We, for years, got away with running 20 hours a day and now we are paying for it. I constantly see drivers speeding and following to closely. Stop it! Seriously, we dug this hole ourselves.
Vehicle automation is coming, no denying that. You can't stop progress nor should you want to do so. Why doesn't anyone protest the loss of jobs at car makers or farmers who use automation and robots? No one says a word. I am writing this on a computer. Nearly everything can be done on it. Like looking up a phone number. Why are we not protesting the loss of jobs of operators? It will be many years before automated trucks take jobs in any large quantity. That day is coming, though. I see spotters being taken as they are working on that now. A closed system. Also, long distance runs across the south will go. Interstate drop yards will pop up and local drivers will be on each end to start and deliver the load. The long part will be done without a driver. Yes, it is coming. Living in a truck takes away a person's humanity as the head of TuSimple said. I say 10 years to spotters, 10-20 years before really widespread use on southern highways and we see jobs being taken away, 15-30 years for nationwide adoption of driverless trucks and 30-40 years before the truck goes dock to dock. In fact, the dock to dock part may be so cost prohibitive that it is never done and some local jobs always remain. I believe that someone starting today can still have an entire lifetime career in trucking. Be tech savvy, though as the trucks get more advanced. Keep up with the times and you will keep your job longer. There will likely never be a day when there are not drivers. Specialized loads and some other loads will always need a driver.
The bottom line is this: If a load does not pay enough, do not take it. Simple. If someone offered me $11/hr to drive, I wouldn't take that job. I would not take the job and then complain about it. The loads pay so little because someone, somewhere is taking the load. A driver sent me a screen shot of a load from NJ to CA at 78 cents TO THE TRUCK. That is crazy? Who takes that? Apparently, someone. Right now there are just too many trucks for the freight available. When this changes, rates rise.
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.