Review: The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream

Discussion in 'YRC Freight' started by Freightmaster1, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Freightmaster1

    Freightmaster1 Well-Known Member

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    This work is undervalued even though it's absolutely crucial to the economy.

    As 27-year driver Greg Simmons says in a recent New York Times profile of long-haul truckers, “We’re throwaway people. Nobody cares about us.” Simmons says he feels trapped in an occupation that no longer provides a decent living, thanks to corporate innovations like the pay-by-mile system, which doesn’t account for all the hours drivers get stuck in traffic or wait on trailers to be loaded or unloaded, a process that often takes hours.

    For truckers at the ports who move goods from ships to warehouses, the situation is even worse. An in-depth USA Today report (June 20, 2017) exposed the terrible conditions faced by immigrants driving trucks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, describing their situation as “modern-day indentured servitude.”

    Many port truckers are locked into lease agreements in which a large portion of their wages goes toward their truck and vehicle maintenance. Their bosses use these leasing agreements to force drivers into punishing schedules, threatening them with losing their truck (and forfeiting all the wages paid into the truck) if they refuse to work beyond the legal maximum hours or if they get sick and can't work. They are also often misclassified as “independent contractors,” depriving drivers of basic protections like overtime compensation, family and medical leave, and unemployment insurance.
  2. mysticobra

    mysticobra Just here.

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    Somebody has to load and unload them also.
    We are undervalued as well.
    Nothing is going to change.
    Best thing to do is get out (if you can) and don't advise anyone
    to get into the business.
    Not worth it anymore.
    Unless you like living behind the wheel.
    callboard lifer, albag and Toby like this.

    LEHIGH vALLEY Well-Known Member

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    It's not the same career as when I started all those many years ago. As you say I would never advise trucking as a career to anyone!
    vongrimmenstein likes this.
  4. Toby

    Toby Well-Known Member

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    I have read on on other forums where people still think this industry is the golden ticket .. I tell everyone I come across that it is not.. that it once was and sure you can make some $$, but what you give up has to be taken into account as well.

    The industry is not the same as it was 10-20-30 yrs ago. With many of the veteran drivers approaching retirement and those with 15 or more years looking to bolt, it’s only going to get worse.. Ad in all the new regulations where it seems that they want to purge the system of the experienced drivers and it starts to look like a storm brewing.

    Most — not all newbies and millennials coming into the industry will not last. They say that driverless trucks are on the way and that may be true for long haul, but it won’t work in city op’s..

    Much of the O/O segment has already been gobbled up by recent immigrants and I can see with the already current driver shortage a push for H1B to bring in drivers like they did with Tech to fill the gaps and to drive down scale.
    Freightmaster1 and albag like this.
  5. callboard lifer

    callboard lifer Active Member

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    Schneider does the same thing. Owner operators and senior employees start getting the short runs. The runs that Don t pay anything
  6. Toby

    Toby Well-Known Member

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    With the medical regulations on sleep apnea and the far fetched system they are using to evaluate drivers it is almost as though they want to purge the system of experienced drivers. Add in all the other hoops that drivers have to jump through and the different standards even in our personal vehicles as far as points are concerned and it gets to a point of asking oneself if it is really worth it anylonger.

    Are the long hours and sacrifices truely adding up anylonger? One has to ask oneself with all the current regulations and the ones coming online, is this truely a career that once was decent, but increasingly becoming more difficult to tolerate.

    The ELD’s are going to play a big part in this. For one it is going to reduce pay overall throughout the industry for O/O to company drivers that run the road. Add in the fact that now a guy that may run a Gurnee Il (by the boarder of Wisconsin) to St. Louis and back on a daily basis will be shut down on the return trip with any delay in St. Louis with less than 45 min of drive time to home for example. Where in the past you just may have stretched it those 45 so you could sleep in your own bed that night, but with ELD’s you are now required to shut down.
    The runs will get shorter as a result, or you will have to sacrifice and stay out longer.

    How many of the millennial generation will want to work the open docks in the dead of winter with below zero temps with the current pay structure at companies like YRC/Holland... sure they may do it for a while but with no retirement incentive as the end goal and lower industry wages for like sized companies how long will they really be retained?

    The changing times both technological in the industry as well as in this companies case corporate greed and mismanagement from all angles really makes a person on the outside with any knowledge of the industry to pause and take a second look at entering the field.

    Without a doubt it is still a decent career!

    It’s not for everyone, and not everyone has what it takes to be a skilled driver. The many facets from OTR/Linehaul to City LTL takes many different skill levels and not everyone is cut out to do them. Many can’t crossover from one to the other for various reasons and quite frankly some people will never adapt to the requirements of running the city(especially in bigger markets). This holds true especially for those just entering the field.

    From a potential outsider looking into jumping into trucking many think it’s all about making big bucks. With simple online google searches sites like TB and others pop up now and a potential candidate would do themselves a service to do basic research. Especially those looking to hire on with a company such as YRCW and affiliates, Swift, CRST, JB, Schneider, and the many others that advertise certain promises, but deliver a different story once entrapped.

    I still say this is going to be a driving factor moving forward where foreign labor will slowly become dominant over domestic labor for this industry. We are already seeing this occurring (just listen to the CB). Technology not in the near future, but coming down the pike will play a huge part as well.

    Are the days numbered in this industry? Not in the short term, but in the long term surly they may be with Congress and other entities looking for a technology solution to many of the things currently plaguing the industry.. some of these things are the result of companies holding true to a 30 yr old playbook, and some are due to advancement in technology overall.

    For now it’s still the best game in town in many parts of the country and will be for some time yet to come. For other parts of the country it butts up against other trades and industry that entices younger people for less sacrifice overall. This generation researches everything online these days, and when you come across all the threads we read on this site alone one has to wonder what crosses their minds.. add in the fact many have already seen their dads get screwed over by companies and corporate like ours!
  7. Teamsta II

    Teamsta II Trump is a big baby

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    There is no future in this industry. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

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