The trucking industry, by no means, is an easy job. The drivers have to deal with lumpers, shippers, road hazards, and their respective companies. With all of this, you would expect these men/women to be treated with dignity and respect. However, that is not the case. The reality is, drivers are often underpaid, if they get paid at all, abused, and treated like scum. With that, and the help of a truck driver, we are exposing one of the biggest corruption outside the government.
The driver, who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, has given us much to compose this article with. As a driver, he is classified as an owner operator, leasing to buy a semi. It is his story that we have chosen to cover.
Provided by this driver, we see he actually made a good paycheck for just one week of work. $633.96 is something most of us would kill for. Upon initially looking at this, we had to ask the question, “what’s the problem”? Afterall, that is good pay. A short time later, we were shown the problem.
While he made over $600, mysteriously enough, he never actually made that. In no other industry have we seen a check variation like this. According to the driver, he had outstanding balances, but these aren’t reflected on his checkstub. Why is that?
So, doing what we do, we asked questions: Where did his money go? How deeply corrupted is this industry? Let’s start with this driver’s intel.
From what we are told, most of the actual work conducted by truck drivers goes unpaid. While every other industry is required to pay for services rendered, apparently this industry is exempt. Unpaid work, according to our source, goes as follows:
- Pre-trip inspections
- Post-trip inspections
- DOT side of road inspections
- Checking in/out of shippers and recievers.
- Lost hours from extensive dock times.
- Only paid zipcode to zipcode, not paid for in city driving.
And the list goes on. Apparently, the trucking industry is exempt from many of the labor laws that are mandated in other fields of work. To make matters worst, these people have nobody to turn to for help.
Another aspect that was brought to our attention, is the unfair treatment to drivers. RTI, Celedon, Knight, and many other companies, have policies that dilebritly target drivers.
We asked for an example of such unfair treatment; he was quick to reply. Recently he had ran out of hours given to him for driving. The reason was the reciever taking to long. Now, to backtrack just a bit. Early this year, DOT passed a federal law allowing drivers to drive to a location with parking, even if their clock has run out.
This driver utilized this new law and immediately was written up. The company placed blame on him claiming he should had made them work faster. If you are scratching your heads, at this point, so are we. Regardless, this is their logic, he claims. We asked for documentation, which he provided. However, we cannot provide that here since it has personal information contained within it.
We may do a series on this, as it is almost never covered. Our job, as a media, is to give a voice to those who feel they don’t have one; it is our hope we are giving this individual his voice to be heard.