The trucking industry is a weak commerce when it comes to standing up and accepting responsibility for their actions. During a conversation with another driver last night who works for an area company, he was telling me about an incident that recently took place that involved the termination of another driver.
His company had sent out a memo to all drivers that they were not to exceed the 14 hour rule under any circumstance. If dispatched on a schedule that would push the 14 HOS rule, they were to immediately report it to their dispatcher and have it revised.
All was going well for the driver until he found himself caught in a traffic back-up due to a serious fatality accident on Highway 60, between Tampa and Bartow.
With no way to turn around, the driver lost three hours and kept his dispatcher informed. Once moving again, he advised dispatch that he would not be able to do his next load because it would run over fourteen hours. Dispatch responded with, “We have no other driver available to do it … can you run it just this time and make your logs work?”
The driver complied and seventeen hours later, shut down in his company yard. Reporting to work the next day, he was informed that he had been terminated due to the EOBR recordings of his fourteen hour violation. Taking his case to his supervisor and explaining what had happened, he was told that he should have refused the load. The dispatcher received no verbal or written warnings and remained with his job.
For years, the philosophy of the trucking industry has always been to “blame the truck driver.” This is a wide ideology of the general public, law enforcement and major news media as well and it has only gotten worse through the years. From the logs department to the safety department, from the dispatcher to the terminal supervisor and up, whenever a violation occurs, the easiest and simpler route to take is to blame the driver. None of these in-house transportation professionals ever seem to have the fortitude or deference to stand up and accept responsibility for their actions.
CDL Truck Driving Schools Blame the Graduate
It seems the blame game has now stretched from the CDL truck driving schools to the recent CDL graduate. As most truck driving schools advertise, “Job Placement Assistance,” it appears now that if the graduate is unable to find employment after completing the course, it is the direct fault of the graduate. This post response received, sums it up:
“Maybe they don’t give more effort on applying. It’s in the hand of the applicant to let employers nod to you, saying you’re hired.”
There is a good lesson here for CDL graduates to learn: when it comes to trucking, especially OTR, when anything goes wrong, it’s the driver’s fault. If you are a recent CDL graduate unable to find a truck driving job after completing training, then it is your fault. It is the same “pass the buck” philosophy that I’ve listened to for 34 years: “Blame the “driver” or in this case . . . blame the graduate.
The “Job Placement Assistance” advertising that is used to lure in students is worth less than the letter of “Intent to Hire.”
The CDL schools need to stop advertising JOB PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE. They know that this is a major pull to bring students in, believing they will receive help in landing a job after paying thousands of dollars for a plastic driver license. It is more than false advertising by CDL truck driving schools . . . it is simply a lie in many cases.
All too many truck driving schools will take the money from anyone willing to shell it out, even if they know for certain that the student is not employable, due to a poor driving record, a past felony conviction, etc.
Yet still, they further entice them with “Job Placement Assistance” and will receive a letter of “Intent to Hire” from some big name motor carrier to wave in front of the prospective student’s face. Several months later when the graduate is still without a job, it must be the graduate’s fault.
Blame the truck driver . . . for this industry, it is an all too common practice.
© 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.