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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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U.S. Trucking Industry Corruption


by Allen Smith

trucking corruption

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.

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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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14 Responses to U.S. Trucking Industry Corruption. - Post a Comment

  1. Desiree

    When you calculate the advertising dollars spent to encourage new students to trucking when in fact freight is not moving, you begin to see the trucking industry is runnning a governement funded “Indentured Servitude” operation where ” Starving Out” is commonplace.

    Just read the for the student training companies that are government funded and a picture begins to emerge.

    The number of government agencies involved in this mess is astronomical and disheartening.

    Trucking is most certainly the backbone of America and it takes particular lifestyle sacfifices to forgo luxuries in order to provide them to the masses.

    A phony organization each day springs up to cover the shenanigans this industry conceals to further manipulate the hard working American Trucker.

    All on the taxpayers dime

  2. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by truckerapp: U.S. Trucking Industry Corruption: Within most industries lies corruption and the long haul trucking industr…

  3. jim burgess

    Simply put, truckers will never have anything unless we form a union. We could get anything we want, control any politician, and dictate to government what it should do about our industry. We must organize now!!!

  4. Driving Scool Wokingham

    The goverment need to realise that it is the people who really run the country not the politicians. The sooner the public organise themselves the better.

  5. Eskimoe Joe

    I think drivers are frequently wearing an 80,000 pound pair of shackles. Break the law…or else!!!

  6. Allen Smith

    I’ll see you on the Show Thursday, January 21st at 7PM EST….Let’s talk About it!! So far CSA 2010 and Unfair DAC Reporting are the leading topics…. but you can talk about ANYTHING!

  7. Diocletian

    What you propose is the creation of a collectivistic, totalitarian dictatorship controlled by unions. The Constitution would be scrapped. Legitimate individual rights (to one’s own life, personal liberty, private property, pusuit of one’s own happiness, freedom of contract and association) would be denied to both union members and non-union workers. I am opposed to any form of tyranny, Jim, union-based or otherwise. I am certain that I am not alone, and I am prepared to resist very violently anyone’s attempts at enslaving me, for what you propose would, in fact, lead to slavery, and require a civil war to eliminate it, a war that I would be willing to fight.

  8. robert

    The whole union thing will never work because the drivers will never get together and support each other in that effort. If all the drivers would run legal, dispatcher-shipper be damned,then we would have everyones’ attention because freight would not be as readily available. (Hat would increase freight because the goods would have to be shipped more often to cover empty shelves in stores, empty racks at lumber yards, and military equipment arriving 1-2 days late due to long wait times at shippers and long unload times at the consignee locations. It is our fault because we have allowed these behaviors to become acceptable. We should start charging layover after just one and one half hour, stop logging time at either point A or B as sleeper berth time to satisfy a dispatcher and log it on duty like the FEDERAL regulation manual that every one of us is supposed to know. I drive legal and I don’t care if my delivery manager likes it or not. It’s my CDL not hit, nor is it his ass that DOT will put OOS or ticket the crap out of if I get caught. If they load me improperly or my equipment is not 100% operational I will not rollwith it. It is stupid to put people and my self at risk. How would I explain to my 3 small children that I have to go to jail for having propey secured my load, or failed to do a pre-trip inspection. No one, not dispatcher, shipper, consignee, or delivery manager is worth my career, CDL, nor coming home to my family. Drive legal and when the gripe at you for running late, explain the long unpaid wait to get loaded, than open the and tell to open theirs to the page about logging and time explanation and tell them to read it and if they insist, hit a scale house, stop and have a DOT officer call your dispatcher and let him explain the law to the dispatcher. That will upset them, but how upset will the family of someone you hit and maybe kill because of driving tired or faulty equipment, or how upset will your family be at losing you for years because you let someone that is not in you seat dictate how fatigued you are or how important the load is. Your life is more important than any load, and so is everyone elses’ who is next to you on the highway. Be careful and roll with your guardian angel safely home…

  9. robert

    I apologize for all the typos. The buttons on my phone are small and my fingers are big. And I am not driving as I type this, that is against the law.

  10. Jean

    Is there any way out of the leases ???

  11. Allen Smith

    You would have to read the lease very carefully to see if there is any type of clause that would allow you to break the lease, legally, for any reason. If not, try to get a clause placed in the lease … most trucking companies will not do it, so look for another company with a lease that best fits your needs and wants. Don’t sign anything until you have an attorney look it over to be certain that the lease works for YOU and not the company.

  12. SD Parton

    Good Letter, I agree. I’ve driven for 35 years now (14 of it OTR), and drive logging truck now. Logging is unregulated, unless I cross a state line, but I refuse to drive unsafely, or operate dangerous equipment. My boss is an old guy like me and doesn’t push me any more than I allow him. He wants to keep my experience and ability.
    I drove for several large OTR companies and, with the exception of Combined Transport, they mostly fielded trainers I wouldn’t have drive my lawnmower. But they were afraid of a guy like me with a professional attitude and good record.

  13. Paul

    I have been looking into getting into trucking.I have been a farmer all my life,so I have drove trucks although not Tractor trailers.I have run the roads all night,so I think I know something about it.But looking online has not given me anything to make the leap.I know its not an easy job,but it sounds like alot of these trucking companies are just plain crooked.I have checked out driving schools,and companies that have their own schools.CRST and Cr England said come on,but I don’t know who to trust,need some help,thanks.

  14. Shannon

    All I know is that trucking was the worst decision I could have made. Driver Solutions sues more students for tuition other than tell the truth to them. Please stay away from that school I am also looking for anyone who attended from March to April of 2009 please contact me at Something needs to be done about these crooks and the companies they are affiliated with PAM and USA Truck. So if I can get in contact with anyone who has had the same problems here in indianapolis it will be appreciated.

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