by Allen Smith
Within most industries lies corruption and the long haul trucking industry is no exception. For years, this abuse has been kept swept under the rug and was only talked about, quietly among veteran drivers. There are various aspects of corruption such as: political, corporate and bribery which is usually always associated with the intake of power and money. The silence that has covered the corrupt world of OTR trucking for so long is fading, largely due to the technical world of social media.
Having been the first to publicly expose the scams and abuses within the industry by launching Truth About Trucking in May of 2005, the power of social media exploded, and the real truth about the corruption that lies within the over the road trucking industry continues to be further exposed. This corruption not only involves trucking companies and organizations, but at times, even drivers themselves.
We have seen drivers who originally came on board for the task of exposing these scams, only to make a complete turn around when contacted by organizations who “promised” them certain favors in return. Thus, exposing the truth becomes a much bigger battle when drivers such as these will sell their morals and ethics to the higher bidder. As for me, I pay them no attention.
CDL students and new drivers, as well as many veteran drivers, will continue to be abused, manipulated, lied to and used by these OTR trucking companies until enough drivers stand up and fight back. I still reiterate that there are good trucking companies and not all are bad, but problems lie within all companies, good or bad. One of the largest obstacles you will face as a new driver with any trucking company, is the employee abuse from both dispatch and safety departments. Remember, a huge percentage of this corrupt industry is set up for a driver to fail, and this is used by both good companies and the not-so-good ones.
One set up is where dispatch will place you with a load that will cause you to run over your hours, breaking regulations. You can tell dispatch that you do not have the hours or rest needed to run the load, but they will continue to plead with you to take the run. It is a “hot” load and you are the only driver they have to get it there on time. The safety department has made it clear to all drivers that breaking regulations will not be tolerated and you will be shut down for one, two or three days after so many violations. Normally, after a third violation, safety will suspend your driving privileges for 30 days . . . yet, here is dispatch pleading for your help. If you take the run to help out your dispatcher, then safety will come back against you . . . if you refuse to take the load in order to not break regulations, then your dispatch will come back against you by making you sit for two or three days . . . so what do you do?
Dispatch understands the Safety Department requirements, and safety understands that dispatch does this type of pressuring to drivers all the time . . . yet, when a driver is faced with such a decision, it is a no-win situation for the driver . . . the driver will always be blamed and the one to face the consequences. Reporting what happened to safety, you will be told that you should not have taken the load . . . reporting what happened to dispatch, you will be told by the dispatcher who pleaded with you, that you should not have taken the load if you did not have the hours to make the run. A no-win situation and you, the driver, will always be at fault, while both Safety and Dispatch Departments know that this little cat and mouse game goes on. It is one of the many set-ups that will lead up to your failure within the trucking industry. Failure that is not your fault, but one aspect of the long haul trucking corruption.
What makes this OTR trucking industry corruption worse, are the lies and deceit against their own employees (drivers). Issues I have discussed often such as:
- The Owner Operator Lease Purchase Programs
- The DAC Report
- The driver shortage lie
- The continual scam of starving out drivers in order to bring in new, lower paid drivers as a form of cheap labor
- CDL Schools receiving Government subsidies, accepting driving students with no chance of being hired
Many are coming forward and exposing the real truth about the long haul trucking industry. Others will still sell out to any organization that will pretend to be on their side and show them any kind of attention. CDL students and new drivers can make it in this industry that many drivers call “the most lying, deceitful and corrupt industry on Earth.” For now, you will have to continue paying your dues for the first one or two years and if that “starter company” is not working out for you, then you will be able to move on to one of the “better” trucking companies.
Any trucking company can go out of business at any time . . . we saw that with Arrow Trucking. Although some form of corruption will exist in any trucking company or industry, there are good companies out there . . . at least better than most. As drivers who are not afraid to stand up for what is right continue to come forward through avenues such as social media to tell the real truth about the OTR trucking industry, this vocation can change and get better for all drivers, both new and veteran. U. S. truckers and CDL holders are eight million strong . . . that is a powerful voice.
© 2010 – 2011, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.