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Motor Carriers Push Away Experienced Truck Drivers

Allen Smith of AskTheTrucker

Allen Smith of AskTheTrucker

By: Allen Smith

With the CSA about to come out further for the trucking industry, motor carriers are stating how difficult it is to find qualified truck drivers.  According to many trucking companies and recruiters that we hear from and what we are seeing all over the internet, experienced and qualified drivers are few and far between.  Now, it is time to tell the truth about what is still going on within the trucking industry.

There are thousands upon thousands of experienced drivers ready to go to work, but some trucking companies are still up to the same old abuses that have plagued the industry for years;  the same abuses that if they continue, there really will be a truck driver shortage.  Because there are so many companies that still do not fully understand the CSA, the screening process for hiring new drivers has turned into an out-right lie for many drivers.  A new hire should be brought to the company orientation, only after everything has been checked out by the employer and the driver has been determined to be qualified for hire.  However, this is not proving to be the case.  Drivers are being brought by Grey Hound to company orientations, only to be denied employment and then left with no money or any way to get back home.

Here is our most recent email, received today by a 30 year trucking veteran with a perfect record:

“I am currently looking for work as a driver. I am 52 with over 30 years experience and a perfectly clean driving record.  I have fell prey to the scam of 2 carriers that promise you a job and send you far away to their home terminal for “orientation”.  That brings to mind showing you the companies’ policies and procedures.  Getting you familiar with their equipment and issuing your fuel card, keys, etc.”

“However, I found this to be an out and out lie!  The “orientation” to the new job turned out to be a fine screening of individuals to get only a certain type of individual.   All others were literally turned out on their ear!  Those with a paid bus ticket to the facility found they had no where to stay and no way to get back home, all without warning.  Why do they tell you orientation, when they in fact are still screening applicants at that point?”

“Why can’t they tell from your driving record and application alone if they want to hire you?  Also, why does it take weeks for them to make any kind of decision.
We are starving while we wait for the phone to ring each day.  This is really crazy!  If there are really companies out there that still value experience, safety, responsibility and clean driving record why can’t I find them?  Where or who are they?  I am available now so who do I apply to? ”

“Thanks for all you do for all of us.”

So tell me recruiters and companies . . . why do you bring a driver all the way to your orientation class without yet fully having made the decision to hire them?  Furthermore, why do you believe that you have the right to throw these people out, leaving them stranded far away from home?  You treat experienced, qualified drivers like this and at the same time, you argue that you can not find experienced, qualified truck drivers.

Perhaps this driver did not fit the image that companies believe the CSA is looking for?  However, it seems to me that these companies could have already determined this from the driver’s application and could have prevented busing these applicants all the way from their home states, only to leave them stranded.  Here is what many of the trucking companies need to understand . . . CSA is not the problem . . . the lack of qualified drivers are not the problem . . . you, the motor carriers are the problem.

In a second email, the driver advised:

“They used a very unrealistic “stress” test and then check your heart rate.  If you do not fall within their criteria, you are rejected. I missed out by 3 points.  Also, they are very secretive about the criteria. They would not tell me what my rate was, only that I failed by 3 points. Most of the older drivers were eliminated right there. Some were stranded because they received a bus ticket to get out there and a motel room. They were not told that these things only applied as long as you passed “orientation”. If they failed at any point, they were tossed out on their ear with no place to stay and no way to get home.”

These two different motor carriers are based out of Columbus, Ohio and Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  If trucking companies refuse to change their attitude and policies toward drivers, then everyone will know who they are;  and the same goes for CDL truck driving schools that continue to pull in CDL students to take their money and fail to provide them with employment, as per the promises made.

On the other hand, trucking companies and CDL schools who are working toward the betterment of our nation’s drivers, will be given such notice and recognition.

There are certain companies listening to trucking social media, asking questions and listening to drivers to learn what they can do to improve the industry for drivers. Yet, there are still companies like these that continue to give the trucking industry a black eye.

For those trucking companies who continue this and other practices, you can not continue to treat drivers with such disregard for their well-being, safety, their families and their lives.  You can continue to cry about the lack of qualified drivers, but by continuing this behavior toward drivers, you will be ultimately responsible for causing these professional drivers to eventually leave the industry all-together.  Not the CSA . . . but you.

There is no reason to pull a driver away from home on a bus, with the understanding that he or she is hired, only to find that they must pass tests at your orientation first . . . and if they fail, getting back home is their problem.  Would it not be more ethical to inform the “new hire” that employment will be based on passing any orientation tests, letting the driver choose whether or not to attend and take the risk?

In the future, I will begin listing the names of these companies that operate in such a manner.  If they want to continue this disregard for drivers, then everyone will know who they are.

© 2010, 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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12 Responses to Motor Carriers Push Away Experienced Truck Drivers. - Post a Comment

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  3. Maura

    You need to start listing these Companies “by name” NOW!!! : )

  4. Hanadarko

    Yes, it’s time to share these listings with the public…on as many sites as we can. Let the carriers dispute that…especially if we have emails from actual ‘dropped’ drivers.

    I keep trying to tell people to SAVE money (Mad money I call it) to cover your way back home from ANY spot in the USA. Most are just trying to save up the ‘deposit’ ($500 down for Millis) and not a penny more. What happens if they get bounced? – How do you get home….?

  5. Eugene

    A great article, Allen. Please start listing these companies as soon as you can. I’ve been warned now by you, thank you.

  6. Tanya Bons

    Instead of pressuring Allen do a Google search for the two locations mentioned.

    And Hanadarko, my friend, had a very valid point, drivers should be prepared. Last year Arrow left many drivers stranded. I think it would be a good policy for CDL schools to mention this “Mad Money” suggestion to their students.

    Live in the Journey,
    Tanya Bons

  7. Dan

    As a 35 year veteran of this industry I hear many stories like this one. Many company’s want inexperienced drivers that they can pay a few cents less. They run the low pay drivers a lot more miles. I have experienced this along with some friends of mine. Late freight and damaged equipment mean less than saving 2 cents per mile. It just doesn’t seem safe or sane to me. I am all for new drivers but these company’s need to teach from experience.

  8. tom whittaker

    Yep, sounds like Arrow trucking started a new trend of dog experienced drivers even more. Now other carriers want to do the same. yea I say list them and get dan rathers to report on them also.

  9. Shannon

    This sounds like the school I regret going to. Driver Solutions Indianapolis and their shady carriers USA Truck and Pam. Every thing in this article is very true. Stay away from these schools.

  10. T-Squared

    As a potentially new CDL driver, I feel it very important for newbies and everyone in the trucking industry to know who these companies are because they could be facing the same problem one day real soon. These motor carriers will continue to practice these shady tactics until someone exposes them and start hitting them where it hurts…in the their pockets. I am sure any honest, hard working employee would love to know what companies to avoid and what companies to actively pursue.

  11. rick

    well I think its not only the companies, but the government as well. we have way too much government. i still believe what the us constitution says; government for the people by the people. we need to get back to those basics.if anyone has the names of those shady companies, please get those names out in the open! give celadon trucking services out of indianapolis a try. i believe they are one of the very few companies left, that screen throughly, before orientation. good luck to you. my prayers are with you

  12. Dave

    I believe on of the companies is the opposite of Day with a K, something like that.. The other company begins with the body part there lacking..Hope that’s a good hint

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