Be careful what you wish for....

Discussion in 'ABF Freight System' started by Trailboss, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Trailboss

    Trailboss Member

    A few employees are asking at the ABF round table if management could make a percentage of the fleet non smoking. The moderator said that if they did so, they would instantly have issues with a smoker not being able to dispatch in a smoker approved truck and vice-versa.

    More guys chimed in to say that they are suffering from being forced to drive smoker vehicles. The mod came back and suggested that ABF could put cameras in the trucks "like our competitors do" and start disciplinary write-ups for offenders.

    We have smokers that you would never know smoked... they crack their windows, and don't recirculate the cabin air. We have one guy that is the opposite, never cracks a window, smokes like a chimney and always recirculates the air.

    For the purposes of full disclosure, I smoke two bowls of tobacco in a 12 hour run, try to be respectful of others on ventilation, and most everyone says that the faint pipe smoke actually smells good.

    Permanently scarred instruments because a guy doesn't like a dash light, leftover food in the truck, a booger pickin driver, and a sick one that insists on working through the cold/flu is worse in my opinion.

    It would be nice if barn by barn we could work it out amongst ourselves, but I guess that running to corporate for solutions are the way of dealing with this.

    Heck...cussing out a motorist, stereo too loud, distracted driving (mgmt interprets case by case), talking on any phone, etc... can all be reasons for write ups...yeah, let's rally for on board cameras! (Insert sarcasm).
    MikeJ likes this.
  2. ABFer

    ABFer Well-Known Member

    I can't think of a better way to have the men at each others' throats right before contract negotiations should be ready to begin. I'd expect them to start moving on this in a few months.
  3. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

    I'm a non-smoker. We have one guy in our little barn who smokes heavy. On the rare occasions he and I switch trucks, he has provided a can of some sort of anti-smoke smell cleaner so that I can neutralize the stench. A few antibacterial wipes on the wheel and shifter does the trick.....

    Maybe the reasonable answer is to have the terminals where slip-seating is going on, is to provide a few cleaning items and a little reasonable time to use them. Certainly a lot less expensive than cameras and discipline.

    I don't trust some of the dialogue ,..........Or the "posters"........ on InfoRoundtable. Some of them are definitely company plants,.......... and if the thread is getting a lot of traction, it may be the companies' way of justification for installing driver-facing cameras.

    Last contract talks, ABF admitted that 75% of us were within 5 years of retirement..........And that was 3 years ago.
    Put a piece of surveillance equipment in the cab, and I won't wait until June to retire. I'd regard it as intrusive, distracting, and insulting to my competency.

    The company may say they own the tractor..........Fine.........Let's see how much freight it can deliver without a driver in it.

    Smoking is a terrible addiction and a health hazard............So is eating sauerkraut and jalapeno huevos ranchos for breakfast and sitting in the tractor all day long........... with just about the same smelly results....

    But both indiscretions pale in comparison to the company using...... or creating.,......In-house bickering to justify surveillance cameras in tractors......

    If the choice was cameras, or second-hand smoke,.......I'd clean out the tractor with handi-wipes every time.........I'd carry a clothes pin for following the sauerkraut-eating driver......
    30yearman and MikeJ like this.
  4. ABFer

    ABFer Well-Known Member

    Noooooooooo, it can't be...say it isn't so! And since the company controls what is and is not posted you can bet that they like this subject. They haven't liked any of the questions that I have asked so far.
    I have explained this to more than one smoker...the big difference is that one is illegal in many places, the other is not.
    canaryinthemine likes this.
  5. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

    Our smokers smoke and some of them have alright trucks and others of them have filthy trucks. I'm 90% of the time the only person who drives my truck, but usually even I and even though it's only mean will usually wash the steering wheel and shifter down as well as the dash and all the other stuff with a terry cloth cotton white towel and Simple Green.

    Right now my trucks dirty because of all the road salt, dust, but I'll give it a good wash in the Spring. I remember working at the beer company though and all those filty trucks there, one time I opened one up and garbage fell out on me.

    You know, I wish people could just behave decently and not run to the big bosses or even small bosses about every thing, because all that does is makes things worse, it's like going to the Federal Government and asking them for a solution. Your just hurting your self every time you report stupid things to the big bosses. The less you report to them the better. However the more you report to them and the stupider the subject, the more they go "Gosh these people are idiots, I can't believe we even allow them to go out on the road everyday with our equipment. We better get cameras and every other BS thing we can think of because of all the liabilities we have working for us."

    Vs if you stay quite and do your job and handle problems internally upper management, will say "Gee stuffs going alright, no need to spend money on BS things."

    I don't know why people haven't learned the don't tattle tale lesson.
  6. canaryinthemine

    canaryinthemine Retirement....The Job I Was Born To Have!

    Sometimes guys can't tell the difference between a minor irritation and a legitimate problem.......Now, getting into a tractor where someone smoked heavily all night with the heater on has made me queasy enough to think about tossing breakfast,.,.......So I just throw open both doors while I go to get a few handi-wipes......

    TM sees me doing it, but as I don't elaborate or explain,.........he don't question. Perfect world.

    Fact of the matter is that there will always be drivers that smoke,..........And drivers that insist on eating sauerkraut and jalapenos,........And drivers who wear their greasy gloves while jockeying.........And drivers who fling boogers against the dashboard..........And drivers who are real sloppy...( and forgetful ) ....... with their tobacco spit bottles......

    Point is,.......Do you really want management to figure out the answer for these drivers while you stand beside them and wring your hands in anguish?


    Our trucks , our fellow employees, we'll handle the problem. In egregious cases, a good nose-to-nose talk may be in order,.... but that requires manning- up and talking to the offender in question. If you can't do it, ask the steward....
  7. ABFer

    ABFer Well-Known Member

    I used to share a tractor with a driver who smoked cigars. He had a little sandbag ashtray on the dash where he'd leave his roach. I didn't care, didn't bother me but did he really think that it would just sit there on the dash in that old Louisville Ford single axle? What did get my goat was the time he outright accused me of tossing his roach on the floor. I just asked him if he gave any thought to the situation at all. I said something like, "Do you really think I'd touch that thing?". End of story.

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