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Student Truck Drivers Often Face Hostility and Abuse


Harassment, verbal and physical abuse, sexual assault and even rape is being reported within the trucking industry on student drivers by their driver trainers.  Though most driver trainers are highly professional and respectful to their student trainees, there are those who are committing these acts of violent crime.  The trucking companies who employ these known felons, (and all of us veteran drivers know who these companies are),  simply look the other way and usually end up terminating the student, taking no action against the criminal trainer.

Unlawful harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal authority.  Any employee wishing to initiate an EEO complaint arising out of the alleged incident of harassment must contact an FCC EEO Counselor or other EEO official within 45 calendar days of the date of the incident.  The employee should not wait until the trucking company’s internal harassment inquiry is completed to contact a counselor if waiting will allow the 45-day time limit to expire.  Thus the reason many complaints fail to ever get resolved.

Furthermore, as a student or newcomer to trucking, needing a job and a paycheck . . . many reports go unreported because of fear of losing that job that is needed so badly.  Therefore, these criminal driver trainers continue with their crimes as some of the trucking companies keep looking the other way.  Many also, fear being ridiculed and made out to be the culprit instead of the victim . . . all thanks to savvy attorneys who will turn around and “attack” the victim of the crime.

Recently, more and more female drivers are banding together and filing lawsuits against these trucking companies who did nothing when the crimes were reported.  There would have been many more, if they had not let the 45 day limit to pass, unknowingly.   Let’s be clear . . . most trucking companies do not tolerate any type of employee harassment and will take the proper actions required.  However, there are a handful of companies that allow this type of activity to continue and a few of them are now being taken to court.   I hope the driver trainers who committed these crimes are brought to justice as well.  I can only wish they spend many years in prison.

Trucking talk radio, Truth About Trucking “LIVE” will be confronting this issue in its upcoming broadcast on Monday, June 15th, 2009 and Tuesday , June 23rd, 2009.  Not only will we be discussing these crimes taking place within the trucking industry, but we will have several special guests appearing on the June 21st show to further discuss why these crimes take place, how they occur and most importantly, finding solutions to resolve them.

This behavior by some driver trainers and the trucking companies that keep them employed, is nothing new.  The problem is that this “little secret” has been swept under the rug for many years.  It simply has not or does not get reported.  We are going to change that.

Mark your calendars for Monday, 6-15-09 for:  Bullying in the Workplace – Part 1 for 7:30 PM EST and Hostile Training and Work Environments within Trucking for Tuesday, 6-23-09 for 7:30 PM EST.

It’s time to lift the rug and report these crimes being committed by these driver trainers and the trucking companies who allow them to continue.

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© 2009, 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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8 Responses to Student Truck Drivers Often Face Hostility and Abuse. - Post a Comment

  1. Desiree

    As a Female Student you are under pressure to “prove” that you are tough enough to do the same job as the men.

    Therefore, you find yourself overlooking things to “learn”.

    When your company places you with an inappropriate trainer, Male or Female, and you find they are not interested in teaching you but rather manipulating you, dominating you and humiliating you or having sex with you, That is just the first violation.

    Reporting it to your company and having them shift the blame to you or note your employee profile that you are difficult is the first strike against you and it is another form of bullying that is taking place.

    This for of retaliation from the internal structure of the company is a greater abuse because they should be held fully accountable to train you in a safe environment.

    This is what needs to be examined, these comapnies that feed off the Student Trucker Industry seem to encourage Dispatchers, Team Coordinators and HR Personnel tactics of intimidation that imply Psychological Warfare on the Student to create doubt in their own minds about what HAS happen to them.

    The motive is that you will not report outside the trucking industry in the allotted time.

    The tell you “they are” investigating but that is only to stall you. It is another tactic and you have now become a target for them to eliminate.

    Meanwhile the offending person is moved around to victimize another unsuspecting student.

    This needs to stop.

  2. Allen Smith

    Abuse of students have been going on for years….promise of high earnings, great career, etc. What also has been going on for years are those who know about such abuses and have remained silent about it …. not wanting to put any more “negatives” on the trucking industry. By stepping up and reporting and making it known that abuses such as these must stop, through new legislation or whatever….can only help to improve the trucking profession, which is what our goal has been since introducing Truth About Trucking.

  3. Ricardo Long

    What really staggers me is in this day and age, when the rules for reporting sexual harassment seem to be clearly spelled out, these unreported incidents keep comeing up.
    It seems to me that there are enough outside agencies to report them to when they happen, other than to your company, that it’s failure to understand on the individuals part that is part of the problem.
    I make no excuses for this behavior of harassment, bullying or the alleged rapes/sexual misconduct. However i do put some blame for the lack of action on the victims of said acts.
    Anytime such acts happen they should be reported and not just to the company you work in but also to an outside agency. There is a saying, CYA, Cover Your Ass. The only one who is going to look out for you is you so make sure when you decide to complain you complain loudly, and to as many agencies OTHER than your company as you can.

  4. Allen Smith

    Having been a police officer and Deputy Sheriff, it does not surprise me at all. If someone wants to witness human nature at its strangest and worse, just go be a cop for awhile. Fear is the biggest cause of non-reporting such crimes, such as “battered wife syndrome” where the wife will stay with the abusive spouse no matter what! I’ve seen it too many times.

  5. Chris Fisher

    I guess you ant never seen a husband beat and exhorted and his children used to do it?

  6. gennie blackburn

    How can I be able to tell if I will be getting a good trainer or not before its to late -what do I need to watch for ?? And thanks

  7. Erim A.

    My husband is on his way back home from about 2 weeks of absolute torture. It’s his first gig after completing trucking school and the stories about his trainer’s behavior are unreal. A small part of me thought my husband was exaggerating the situation, but he sent me audio of his trainer talking to the compay owner and I was left speechless. A part of the conversation was insulting to “blacks”….and did I mention my husband is “black”? Furthermore, his trainer was having the convo with the company owner directly in front of my husband. Are there any agencies that exist that we could report this situation of a hostile workplace environment too? We are not looking to take legal action, we just want to warn other truckers about this company.

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