What truckers are thinking about this holiday season
Story by: Linda Baker, Staff Writer @ FreightWaves.com
FreightWaves caught up with a few truckers at the Jubitz Travel Center in Portland, Oregon, where conversation revolved around holiday plans and a profession in flux.
What I’m doing: Laundry
What I’m driving: 2013 Kenworth tractor
What I’m hauling: Trade show equipment
Where I’m going: St. Paul, Minnesota, then back home to Fort Worth, Texas
Years on the road: 35. I’m 60 years old.
Holiday plans: Be with my family — one son, one wife, one stepson, three grandkids. I may work New Year’s Eve.
Salary: My 1099 says $200,000.
Trucking, past and present: There’s not near the amount of money there used to be. My income has not gone up with the cost of insurance, trucks, fuel. Everything got so expensive.
Autonomous trucking: I don’t see it happening in my lifetime. It’s negative. How are you going to control it?
Pros and cons: I’m not one of these guys who loves trucking. It’s the most money I can make for my education or lack thereof. I do it for a job.
What I’m doing: In the Cascade Room, waiting for my girlfriend
What I’m hauling: Everything.
Years on the road: 30.
Employee vs. owner-operator: I was an owner-operator but became a company driver. There’s too much hassle being an owner-operator: taxes, fuel charges, permits, all that garbage. Now I get in my truck, get paid hourly and drive.
Holiday plans: Stay home and watch football.
ELDs: They’re easy. My truck broke down, and I had to do a logbook. I hadn’t done a logbook in 20 years. It was crazy. They finally fixed it, and I’m happy.
Autonomous trucking: I don’t believe that’s going to work. I don’t care if a computer is driving a truck or not. It’s got to be a person behind the wheel. Computers can’t make decisions like people.
Best work experience: When I helped a lady on a road in Montana. Her car was on fire. I came along and put it out with a fire extinguisher. That was 15 years ago.
Worst experience: Twenty years ago in San Diego, I blew a tire and went off an embankment. Rolled about 40 feet down the hill. I didn’t drive for eight months.
Trucking, past and present: The drivers are not the same quality now. They just drive because it’s an easy profession. We used to stop and help people and talk on the radio. Now even the company drivers, they just go right by you. I think of truck driving as a lifestyle, not just a job.
What I’m doing: Eating a roast beef sandwich at Moe’s Deli
What I’m hauling: Motorcycles. To individuals and dealers.
Where I live: Montana
Holiday plans: Taking Christmas off.
The driver shortage, the myth: There’s not such a driver shortage as companies want to claim. What they’re not telling you is, every month they are adding more trucks. Plus, a lot of them don’t have personal relationships with truck drivers, so if a driver finds a better deal, he will leave.
ELDs: Last week we finally changed over from AOBRD. Just made the (Dec. 16) deadline. It worked great for two and a half days, then broke down. Glitches. There are always glitches.
Autonomous trucking: That’s a bad deal for public safety. Something’s going to fail.
Read the full story HERE
Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Linda Baker / iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski
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