Bottom Line
Truckers perspectives

The flip side of the coin
by Steve Takacs of Mars, PA

Let us look at dock time from a different perspective. After having driven for 30 years, I can sympathize with drivers’ problems since I have encountered nearly all of them myself. I have to wonder, however, how many drivers understand the problems facing shippers and receivers. I am now in charge of shipping and receiving as well as dispatching a small distribution fleet into five states for a chemical distributor.

I am weary of hearing about drivers being held up waiting to load and unload. Every carrier that comes in here on time is loaded or unloaded promptly. The problem is that only about half the carriers come in on time. Carriers like to call for a delivery time, then do not bother to call to let you know they will be early or late. One delivery that was scheduled yesterday at 9 a.m. showed up at 10:15 without bothering to call. One that was scheduled for 7 a.m. today came in yesterday at 3:30 p.m. Today’s 8 a.m. delivery got here at 10 a.m. and my 9 a.m. delivery came in at 9:30. None of these drivers or carriers had the courtesy to call and let us know when they would be here. They all seem to have the attitude that the only thing we have to do here is to unload their truck and that no matter when they get here, we should drop what we are doing and give them our undivided attention. Any driver that shows me enough respect to pick up the telephone to keep me informed will be treated with the same level of respect by me. I will always have a great respect for the professional driver, but how many of today’s drivers really act like professionals?

Another day, another way 
by Michael Kirk of Roseville, CA

There is one issue I struggle with everyday, as so many drivers do as well, and that’s being away from my family. I’m a fairly new parent I have a nine-month-old son. I can’t bear being away from him. I hear all the time that the industry needs drivers something fierce, and turnover rates are so high. And the reason why driver’s pay is what it is, is because the competition between companies is so great. I guess what I want to get out is I can’t believe what companies want to pay for the sacrifices we have to make. I can barely get by with a car payment, rent/mortgage, credit cards and skyrocketing electric rates here in California. And I don’t see the driver shortage ever getting better if this continues. Companies had better start paying us more. Or, like many others, I will leave the industry to find work that will keep me home every night with my family. At this rate of pay it’s just not worth it, no matter how much I like driving. Because the bottom line is, “Money talks.” And if it isn’t talking I’ll be walking. So what has to be done in order for drivers to receive better pay? Companies better start taking a look, because a lot of fine drivers are leaving. As I always say, “Another day...another way.”