Ask The Trucker

Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

Closing the Mexico Border


What would happen to the trucking industry if we closed the Mexico border?   What would be the impact to American drivers?   How would our economy change?   Though it will always be open, what financial effects would it have on the United States?

  •  Hospitals spent close to $190 million in 2000 to provide health care to undocumented immigrants.
  • Hospitals are closing down due to the cost of providing for illegal immigrants.
  • Statewide, Arizona is losing $150 million annually.
  • A good part of hospitals in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California have closed or are in bankruptcy.
  • 80% of cocaine and 50% of heroin in the U.S. is smuggled across the Mexican border.
  • In 2000, illegals cost the United States Federal Government $10 billion.
  • A study shows that Hispanics and black Americans are hurt the most in lost wages.
  • Our truck drivers feel the loss from “cheap” freight.

The financial impact on the United States if we were to close the border?   Greatly in our country’s FAVOR!   We would save billions, the wages could increase and better the economy of the United States.

But, I look at the other side too. Are they all criminals out to destroy our country?   Absolutely not!   They are simply looking for a better life.   How do you put a price on another human being’s search for a better life for their family?   Americans are not against immigrants.   We are against illegal immigrants!

Would Mexico do nothing, if millions of Americans entered Mexico illegally?   The president of the United States will not close the border. Congress will not close the border.   There is corruption in every government.   It is not only Mexicans crossing the border illegally, but terrorists as well.

I welcome our friends from Mexico.  It is a beautiful country with wonderful people.  But those who disobey our laws and cause us economic failure, also hurt their fellow countrymen.

Come to the United States.  You are welcomed here.   All we ask, is just do it legally.

About the Author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is the author of:  The Truth About Trucking and How to Guarantee a “Perfect” Move.   A student of Spanish, please visit  


El cierre de la Frontera de México

¿Qué pasaría a la industria de transporte si cerráramos la frontera de México? ¿Cuál sería el impacto a conductores americanos? ¿Cómo se cambiaría nuestra economía? ¿Aunque siempre esté abierto, qué efectos financieros tendría esto en los Estados Unidos?

  • Hospitales gastados cerca de 190 millones de dólares en 2000 para proporcionar asistencia médica a inmigrantes indocumentados.
  • Los hospitales se cierran debido al coste de aseguramiento de inmigrantes ilegales.
  • Por todo el estado, Arizona pierde 150 millones de dólares anualmente.
  • Una parte buena de hospitales en Texas, Nuevo México, Arizona, y California se ha cerrado o está en bancarrota.
  • El 80 % de la cocaína y el 50 % de la heroína en los Estados Unidos son pasados de contrabando a través de la frontera mexicana.
  • En 2000, los emigrantes ilegales cuestan al Gobierno Federal de los Estados Unidos 10 mil millones de dólares.
  • Un estudio muestra que hacen daño a Hispanos y los americanos negros el más en salarios perdidos.
  • Nuestros camioneros sienten la pérdida de la carga “barata”

¿El impacto financiero en los Estados Unidos si debiéramos cerrar la frontera? ¡Enormemente en el FAVOR de nuestro país! Salvaríamos mil millones, los salarios podrían aumentar y mejor la economía de los Estados Unidos.

Pero, miro el otro lado también. ¿Son todos ellos criminales para destruir nuestro país? ¡Absolutamente no! Ellos buscan simplemente una mejor vida. ¿Cómo pone usted un precio en la búsqueda de otro ser humano de una mejor vida para su familia? Los americanos no están contra inmigrantes. ¡Estamos contra inmigrantes ilegales!

¿No haría México nada, si los millones de americanos entraran en México ilegalmente? El presidente de los Estados Unidos no cerrará la frontera. El congreso no cerrará la frontera. Hay corrupción en cada gobierno. Esto no es sólo mexicanos que cruzan la frontera ilegalmente, pero terroists también.

Doy la bienvenida a nuestros amigos de México. México es un país hermoso con la maravillosa gente. Pero aquellos que desobedecen nuestras leyes y nos causan fracaso económico, también hacen daño a sus compatriotas.

Venga a los Estados Unidos. Usted es dado la bienvenida aquí. Todo que preguntamos, es sólo lo hacen legalmente.

 Sobre el Autor:

Aubrey Allen Smith es el autor de : La Verdad Sobre Transporte en Camiones y Como Garantizar un Movimiento “Perfecto”. Un estudiante de español, por favor visite   


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Independent Truck Drivers Have It Tough


By []L. Winslow 

It has never been easy to be an independent truck driver and with the high fuel prices, high cost of insurance and over regulations and bureaucracy; including out of control taxes it is a wonder that there are any Independent truck drivers left at all.  And the ones who are left are upside down in truck payments and are not making very much money.

At the online think tank we talk a lot about logistics, distribution and transportation and we are quite alarmed at the challenges that the independent truckers have to deal with.  Recently one independent truck driver told us;

“The past 10 years of my life have been pretty tough, if you ask me. I have been a CDL driver since 1984 and never really found a  driving job I wanted to keep, so I have jumped many times to different positions, hoping the next will be better… and its not.”
Indeed, I am deeply troubled with the Trucking Industry in the US and the number of “Independent Truck Drivers” who have been forced into BK and trucks repo’ed. And I often will tune into Rolly James or George Noory and listen to the complaints about the Mexican Truck Driver issues.

I remember once talking to an OK State Trooper and he said that he could flag 95% of the trucks from Mexico with Out of Service tickets. It is amazing. Even worse we have pollution laws here and then our old junk gets shipped to Mexico and they buy it and then drive it here, but no American driver could, it would not pass a single weigh scale or an inspection.

Anyway, I understand all these issues having been in the Trucking Industry. I see the same problems with Independent Truck Drivers and Owners as the American Farm Family in America. There are issues, and no it is not funny at all; I see this in many industries, then watch the larger companies force undo restrictions on the small business person, who then cannot compete, even if they lower price.

Then what do we get? Well, we get the larger companies cutting costs to bare bones, hiring mal-contents and newbies and increasing accident rates, although they try to hide them at the GAO reports and modify the statistics at the DOT and then we get more restrictions and regulations.

Meanwhile the Rail Industry has taken a bite and in Dec. we watched the truck load rate fall 2% and no one said anything. Stock market just reflected that, anyone should have seen that coming after studying the trucking industry since Mid October?

Fuel prices do not help either, it gives an advantage to rail which can bulk buy in advance and the last big trucking company holds out to raise rates, starves the little guy, of course FedEx is the weather vain, and when they raise rates dominoes are in motion. Companies which need shippers then go hunting for best rates and that sexy sales lady waltz’es in and sells your rear end out of a job or takes the account from your best company clients. Yes, I see all that.

L. Winslow is an Economic Advisor to the Online Think Tank, a Futurist and retired entreprenuer. Currently he is planning a bicycle ride across the US to raise money for charity and is sponsored by and all the proceeds will go to various charities who sign up.

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Over the Road Trucking: Is it Worth it?


As someone who may be considering over the road truck driving as a career, there are many questions you should ask yourself before jumping in head first. Thousands of new, inexperienced drivers tackle the obstacle of long haul trucking each year, only to discover it was not what they expected. This is mainly due to the fact that they are missing one key aspect for this trade: over the road trucking is not just a job or career . . . it is a lifestyle.

The large majority of the population enjoys a typical 9-5 job, or at the least, home every evening to enjoy their family and hobbies. Not so with OTR trucking. Many put in their 5-day work week and are eager to cherish the enjoyment of the weekend. Not so with OTR trucking. A huge majority have the pleasure and ability to attend their children’s school play, ball game or birthday parties. Not so with OTR trucking.

Over the road trucking is a demanding and lonely existence. Life on the road is tough. Are you the kind of person who can live in a semi truck for 24 hours a day? There are the few breaks here and there, but you can expect to physically be in the truck for 15-20 hours per day, every day! Will you be able to handle being away from your spouse and kids for weeks at a time? More important, will your spouse and kids be able to handle it?

For a single person, over the road trucking wouldn’t be bad. With fewer bills, many single drivers have saved up a rather impressive amount of cash! For those who are married and with families . . . it is a rough life. A life, I believe, no family should have to live through. Sadly, divorce is highly rated in the world of over the road trucking.

Personally, I have great respect for these OTR drivers. The general population has NO IDEA the demands that are placed on them, and yet, they still pull through as the back bone of this country. But, as a new driver considering the possibility, you must look at what kind of lifestyle you want and enjoy. If living in a truck for weeks or months at a time . . . being away from your family for long periods . . . spending extensive time completely alone . . . if this appeals to you, then go for it!

The main aspect to consider? What about the pay? Are the wages that come with over the road trucking worth it? You will hear about and see in advertisements, the BIG MONEY you can make with OTR truck driving. In reality, you can expect to gross $35,000.00 to $45,000.00 per year. Using a “rough” formula, lets break this down to see what your hourly pay would be:

If you are operating on the 70 hours per week rule, which most do, and you are driving the average of 100,000 miles per year, it would come out as this:

70 hours per week X 52 weeks = 3640 hours per year
$35,000 3640 = $9.62 per hour
$45,000 3640 = $12.36 per hour

This is just a quick “rough” formula to see what your hourly pay could be while living the life of over the road trucking. The figures are actually MUCH WORSE! I break it down even further in my article: Owner Operator: More Loss than Profit.

There are many more considerations to figure when coming up with an accurate picture for actual pay. One company that studied this, ended up with a figure of only $2.45 per hour! Once you read the above article, you’ll understand how this can be. Why live a life over the road, alone and away from home and family, when there are other options which pay the same if not more?

The bottom line? Look at yourself and if it applies, your family. Missing birthdays, anniversaries, ball games, school plays and other activities will become a part of your life. Is this the career you want? Is this your “lifestyle?”

About the Author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is the author of the first and original Truth About Trucking. He devotes his time and efforts in assisting new, inexperienced drivers by revealing the scams of the trucking industry. Answering hundreds of emails weekly, he is becoming known as a major advocate for fighting back for our nation’s drivers. Please visit if you are considering a career in over the road trucking.

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Truck Driving Schools: What They Won’t Tell You


I have lost count on how many “new” drivers have contacted me explaining that they have completed a truck driving course and now have their CDL, but they cannot get hired. The reason is always the same . . . they do not have enough experience. Many of these drivers are not understanding the reasoning behind this before they pay the thousands of dollars for a truck driving school.

The truck driving schools will always tell you that you will have no problem getting hired after you achieve your CDL. This in fact, is true to a certain point, but what they don’t tell you is the key factor you need to know BEFORE you enter into a truck driving school.

Laws concerning the commercial driver have gotten very strict in the last several years, especially after 911. New drivers are always telling me that the company wants at least six months to a year of experience before they can hire them. So now, they have spent thousands of dollars for a CDL, but have no driving experience, so they cannot get hired. It really is not the company that won’t hire them, but the problem lies with their insurance company.

The trucking company’s insurance carrier is actually the one that requires the six months to a year of experience. So how can the truck driving schools claim that you will have no problem getting hired? The answer lies with the mega trucking companies. These giant companies offer their own “truck driving schools” that will land you your CDL, and then you will be required to work for them and them alone, usually riding with a “trainer” for 6-8 weeks before being allowed to “go it alone.” In addition, during all this time, you will be at the low end of the pay scale. Also, many of these massive trucking companies are their OWN insurance company! Therefore, they can “bend” the rules so to speak.

If the truck driving school tells you that you will have no problem getting hired, asked them about the six months to a year of experience that the insurance companies require and see what they say. Most all of these “schools” have contracts with certain trucking companies that will hire you after you complete your CDL course. But you can only work for them, therefore you are stuck with that company only. If you believe you can go to a truck driving school and immediately go anywhere and start working locally, chances are you will be wrong. Your only choices will be to go with the giant trucking companies working over the road, until you can build up the experience required by the insurance companies. There are hundreds of these trucking companies that will hire “new grads” and get them “pushed” through on “their” insurance. The only problem is that over the road may not have been in your plans.

Also, keep in mind that while you are at the mercy of these giant companies, you will be at the low end of the pay scale . . . usually around $300 per week. Thereafter, the raises will be slow coming. This is how trucking companies can get their freight moved cheap . . . by constantly hiring “new grads” and weeding out the drivers that are now at the top end of the pay scale.

If your plans are to work locally as a professional driver and you have no experience, chances are you will have to attend a truck driving school and be forced to work for one of the larger trucking companies as an over the road driver. These schools provided by the trucking companies can run as high as $4000 or more. There is a much cheaper way to go than using these trucking company’s so-called “schools.”

Only after you accumulate six months to a year of driving experience meeting the criteria of the insurance companies, will you be able to go anywhere and get a job . . . including a local one.

About the Author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is a 29-year veteran of trucking and an expert in the field of transportation. He is the author of the Truth About Trucking and has helped hundreds of new drivers discover the scams concerning the trucking industry.

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CDL Truck Drivers Carrying Guns


Professional over the road CDL truck drivers are a unique breed of men and women. Strong, determined and masters of stamina, they keep the life blood of our country moving. Truck driving isn’t for everyone . . . in fact, few can actually handle the daily stress and long, endless hours of being out on the road. Long haul trucking is a rough life.

Along with this lifestyle come dangers. Driving through unfamiliar territory late at night looking for your loading or unloading destination . . . totally exhausted trying to find a place to park and you finally settle on the one spot you can find: along the side of an exit off ramp . . . or broken down out in the middle of nowhere . . . in this crazy world we all live in, danger can be just around the next bend.

I remember one night when I pulled into a truck stop in Jessup, Maryland and literally fell right into bed. What seemed like a few minutes later, I heard someone shouting, then some more yelling, and then . . . gun shots! The shots rang out about three trucks down from where I was parked. Seconds later, I was crawling into the driver’s seat, pulling back out onto I-95! To this day I don’t know what occurred, and at the time I didn’t want to know.

At present, there is no Federal Law that states that it is illegal for CDL truck drivers to carry guns in the truck with them. I’m the first to say that there have been several times when I would have felt much better had I had a handgun in my possession. But the question remains . . . should professional CDL truck drivers running over the road be allowed to carry hand guns with them? I find myself evaluating the pros and cons. The large majority of these men and women are good, honest and hard-working adults. The main priority is providing a living for themselves and their families. Should they have to face potential threats in crime infested areas without a means of protection, due to a few “bad apples” in the bunch?

Any professional trucker will tell you that when you are taking a high value shipment into an area of Detroit, Chicago, LA or New York City, etc., at 2:30 A.M., the potential of an attack is always probable. I recall several years ago when drivers were getting killed and their loads stolen while running across I-10 in South Texas along the Mexican border, where you can drive a hundred miles and only see a few cars.

On the other hand, trucking is a hard, stressful vocation. Tempers can flair at the drop of a hat. All one has to do is listen to the CB radio and you will hear constant fighting and berating by many drivers. One fight, one temper, and if one driver has a gun and other does not . . . ? For all the good, law-abiding drivers out there I wish they could be allowed to carry protection. But looking at the insane world we live in now, could it actually bring about more problems?  On the other hand … it is our Constitutional Right!

What do you think?

About the Author:

Aubrey Allen Smith is the author of the Truth About Trucking. An expert in transportation, and former police officer and a deputy sheriff, he has helped many new drivers discover the scams within the trucking industry.

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Trucking: Is it For You?


Lets just pretend for a moment, the trucking industry is perfect, all companies treat their employees wonderfully, all truck driving schools are reasonably priced and give top notch education, and everyone gets sick time and Holiday pay.(You will really have to use your imagination, but just do it).

The thought of being free on the open road, not having a boss on your back, seeing new places all the time. AHHH, what a life.

Now Time For a Little Reality

You wanted the Truth, Right?

Now, you’re out on the road, you’re driving to meet an appointment. You’ve had to really rush to meet your dead line, but YOU MADE IT. You’re all ready to get going again and get some more “real good” miles for the week. But wait, the next load doesn’t deliver for 2 days and the destination is only 350 miles away. That’s only 175 miles/day…..or about $75.00/day. So you wait and hope your next load is a better one.

It is, but the problem is you have to go 600 miles and deliver the next morning. Guess who’s not sleeping tonight? Oh, and remember you were suppose to be home this weekend? Well, you’re not. The load that was suppose to deliver on Saturday AM, won’t be able to accept until Monday early. You’re now out all weekend sitting, alone, and not being paid. ( Remember, you get paid by the mile).

You end up with 2000 miles for the week and gross about $800.00. (That’s $0.40/mile) Take out taxes, insurance, cash advance for OTR living expenses, etc..and you end up with about $500.00. You’re still out there away from home and you now have to do it all over again.

Okay, remember how you were pretending that the trucking industry was wonderful? Well, add to the above the fact that you owe $5000.00 for cdl school training, (which comes out of that check). And how about the fact that you rushed and drove so hard to make that appointment? Did you notice that you went over on your logs? Yup, that’s a fine from DOT if they catch you! That comes out of the check too. By the way, if you say anything about it to the company you work for, you’ll hear something like, “if you knew you were going to go over, you shouldn’t have accepted the load”. The company now issues you a safety warning also. Remember, it is always the driver’s fault!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is reality. Let’s sum it all up: You’ve spent thousands on your CDL. You’ve tried to be a good employee and get to your apointments on time. You’ve gone over on your logs, got a fine from DOT, a company safety warning, and did not go home for the weekend. Still sound good?

Decision Time Everybody

Here is the truth. Some people love trucking. They’ve gone to the best schools without spending thousands, they work for a good company that really cares (in my book I give my opinion on the best OTR company out there). Some don’t care that they’re out for weeks at a time, away from family and friends. For these people, trucking is Heaven. They love it, and even though they could be making more money at a 9-5 job, they wouldn’t give it up for anything.

However, if you are planning on “a life”, a structured home on most weekends, exact salary every week to plan on bills, and being with your friends and loved ones, then trucking could be hell for you. It’s just not happening in OTR life. There are other options in trucking though that do pay very well. You can learn about these options in the e-book, The Truth About Trucking.

So there you have it . . . Trucking . . . Heaven or Hell? Want more details? You need to read the Truth About Trucking.

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Miami, Florida Tops Road Rage List . . . Again


Truck driving jobs allow those professionals tough enough to handle the hardships of the lifestyle, a means of exploring this great country of ours. From Bangor, Maine to San Diego, California or Tacoma, Washington to Key West, Florida . . . there are a lot of miles to cover for the professional over the road truck driver. Through it all . . . between those endless miles . . . the truck driver sees it all.

You will find many ads for truck driving jobs describing the excitement and freedom of the open road. They lure in the unexpected by imploring you to “get away from it all” and enjoy the feel of freedom that only a truck driver can know. The truth is . . . truck driving, specifically over the road truck driving, is a rough and tough lifestyle that few can handle. As the number of vehicles on the road today continues to climb and there appears to be more autos than roads, you do not have to be associated with truck driving jobs to experience the rise of “road rage.”

According to a survey by AutoVantage, a Connecticut-based automobile membership club, Miami, Florida takes the top spot in the country for the highest rate of road rage among drivers. This is the second straight year in a row that Miami has won the “honors.” Based on their study, the top twenty-five cites for road rage are:

1. Miami, FL
2. New York, NY
3. Boston, MA
4. Los Angeles, CA
5. Washington, D.C.
6. Phoenix, AZ
7. Chicago, IL
8. Sacramento, CA
9. Philadelphia, PA
10. San Francisco, CA
11. Houston, TX
12. Atlanta, GA
13. Detroit, MI
14. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
15. Baltimore, MD
16. Tampa, FL
17. San Diego, CA
18. Cincinnati, OH
19. Cleveland, OH
20. Denver, CO
21. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
22. St. Louis, MO 23. Seattle-Tacoma, WA
24. Pittsburgh, PA
25. Portland, OR

In today’s world of over crowded highways and the rush attitude of the present society, this phenomenon of road rage will likely continue to rise. It can be a frustrating time for all of us . . . if we allow it to be. When the roads are jammed by an accident, road construction or whatever the cause may be, the professional truck driver, those men and women who have taken on the challenge of endless driving for a living, will take a deep breath, put their favorite tunes on the radio, and will deal with the situation.

Truck driving jobs are not for everyone. The ultimate test will come when you are fighting a dead line with a load of “hot” freight, and the never-ending highway in front of you comes to a dead stop for hours. The way you handle it . . . the way you deal with it . . . will determine if you truly are a professional.

Owner Operator: More Loss than Profit


In the world of truck driving, many newcomers are lured into the realm of becoming an owner operator. Given the choice of earning .34¢ per mile or $1.15 per mile, it is not difficult to understand why someone would choose the route of higher earnings. At 2500 miles per week, the difference of $2025.00 extra per week deserves attention. However, when dealing with professional truck driving jobs, you must deal with reality.

In an industry where the driver averages 100,000 miles per year, an owner operator compensated at $1.15 per mile is looking at grossing $115,000.00 annually. Compared to the average company driver at .34¢ per mile, their annual gross is a mere $34,000. Why would anyone choose a $34,000 yearly income more than $115,000 while performing the same duties?

Although owner operators are declining, there are still those companies that advertise proudly that they are a 100% owner operator fleet. Some have even raised the compensation to an enormous $1.50 per mile. At 100,000 miles per year, you are now facing a gross income of $150,000 per year! As a newcomer searching for a new career and a company willing to place you in “your own truck,” the excitement of earning that kind of money is hard to turn down. You want the freedom . . . you want your own business . . . you want $100,000 plus per year. It all sounds great. Now, let me take you to reality.

Owner operator lease programs are a way for new drivers to “own” a truck. The driver is responsible for all expenses, including fuel and repairs. Although there are some who do well with it, the majority of these owner operators will fail. To me, a lease owner operator is nothing more than a glorified company driver. Let’s take a look at a profit and loss analysis sheet for an owner operator and a company driver, and you be the judge:


Company Driver: Profit and Loss – Based on 100,000 miles per year

Compensation : .34¢ per mile = Driver’s Gross income – $34,000
Misc. Expenses, including meals @ $125.00 per week = Total Cost – $6500
*Tax withholdings @ 15% = Annual deductions – $5100
Company Driver NET annual income = $22,400.00
Company Driver NET weekly income = $430.77

*Tax withholding is estimate only at 15% average

And now . . . the “owner operator”:

Owner Operator: Profit and Loss – Based on 100,000 miles per year

Compensation : $1.15 per mile = Driver’s Gross income – $115,000
Truck Payment @ 1,333.35/month = Annual Cost – $16,000.20
Collision/Comp. Insurance = Annual Cost – $6300
Bobtail Insurance = Annual Cost – $804
Licenses = Annual Cost – $1,835
Permits = Annual Cost – $525
Accounting Services = Annual Cost – $725
Tractor Fuel = Annual Cost – $39,397.06
Truck Wash = Annual Cost – $701
Telephone = Annual Cost – $1,624
Meals = Annual Cost – $6500
Tolls = Annual Estimated Cost – $1,275
Taxes (Road, Use, Fuel) – $1,755
Taxes (Personal @ 15%) – Annual Cost – $17,250
Misc. Expenses – Annual Cost – $500
Maintenance @ .06¢ per mile = Annual Cost – $6000

Total Income to Owner Operator = $115,000
Total Cost of Operation = $101,191.26

Owner Operator NET annual income = $13,808.74
Owner Operator NET weekly income = $265.55


The figures speak more loudly than words. This analysis is also based on the fact that everything goes just as is. A few tires blow out . . . a blown engine . . . and you are now in the red. It is not difficult to understand why the trucking companies love the lease owner operator. 100,000 miles per year at 60 MPH will take you 1666.66 hours to drive in a perfect world. This owner operator’s net annual income shows that they performed this hard, difficult life for $8.28 per hour.

The “freedom” of being an owner operator is a myth. Turn down a load or “head home” whenever you want, and see how long the company will make you sit afterwards. As a company driver just drive . . . without the headaches and expenses associated with the owner operator program. If over the road truck driving is in your plans, think hard about the possibilities that await you. Like everything in life . . . learn all you can BEFORE you begin the journey. It is imperative that you know the truth about trucking.

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Florida Petroleum Carriers Ready for Hurricane Season


The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. As the previous years have shown, this can be a treacherous and even deadly time for those affected regions. Hopefully, we will have a repeat of 2006 where none of these killer storms reached the U.S. coast. During these times, thousands of dedicated workers operate behind the scenes performing tasks many never even realize. The professionals in truck driving are no exception.

In 2004 we witnessed hurricanes’ Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne tear across the state, and in 2005 the world was introduced to hurricane Katrina. The supply of gasoline dropped causing a certain group of truck driving professionals to test their stamina and skills. These are the petroleum carriers . . . the men and women who run 24/7, 365 days to get the gas to the pumps for the consumer.

Barry Szczucki is a driver for Pipeline Transportation, and is one of the best in the business. He has said that he will never forget 2005. “There was no gas anywhere! All the pumps were dry. It was so bad that Governor Bush lifted the ‘hours of service rule’ for gas haulers. We ran nonstop getting the gas to the stores. At one point, I had about 10 police cars behind me, following me to the pump because they were all just about out of gas!”

Pipeline Transportation, based out of Jacksonville, Florida is Florida’s Premier Petroleum Carrier. When the hurricane season rolls around, they, like the others, gear up for the potential over load of petroleum demand. “It can be a very trying and demanding time,” Mr. Szczucki said, “but Pipeline’s main goal is getting the product to our customer so they can meet the goals for their customers.”

Truck driving jobs are demanding enough, but those drivers with the extra skills and training, adhere to an even higher standard. Petroleum carriers covering the regions affected by hurricanes stand ready and willing to meet the needs of the people. With a little luck, 2007 will be a repeat of 2006. But, as a leader in top driver pay and transportation safety, trucking companies like Pipeline Transportation are ready to meet the call if this season is an active one.

About the author:

Aubrey “Allen” Smith is a 29 year veteran in the transportation industry, and an expert in truck driving safety. He is the author of the Truth About Trucking and receives hundreds of emails, devoting his time in revealing the scams of truck driving schools and truck driving jobs. To learn the Truth About Trucking, please visit today.

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Truck Driver Training for Accident Prevention


Truck driver training is the single most important factor one should consider when contemplating a future in truck driving careers. Many believe that after a three week course, they are ready to tackle the road as an operator of an 80,000 pound vehicle. Reality, soon sets in…….sometimes at a serious cost. Much more skill is needed than simply jumping in the driver’s seat and going through the gears.

According to reports from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), crashes involving large trucks are increasing. Sadly, fatalities by large truck crashes are also on the rise. As we move into the Summer months, and school lets out for our children across the country, professional drivers need to be aware and take extra precautions in their driving.

Truck crashes make headlines. If one was to look at the whole picture, you would actually see that the safest driver on the road is the professional truck driver. For the most part, the professional truck driver averages 130,000 miles per year, compared to 15,000 miles per year for the car driver. There are many statistics available showing crash analysis, but it normally fails to explain who was actually at fault. The large majority of the time, the accident or crash is the fault of the car driver. The reason being, is that the auto drivers simply do not understand the mechanics of operating a large motor vehicle. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, fatality crashes between cars and large trucks are the fault of the driver of the car . . . 71% of the time!

All too often, our smaller counter parts, will swerve in front of the large truck suddenly decreasing their stopping distance or “safe” distance, thus causing a rear-ended collision. Another favorite of auto drivers is to pull out in front of an oncoming semi, not understanding that a vehicle weighing 80,000 pounds cannot “stop on a dime.” Also, the general public seems to not understand about the blind spots on a tractor-trailer, always attempting to “squeeze” around them to get through.

Truck driver training shows us that the average automobile traveling at 60 MPH on good road conditions, is covering 88 feet per second. It will take that automobile 271 feet in order to reach a full stop. An 80,000 pound semi tractor-trailer traveling at 60MPH will take 426 feet to stop! The size of a semi rig makes it appear that it is moving slower than it really is. Years ago I had an elderly lady pull right out in front of me and I barely got the rig stopped before crashing into her. Shaken, she stopped and got out of her car and profusely apologized for her actions. Do you know what she said to me? She stated that she thought since I was an “18 wheeler,” that I had 18 brakes! This shows the education of the general public.

Truck driving careers must continually include the truck driver training skills needed in this important aspect of our economy. The training and skills fall upon the professional driver and the trucking company.   One area that is seriously lacking, is that trucking companies fail to meet even the basic standards for training when it comes to such important factors as hauling hazmat material.  Generally, drivers are only shown a three minute video on HazMat Operations, and then the driver is “signed off” as being HazMat certified.

The general public is not going to take the time to educate themselves about the mechanics of a tractor-trailer. To the public, I would advise that when you see a large truck tailgating another vehicle, call the police and report them. They are a danger to you and me. Here are some facts from 2005, the latest year available:

  • Large trucks involved in fatal crashes – 4,932
  • Fatalities resulting from these crashes – 5,212
  • Non-fatal crashes – 139,772
  • Injuries in crashes – 91,824

With Summer coming and school out, professional drivers must, as always, be ready and willing to be extra cautious and drive safely. Keep your following distance and remember that the family in the car ahead of you, could be your own.

About the author:

Aubrey “Allen” Smith is an expert in truck driver training. He is the author of the Truth About Trucking and is an advocate for trucking safety. He devotes his time in revealing the scams of the trucking industry and truck driving schools to new drivers. To learn more, please visit today.

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