Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Any truck drivers here?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    21,216

    Default Any truck drivers here?

    Lots of local reports on the lack of truck drivers impacting the economy.
    I know two. Both have regular routes. One goes round trip Seattle to Hope BC, carrying soda pop and bottled water. The other hauls two trailers Seattle to Portland. BC driver does it strictly for the benefits and pay. PDX guy loves the routine. Neither has a strict timeline. “You get there when you get there”

    So, I’m left wondering why there’s a shortage of drivers.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    the hills
    Posts
    68,233

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    I drive to the dump every two weeks.

    Good question though. Maybe it’s not a shortage in general but specific types of truck drivers that impact the market in general. A worthy question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    beer city usa
    Posts
    118,936

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    the shortage is a vast conspiracy created by truck driving academies

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    22,216

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    My brother has a big trucking company (gravel mining, road building, etc.). He’s a Trumpster. In a recent conversation he was complaining that his company could not find enough drivers. Not two minutes later he was complaining about Biden’s immigration policies letting all those foreigners in taking all our jobs. I just don’t understand Republicans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern Georgia, or Mississippi Delta USA
    Posts
    26,944

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    My neighbor in Mississippi was a truck driver. I know he had to have a security clearance and carried explosives to military bases. He would often be away for a month or so at a time. He quit that this year and sold his truck and went to work for a local concrete plant delivering concrete. I don't know why as I have never really liked talking to the guy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    2,529

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    There is also some shortage here.

    Well, it's a big difference if you get to sleep in your own bed every night or if you have to camp in your truck or some motel most nights. Also with regards to partnership, family etc.

    Beyond that - a truck is a lot of responsibility and payment is not always very good. At least here in Europe, you have some companies who really drive their drivers hard (there are legal limits to how much time they are allowed to spend behind the wheel though). Just in time stuff etc. Then - there has been a push for bigger and bigger delivery trucks here in Europe. So, you see trucks basically far too big for the location delivering to shops. That is some real skill to maneuver a big truck in tight locations.

    Beyond that - endless hours on the motorway, days after days if you have a long distance cargo - can probably get stale sooner or later.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Kitty Hawk, NC
    Posts
    12,357

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Lots of local reports on the lack of truck drivers impacting the economy.

    So, I’m left wondering why there’s a shortage of drivers.
    At one time truck driving gave one a middle class life. Not so much now.

    But if you read the papers or watch youtube videos, you can find lots of answers.
    Life is complex.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    On the river, Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    7,470

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    Lots of local reports on the lack of truck drivers impacting the economy.
    I know two. Both have regular routes. One goes round trip Seattle to Hope BC, carrying soda pop and bottled water. The other hauls two trailers Seattle to Portland. BC driver does it strictly for the benefits and pay. PDX guy loves the routine. Neither has a strict timeline. “You get there when you get there”

    So, I’m left wondering why there’s a shortage of drivers.
    I have all the drivers licence classes other than passenger service vehicles ( bus and taxi) but since my late 20s have only rarely driven a heavy truck.
    But some of my friends know I have those licence classes, and someone I know was asked by the manager of a long haul freight truck company if they knew of anyone who could drive some specific shifts.
    My name was put forward, I got a phone call, and was persuaded.
    They'd run out of drivers, had about a third of their regulars off either sick or self isolating, and they were short anyway. So I fronted for the Friday and Saturday night run for two weekends, about five hours out, swap trucks with the incoming driver from the other end of the run, stop for a meal with that driver at the turnaround then drive back.
    I spent an hour with that manager being orientated to the 3 month old double semi, thats a B train, a tractor pulling a semi, that pulls another semi, not common here, about the biggest of our truck configurations. But being only about 3 months old has all the latest features to make it easy to drive, and it was. Other than being incredibly aware that I had 44 tons behind me, it was a very nice drive. The truck coming back was the same Hino 700 model, they'd organised that so I'd be ok returning in the same type of vehicle.
    I have to say, dont try and overtake one of these unless you have a good clear distance ahead and a fairly frisky vehicle, they're faster than you'd expect.
    Four trips, it was a good experience, and although I was offered the same run in the same trucks I had to decline, it paid well but much of my leisure occupation is weekend when those with employment commitments are able to attend events.

    Fun though, paddle shift gearbox, super quiet and comfortable cab, great sound system, really comfortable seating, and 450 hp really moved it along.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    40,166

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bow View Post
    So, I’m left wondering why there’s a shortage of drivers.
    I have been wondering the same. With it, ships were left unloaded for weeks and I don't understand that, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I just don’t understand Republicans.
    You are thinking too hard. Trust me, they aren't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Little Time View Post
    At one time truck driving gave one a middle class life. Not so much now.
    I think this is the closest thing to truth I've heard. So when will our society understand that always trying to get more for less does not build a better society, create greater stability, or bring happiness? What we need is to enable everyone to make a living wage. It will solve a whole lot of our problems.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    17,068

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    Trucking used to pay pretty well, especially long-haul/interstate trucking, which was regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commision.

    That ended in 1980, and truck driver's pay scales were slashed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business...pay-conditions

    https://www.businessinsider.com/truc...-retail-2020-7

    How a little-known 1980 law slashed pay for millions of truck drivers and created big-box retail as we know it

    Rachel Premack Jul 25, 2020, 5:46 AM

    • Today's network of big-box retailers and online shopping likely wouldn't exist without the deregulation of the trucking industry 40 years ago this month.
    • The Motor Carrier Act of 1980, passed by President Jimmy Carter, slashed the cost of moving goods by truck.
    • It also eroded one of America's great blue-collar jobs: truck driving.
    •*A truck driver's salary has decreased by as much as half since deregulation.

    When Larry Heine was a working man he drove a truck eight hours a day. He saw his family every night, owned his home, sent both his kids to college, and took his wife on vacation to Hawaii whenever he could land some overtime.

    As a member of the Teamsters, Heine was guaranteed good health care and a pension. He retired at 51, receiving a cake and a $250 gift card to a fishing store on his last day.

    In 2020, truck drivers work a median of 60 hours a week, according to a 2010 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. One in five reported logging more than 75 hours.

    At the same time, their pay has sunk. In the late 1970s, driver salaries were up to 50% higher than they are today, even when accounting for inflation, according to Wayne State University economics professor Michael Belzer.


    In the US, the median salary for the 1.9 million truck drivers stands at $45,260. Nearly 40% lack health-insurance coverage, compared to 17% of the working population.

    From his home in Northern California — which he built after he retired — Heine told Business Insider he was shocked at those changes.

    "They've depressed the market so bad," Heine said. "You can't make a living on that. Give me a break."

    To Heine, truck driving was a "standard blue-collar job."

    To today's drivers, his was a good life in a golden age — an age that many say ended on July 1, 1980, when President Jimmy Carter put his name to the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, the law that deregulated the trucking industry.

    Starting in 1935, the federal government set the price to move a good from one city to another. Trucking companies had to apply for the right to carry a certain good, which made it challenging for folks like Heine to even become a truck driver.

    The 1980 MCA broke up that system, allowing anyone to haul any good, to any place, for any price they liked.

    [ Continued at https://www.businessinsider.com/truc...-retail-2020-7 ]
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    17,068

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    And... more.



    https://prospect.org/economy/why-tru...ver-the-goods/


    Why Trucking Can’t Deliver the Goods
    The yearly turnover rate among long-haul truckers is 94 percent. And you wonder why you’re not getting your orders on time?


    BY HAROLD MEYERSON FEBRUARY 7, 2022


    For the past dozen years, Omar Alvarez has been a key link in the nation’s supply chain. He’s one of some 12,000 truckers who haul the containers from the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (where 40 percent of all the ship-borne imports to the United States arrive) to the immense complex of warehouses 50 miles east of L.A., where the goods are unpacked, resorted, put back on other trucks, and sent to all the Walmarts, Targets, and the like within a thousand-mile radius.


    In the course of his daily rounds, Alvarez promotes the general welfare to insure the domestic tranquility of manufacturers, shopkeepers, and consumers. For which the economic system of his grateful country rewards him with … a pittance.


    Alvarez works for one of the largest trucking companies at the ports, XPO Logistics, but XPO insists that Alvarez and his fellow truckers aren’t really employees. As far as XPO is concerned, they’re independent contractors and it treats them as such—though they drive XPO trucks they lease from the company or its adjuncts and can’t use those trucks for any other jobs. As independent contractors, they receive no benefits and aren’t covered by minimum-wage statutes. They must pay for their gas, maintenance, rig insurance, and repairs themselves; and, ever since the pandemic clogged the ports with more goods than ever before, they’ve had to wait in lines for as long as four to six uncompensated hours before they can access a container and get it on the road. If they get in the wrong line at the port, they literally can’t get out, surrounded by other trucks and doomed to waste more time. Many ports don’t even provide bathrooms for waiting truckers, because they aren’t port employees.


    More from Harold Meyerson


    According to a 2019 study by the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the median annual pre-tax income of Alvarez and his fellow port truckers, once their expenses are factored in, is a munificent $28,000.


    “We have no health insurance,” Alvarez says. Like the majority of port truckers, he’s an immigrant who doesn’t qualify for Medicaid. “When I need to see a doctor,” he says, “I drive [not in his truck] to Tijuana.”


    Perhaps one-fifth of port truckers actually are independent contractors; nearly everyone else is, like Alvarez, misclassified as independents. Over the past decade, dozens of lawsuits from misclassified drivers have resulted in judgments affirming that they’ve been misclassified and awarding them compensation from the companies that misclassified them. XPO recently paid a $30 million fine to a large number of its drivers. But neither XPO nor any of the other fined companies have stopped misclassification. It’s cheaper for them to pay a fine than to pay their drivers a living wage.


    Not surprisingly, given the long waits and meager rewards, a lot of drivers have simply stopped showing up. According to Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of L.A., fully 30 percent of the port’s 12,000 drivers no longer show up on weekdays, a percentage that rises to 50 percent on weekends. Once the waits exceed six hours, as they now sometimes do, drivers would run the risk of exceeding the 11-hour federal limit on trucker workdays if they then were to actually get a load—which means the port must turn them away, and they’ll have spent an entire workday for no pay at all.


    And you wonder why the supply chain isn’t working very well?


    THE PLIGHT OF THE PORT TRUCKERS may seem extreme, but the plight of the great majority of long-haul truckers is dismal as well. It wasn’t ever thus. Until 1980, long-haul truckers were generally employed by regulated companies whose routes and rates had to pass muster with the Interstate Commerce Commission. Under the terms of the 1935 Motor Carrier Act, the ICC kept potential lowball, low-wage competitors out of the market. Drivers were also highly unionized, under a Master Freight Agreement between the Teamsters and close to 1,000 trucking firms. For which reasons, truck driving was a pretty damn good blue-collar job, with decent pay, livable hours, and ample benefits.


    The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 changed all that, scrapping the rules of the 1935 act so that startups, charging far less than the pre-1980 rates and paying their drivers far less as well, flooded the market. Facing that competition, established companies dropped their rates and pay scales, too. By 1998, drivers were making between 30 percent and 40 percent less than their pre-1980 predecessors had made. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, following the steep decline in wages in the decades after the 1980 deregulation, trucker income has flatlined for the past 20 years. The median income of long-haul truckers who are employees was roughly $53,000 in 2018; for contractors, it was $45,000—though drivers in both groups had to put in many more than 40 hours per week to reach these totals.


    The story of trucking deregulation is a story of the decentering of workers from liberalism’s concerns.

    After 1980, the share of long-haul drivers who are contractors increased as well. Of those contractors, the Berkeley Labor Center reports that over one-quarter are misclassified, too (including the drivers for FedEx and Amazon). Like the port truckers, long-haul independent contractors also have to wait, unpaid, in pandemic-lengthened lines to pick up their loads, so that their hourly wage often falls below the legal minimum. Nor have the legacy companies that have allowed their workers to retain employee status, with the notable exception of UPS, maintained their unionized status. With wages plummeting throughout the industry, the thousand companies that had been party to the Master Freight Agreement with the Teamsters in 1980 had dwindled to a bare five by 2008. Fully 57 percent of truckers were unionized in 1980 (nearly all with the Teamsters). A threadbare 10 percent were union members at the turn of the millennium.


    Not surprisingly, the supply chain in long-haul trucking suffers from the same ailment as port trucking: no-show-ism. The American Trucking Associations estimates that the nation needs 80,000 more long-haul truckers to move its goods in a timely fashion, and that by 2030, that shortfall may double to 160,000. Confronted with jobs that take them away from their families and require long hours for low pay and scant if any benefits, America’s truck drivers don’t stay truck drivers for very long. A 2019 study by University of Minnesota economist Stephen Burks and Kristen Monaco of the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the annual turnover rate of long-haul truckers is a breathtaking 94 percent. And this, I hasten to point out, was before the national quit rate reached new highs in 2021.


    The combination of fewer drivers and more goods to be moved has slowed delivery times on the interstates no less than on the port-to-warehouse runs. Phil Levy, an economist who measures such things for a San Francisco–based logistics company, says that before the pandemic, moving a shipment from L.A. to Chicago took on average ten days; it now takes 22. Returning the empty container from Chicago to L.A. used to take 20 days; now it takes 33.


    And you wonder why the supply chain isn’t working very well?


    WHAT HAPPENED IN 1980 that led to the transformation of trucking from a regulated industry with a willing workforce to a deregulated, dysfunctional mess whose workers bail after a year or less on the job? In the largest sense, the story of the progression from the 1935 act to the 1980 act is a story of the decentering of workers from liberalism’s concerns.


    [ Continued at https://prospect.org/economy/why-tru...ver-the-goods/ ]
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    I disagree on it not giving one a middle class life. It can - though certainly not upper middle. Once one has a few years experience, 80K is possible nowadays. However, the best paying jobs require being away from home for long periods & many don't want that. A local (home every night) job is more like 50K.

    Then there are the health drawbacks - road food, sitting all day, hemorrhoids, and noise (less so in new trucks).
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mountain lakes of Vermont
    Posts
    18,068

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    On my sister's dairy farm, they have several very large dump trucks (for carrying harvested crops) and the guys on the farm all have to have CDL licenses to drive them.
    The driving course to get that license costs $7,000 plus they have to pass a physical every year to keep it.
    I suppose a lot of folks don't want to go through that hassle for a tough job.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Kitty Hawk, NC
    Posts
    12,357

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Carey View Post
    Trucking used to pay pretty well, especially long-haul/interstate trucking, which was regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commision.

    That ended in 1980, and truck driver's pay scales were slashed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business...pay-conditions

    https://www.businessinsider.com/truc...-retail-2020-7
    That sounds much like the stories I have read.

    The Republican Jimmy Carter was not as good of a Democrat as we hope for.
    Life is complex.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Central Coast, Ca
    Posts
    35,576

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    I think that requirements have been pushed to the limit and it just isn't worth jumping through the hoops to become a lowly "truck driver"
    As far as earning a living, you could make pretty good money when there were no restrictions on how long you could drive.

    Getting a CDL today requires jumping through many hoops, giving up personal information and liberties (including proof of birth name, a criminal background check, a drug test, and a comprehensive physical exam) that many won't do for whatever reason.
    Until they make the pay rate commensurate with say a merchant marine ticket there will be a shortage of drivers.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    northern Georgia, or Mississippi Delta USA
    Posts
    26,944

    Default Re: Any truck drivers here?

    I well remember the 1979 Teamsters strike. It made for a very busy period for the cargo air freight business. We mostly carried auto parts for the GM and Ford assembly plants in Atlanta and our warehouse had parts stacked almost to the ceiling and more outside.

    1979 Teamsters Strike

    A 10-day Teamsters strike in 1979 was so powerful that it impacted the U.S. auto industry’s bottom line. The strike, called by rank-and-file union members, caused General Motors to lay off 12,400 workers to preserve profits and Chrysler to almost completely shut down. The strike won a 30% increase in wages and benefits for truck drivers and warehouse workers. At the peak of inflation, the new contract forced the Carter administration to “bend and stretch” its anti-inflation wage guidelines. The contract was ratified by an overwhelming 2-to-1 majority and then–president of the Teamsters, Frank E. Fitzsimmons stated that “this is the best national freight contract ever negotiated.”

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •