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Another driver advocate pleas for truckers to raise their voices

Oct
2,
2011
4

Have you noticed?  There’s something in the air….drivers are talking…but they’re not just talking, they’re discussing and sharing opinions, thoughts, and ideas about the challenges that they are continually facing.

The social media websites are filled with buzz about:
more federal regulations, new proposals, drivers classified as unskilled labor, truck parking shortages, detention pay, high fuel costs, anti idling laws, low pay, stricter medical requirements, EOBR’s, HOS,  NAFTA and cross border trucking, and the list goes on.

Here is an example of just one of those discussions which was posted on FaceBook.
Read It.  Understand the reality of “now”:

 

“Looking Behind the Curtain to See the Wizard of Oz:  The Brainwashing of American Truckers and Others”

by Sandy Long

At carnivals, in seconds smooth talking agents convince someone that they can win that huge, expensive prize for $1.00 by pulling a string.  It is not that the mark is stupid; it is that the agent is a master at brainwashing, even if it is only long enough to get the mark’s money.  Promises of great advantage or disadvantage are the hallmark of brainwashing.

In the trucking industry, about 35-40 years ago, the systematic destruction of the trucker’s image started.  People went in droves to see movies like Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and stayed home to watch B.J. and the Bear (1978-1981).  Both the movie and the T.V. show depicted truckers as outlaws who drank, drove crazily and fought the law.  This culminated during those years in ABC doing a 20/20 story called Killer Truck Drivers.  The reporters went out and interviewed truckers who were laid over for the weekend and partying, needless to say, it was an ugly report.

During the late 1970’s and 80’s continuing to today, study after study has blackened the truck driver’s image.  Driving while fatigued, wanting to hurt other drivers of cars, taking drugs, drinking while driving, excessive body mass, being a driver with disabilities, being unhealthy and being serial killers are attributed to truck drivers.  Of course, the American truck driver is very unsafe too.  Media reports rarely point out that it was a pickup truck that caused an accident, they use the generic ‘truck’ instead, misleading people into thinking it was a semi involved.

The agencies who regulate trucking, and some associations, too are to blame for the destruction of trucker’s images and brainwashing the public.  The people at the agency who have little or no actual trucking experience and no understanding of the job, sit in their offices and listen to people who have been taught to be afraid of truckers, then, make unreasonable rules and regulations.

Or in the case of some associations, the association backs rules and regulations which favor them to increase their bottom line.

People outside of the industry have eaten up this sensationalistic nonsense and have become brainwashed to the realities.  Sadly, many people who have entered the industry in the last 20 years or so too have listened to and read the stories, bought into the sensationalism and have become brainwashed.  Both truckers and non-truckers support more and more regulations concerning the trucking industry because they will not be affected, they think, so they back the regulation to get those ‘bad truckers’ off of the road.

The latest shot across the bow of truck drivers was the NTSB’s suggestion that cell phone use in any fashion while driving be banned.  While at this time, this is just a suggestion, the second one since 2006, with the current trend to punish all truckers for the actions of a very small minority, and the director of the DOT Ray LaHood supporting the ban of distracted driving for truckers, the FMCSA will most likely act upon it.  Even though the study done at the bequest of the DOT by Virginia Tech shows that cell phone use is not the risk it is made out to be, many people including truckers are all or supporting the ban.

The same scenario played out during the flack over body mass index.  People have been brainwashed by decades of diet industry propaganda into thinking that heavy people are lazy, unhealthy and should be thin like models shown in newspapers and other media.  Playing on this brainwashing, and funding from the diet industry and the medical manufacturing sector, people supported forced dieting, sleep studies and even not allowing truckers to drive without using a machine that may or may not be necessary…and then there are the companies who chose to use BMI as a reason not to hire someone.

The types of brainwashing cited above are not as innocuous as the opening paragraph where a mark is only taken for his/her money at a carnival.  The latter examples are insidious and border on bigotry by artificially dividing people for obscure or governmental reasons and causing hate for others only to further restrict another person.  These tactics are a form of control and used to dominate a population eventually;  Hitler used brainwashing to great effect, as do others such as communist countries.

Are you brainwashed? 

Everyone is to some extent; one buys a certain soap because of an advertisement or asks a doctor for some specific medicine because of being told it will cure what ails them.  Are you brainwashed to the extent of believing exactly what you read or hear and using what you supposedly have learned to take away rights for others who have done nothing illegal?

If so, remember Pastor Niemoller and what he had to say after WWII…

“THEY CAME

FIRST for the Communists
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME

for the Jews
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME

for the trade unionists
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME

for me,
and by that time no one was left to “speak up.”

At some point, something will come up that WILL affect you directly;  you had better hope that someone stands up for you who is not brainwashed against you and who believes in the rights of others.

Sandy Long

*************************************************************************************************************

On October 15th in Tunica, MS a gathering of drivers and supporters who believe the words in this post will be gathered and will be standing up for the rights of others.  They will be joined by other industry leaders regarding their concerns:

Regulations, Employment Law, Trucking Jobs, Successful O/O business, and the Power of Social Media.

Then, they (drivers and their supporters) will have over 2  hours to SPEAK UP at the podium to address these concerns as the entire event is professionally recorded and nationally covered.

Drivers are taking the opportunity to be HEARD, and hopefully the words in this post are taken earnestly , and those who say they are in agreement, will also be a part of the ACTION required to demonstrate their beliefs and convictions.

Oct 15th at the Gold Strike Hotel in Tunica, MS-
You will have the chance to  show your Unity….Be Honored….  and Be Heard!
Will you stand up?

First Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention

 

 

© 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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4 Responses to Another driver advocate pleas for truckers to raise their voices. - Post a Comment

  1. Brenda Palmigiano

    I am writing to inform you that Empire State Association for the Deaf (ESAD) is in favor of their motion to challenge the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMSCA) law under Section 391.41 (b) (11) regulation that prevents Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals from becoming truck drivers.

    I also wanted to share with you based on my current research. In order for me to become a truck driver instructor, you have to be able to drive a truck for two years. I have driver education background since 2000 in Rochester, N.Y. and taught defensive driving course since 1989. So I contacted Department of Transportation (DOT) in Albany, N.Y. and spoke to someone named Andy. I was told that I was not allowed to obtain Class A, B, C and E licenses due to my deafness. My hearing requirement does not meet the FMSCA regulation. I also felt that it was discrimination based on my deafness. This is where I started my research 5 years ago.

    I convinced Assemblyman Mark Schroeder and Senator Robach to draft a Deaf truck driver bill(s) last year and the bills are still on the floor in Albany, N.Y. You will find that the bills are included with the research project. The bills are for permanent waiver for the hearing requirement for Deaf truckers within New York State.

    Today I am here to fight with the federal law (FMSCA). The reason why the Deaf Truck Drivers can not drive is because of FMSCA physical requirement under Section 391.41 (b) (11) where it states that the truck drivers have to be under 40 db to be able to hear the sound of a whisper within 5 feet behind the truck. I have learned that it is a fact that hearing truck driver can’t even hear the sound of air brakes or flat tire while driving because of the loud noise interfere them. A deaf truck driver has a sense of strong vibration of the brake failure or flat tire while driving a truck. It was based on Deaf Truckers testimonies.

    I formed a group that called Deaf Truckers United (DTU) on Facebook about 6 months ago. There are total of 70 members on DTU group. (50 Deaf truckers who have obtained their CDL A licenses along with it’s 20 supporters)
    We have come up with our 3 DTU demands.

    The 3 DTU demands are below:

    1) to remove the 40 db permanently from the FMSCA regulation
    2) to allow us to drive a truck without an hearing aid requirement
    3) to remove the English speaking requirement from FMSCA regulation

    The reason why we demanded is because of the 21st century technology are here today. For example, truck companies provide qualicomm and gps for our communication purposes, rear motion camera for rear backing, PSI gauge and warning light to help us to detect any malfunction inside a truck. (for example, a Deaf trucker in Canada uses a satellite TTY to communicate with the head offices, a photo is included)

    Based on my research, I found out that there are Mexican truck drivers in USA that are speaking Spanish. Why can’t we be the same with the Spanish speaking truckers? There are no difference between Mexican truck drivers and Deaf truck drivers who can’t speak.

    There are approximately 500,000 truck driving jobs available in this country and it is a high demand. Why can’t they hire Deaf people to drive trucks? Based on auto insurances’ research, I found out that Deaf drivers are among the safest on the road because they develop better visual skills to compensate for their deafness. I would like to challenge you that it is all about the SKILLS, not HEARING.

    I have learned that National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and Empire State Association for the Deaf (ESAD) are giving the motions to challenge the DOT Section 391.41 (b) (11) under the FMSCA regulation.

    Thank you

    Brenda Palmigiano
    Deaf Trucker United Advocate
    Bpalmigiano@yahoo.com

  2. Tipper Hire

    Trucking is a hard game. You need to be focused and balanced. We have gotten a bad name over the years thats true, some people even mistake us for hells angels, but we deliver the food you eat evey night, we are away from our families for quite a time. but we love what we do.

  3. Truck Driver Training

    Truck driving is not that an easy thing but can be made easy through proper training. The trucker’s image can be gained again if one chooses a proper institute to learn the techniques involved in driving.

  4. Quasar

    The problem with the trucking industry for the driver is that it has become about quantity rather than quality. The taxpayers get to subsidize freight by churning truck school graduates by the truckload. The lion’s share of these newly minted drivers have left the industry within a year. Meanwhile the turnover keeps on and companies get their subsidies (mainly in the form of tax breaks) for new hires to the industry and low wages for inexperienced drivers.

    This only serves to depress wages by flooding the market with drivers and the highways with inexperienced drivers. It works out fine for big companies and shippers because it helps keep freight rates low. It squeezes the owner operators because they have to compete with companies that get drivers on the cheap. The reason there is a over 100% turnover rate for OTR drivers isn’t because life is so great and they made enough money to retire. The trucking industry has been exempt from fair labor laws since WWII.

    Could the fact that they are regulated (logs) on a time basis but are paid by the mile create some dissonance? Companies can increase their capacity and take more market share because they can sit drivers without having to pay them for their time while waiting on loads. With ever increasing speed limits and the continual lowering of speed governors on trucks combined with the ever decreasing patience of motorists make this the most hostile workplace in America and it get worse every day.

    Meanwhile you can’t sling a dead cat without hitting a billboard with some ambulance chasing lawyer trying to sue a truck driver because they know they can make them look bad added to the seemingly inborn adversarial nature of the public towards trucks and drivers.
    Not all of us do it because we love it so much. I’m one of those hearing impaired drivers. I can pass the physical…barely, with a 500hp hearing aid, if a man does the whispering. I do it because it’s about all I have. My father was a truck driver and had a truck and I’ve been around trucks and heavy equipment all my life so it comes pretty natural to me. If you’re not completely in love with the idea of driving a truck and living like a gypsy, I wouldn’t recommend doing it, not even on a bet.

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