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Mon May 28, 2018, 08:02 PM

America has a massive truck driver shortage. Here's why few want an $80,000 job.

America has a massive shortage of truck drivers. Joyce Brenny, head of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, increased driver pay 15 percent this year to try to attract more drivers. Many of her drivers now earn $80,000, she says, yet she still can't find enough people for the job.

About 51,000 more drivers are needed to meet the demand from companies such as Amazon and Walmart that are shipping more goods across the country, according to the American Trucking Associations. The driver shortage is already leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices for goods that Americans buy. The ATA predicts that it's likely to get worse in the coming years.

Many trucking companies are so desperate for drivers that they are offering signing bonuses and pay raises. So why don't more Americans want this job? We asked truck drivers who have been doing the job anywhere from four months to 40 years for their views.

Most said the answer is simple: The lifestyle is rough. You barely see your family, you rarely shower, and you get little respect from car drivers, police or major retailers. Michael Dow said he has been divorced twice because of trucking. Donna Penland said she gained 60 pounds her first year from sitting all day and a lack of healthful food on the road.

A few drivers told The Washington Post that they earn $100,000, but many said their annual pay is less than $50,000 (government statistics say median pay for the industry is $42,000). As for the bonuses, driver Daniel Gollnick said they are a ďcomplete jokeĒ because of all the strings attached.

Despite the hardships, half said they would recommend the job to friends and family, chiefly because, as Gollnick said, ďit's the easiest money you can get without a college degree.Ē Here are the drivers' perspectives on America's trucking crisis.



https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/america-has-a-massive-truck-driver-shortage-hereís-why-few-want-an-dollar80000-job/ar-AAxWhJx?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout

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Reply America has a massive truck driver shortage. Here's why few want an $80,000 job. (Original post)
RandySF May 2018 OP
Make7 May 2018 #1
politicaljunkie41910 May 2018 #2
TlalocW May 2018 #3
Kotya May 2018 #30
rgbecker May 2018 #4
crazycatlady May 2018 #14
rgbecker May 2018 #46
shanny May 2018 #5
Nay May 2018 #17
uponit7771 May 2018 #42
DAMANgoldberg May 2018 #6
W_HAMILTON May 2018 #18
waddirum May 2018 #21
DAMANgoldberg May 2018 #25
Kilgore May 2018 #7
sarcasmo May 2018 #9
Kilgore May 2018 #35
Mariana May 2018 #12
Kilgore May 2018 #36
sarcasmo May 2018 #8
ooky May 2018 #31
Rebl2 May 2018 #10
sarcasmo May 2018 #11
Mariana May 2018 #13
sarcasmo May 2018 #16
Thomas Hurt May 2018 #15
RandySF May 2018 #29
moriah May 2018 #19
KentuckyWoman May 2018 #22
moriah May 2018 #23
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #45
DiverDave May 2018 #20
RandySF May 2018 #27
Kilgore May 2018 #38
catrose May 2018 #24
jmowreader May 2018 #37
catrose May 2018 #39
IronLionZion May 2018 #26
nolabels May 2018 #34
shanny May 2018 #52
roamer65 May 2018 #41
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #44
TeamPooka May 2018 #59
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #43
IronLionZion May 2018 #50
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #54
IronLionZion May 2018 #57
Cicada May 2018 #28
Honeycombe8 May 2018 #32
RandySF May 2018 #33
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #40
Snotcicles May 2018 #49
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #53
rownesheck May 2018 #47
Le Gaucher May 2018 #48
ecstatic May 2018 #51
A HERETIC I AM May 2018 #55
hatrack May 2018 #56
IronLionZion May 2018 #58
TeamPooka May 2018 #60


Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 08:16 PM

2. I recall reading a similar article a couple of years ago, particularly about how hard the life is

of a truck driver. On top of this, they talked about how WalMart would stiff truck drivers and not pay them for loads if they were late or if WalMart didn't need the load at the time. For instance, if they were delivering watermelons, and sales of watermelons were running slow, WalMart would just not accept their load, and the drivers would be stuck with the load and not get paid for it.

Being a truck driver is definitely a hard particularly for the reasons already mentioned. My brother-in=law was one and finally had to give it up when his truck had mechanical problems and he just couldn't afford to fix it because of all the money he was losing on runs.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 08:49 PM

3. I know the job is hard and probably not worth it

And even though I enjoy my particular line of work, something about traveling the country and getting paid for it in a vehicle with its own bed in the back appeals to me.

TlalocW

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Response to TlalocW (Reply #3)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:35 PM

30. It's the E-Log rules that many drivers loath.

 

Electronic Logging (or ELD) is a system that logs every movement of the vehicle and there's no flexibility. Get stuck in traffic or trying to find parking and hit your max time behind the wheel and that's it. The offload will have to wait until tomorrow. Drivers are driving fewer hours and earning less money.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 08:52 PM

4. Do the math.

Rare to make $.50/mile, most get less. A 2000 mile week would be lucky break for one with little experience and seniority. $1000/week is far less than $100,000 a year.

Take a 400 mile drive tomorrow and see if you feel like doing it the next day and day after and every fucking workday for the next 5 years, much less the next 20. Trucking companies are going to have to get a little more creative in filling their trucks and scheduling their loads to make up for the lack of drivers.

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Response to rgbecker (Reply #4)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:36 PM

14. Isn't the federal mileage reimbursement greater than 50 cents a mile

I know it is in that ballpark (I should know exactly what this is considering I get paid this but I don't).

Sad that someone would make more money driving their own car than driving something that most drivers couldn't handle and delivering freight.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #14)

Tue May 29, 2018, 08:13 AM

46. Well, the Fed mileage thing is to pay the expenses of operating the car....

while the trucker's mileage pay is for the labor of driver.

My point was the impossibility of driving enough miles to actually rack up a decent paycheck.

When I was younger, in the early 70's, I drove a local truck for $2.70 an hour hoping to get an over the road job, but those jobs just weren't there. Interesting that now there is a huge shortage of drivers but they still don't pay that much.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 08:54 PM

5. Partly 'cause it isn't an $80,000 job? nt

 

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Response to shanny (Reply #5)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:06 PM

17. Thank you. nt

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Response to shanny (Reply #5)

Tue May 29, 2018, 05:59 AM

42. +1

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 08:57 PM

6. I was part of the brotherhood...

Though I have a college and graduate degree, it was one that I was able to get in due to not being "the right kind of techie during the Microsoft certification era". It takes a toll on your health, as it has mine. The regulations ensure you don't really make real money unless you run outlaw, and I did what I set out to do, see the country and get paid for it.

BL: It's no fun, and my health hasn't returned sufficiently to return.

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Response to DAMANgoldberg (Reply #6)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:07 PM

18. What do you mean "run outlaw?" n/t

n/t

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Response to W_HAMILTON (Reply #18)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:13 PM

21. Don't want to speak for the original commenter

but I believe it refers to going beyond allowable hours on the road without rest.

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Response to waddirum (Reply #21)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:24 PM

25. Exactly...

Also the hidden/double log book. Harder to do now with Electronic Logging Devices.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 08:58 PM

7. I dont get it

Our company always has driver jobs open. Union scale, full benefits, pension, uniform/laundry, and regular route/hours. Driver friends say they gross $70k a year with OT. The only requirements are a CDL, pass the federal drug test, and have a clean driving record. And the company provides the truck, maintenance and fuel. They never touch the load, usually just drop the trailer and pick up an empty. If a load is rejected, they message dispatch and let them deal with it.

These jobs should be snapped up.

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Response to Kilgore (Reply #7)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:14 PM

9. No they don't gross 70 grand a year, the new log book rules wouldn't allow that unless you're paying

60 cents a mile.




60 cents a mile, average 2200 legal miles a week x 52 weeks is 68,640 dollars.

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Response to sarcasmo (Reply #9)

Mon May 28, 2018, 11:04 PM

35. Your thinking owner operator, not the case here

These are direct jobs driving a company truck. So there is no mileage pay. Current pay is about $25/hr. That's about $52k per year. OT varies, right now there is a lot because of so many vacancies.

At some point the log book kicks in, but the OT sponges soak up as much as they can.

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Response to Kilgore (Reply #7)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:31 PM

12. $70k a year with OT.

How much OT are you talking about?

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Response to Mariana (Reply #12)

Mon May 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

36. Depends

Like any group there are the OT sponges and others that avoid it. At some point the logbook kicks in and they have to stop working and take text off.

Base pay is about $52k per year. OT is time and half to double depending on when.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:13 PM

8. Still have my CDL, the easiest money quote is far from the truth.

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Response to sarcasmo (Reply #8)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:37 PM

31. It doesn't look easy to me.

I've never done it but my next door neighbor's brother does. He's almost never home, except for holidays, and when I do see him he looks way stressed out. Practically lives in his cab with his dog. Just having to handle that rig alone would be enough stress for me.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:16 PM

10. I have also

read trucking companyís have trouble finding people who can pass a drug test.

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Response to Rebl2 (Reply #10)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:20 PM

11. Funny how these articles lie and say truck drivers make 80,000 a year.



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Response to sarcasmo (Reply #11)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:36 PM

13. "Many of her drivers now earn $80,000 a year."

but, "Government statistics say median pay for the industry is $42,000." That's a pretty big gap between those numbers.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #13)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:59 PM

16. Trucking company recruiters have always had a lying issue.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 09:52 PM

15. Seems like something these "economically disadvantaged" white righters could do from any rural

Trump country town.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #15)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:32 PM

29. You need to pass drug/alcohol tests

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:07 PM

19. Dad was a trucker, because it *was* the best money he could get w/o a degree.

It was ages ago so probably the only useful thing he taught me besides "Give big rigs respect and space, they can't stop fast, and they have to be able to see you" was to dim rather than bright to tell a truck he's clear of you and to take trucks suddenly slowing down as a sign I better not be a leadfoot.

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Response to moriah (Reply #19)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:15 PM

22. Dim rather than bright

Fantastic tip. I'll pass along.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #22)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:21 PM

23. Yep -- they'll notice the change if you can see their mirror...

... but it's less likely to potentially night-blind them for a critical instant.

Besides, how do brights, even for a second, feel in your rearview mirror? Heh. It seems perfectly logical when you think about it, but so often people think they're doing trucks a favor by flashing brights while he's trying to evaluate his upcoming lane change.

They understand the intent, but appreciate nothing adding to their potential risk of losing control of that much mass.

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Response to moriah (Reply #23)

Tue May 29, 2018, 06:51 AM

45. Speaking as a trucker......

you might be surprised how many other truck drivers flash their high beams. It's annoying as hell, but it happens all the time.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:11 PM

20. 80K????

That's just not true. I've been driving for 25 years. Yes, I make more now but nowhere near 80K.
I've been at my current job for 3 years. I have gotten my bonus once. Out of 12 quarters.
That woman lied. Period.

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Response to DiverDave (Reply #20)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:25 PM

27. +1

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Response to DiverDave (Reply #20)

Mon May 28, 2018, 11:10 PM

38. You an owner operator or direct?

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:22 PM

24. But isn't trucking going the way of all industries

in passing expenses and risks down to the lowest level (driver, in this case)? I thought drivers had to buy their own rigs, which took care of any money they might have earned.

I see it everywhere, this passing of risk & expense, since Mr. Tyson passed down the risk of growing chickens. Here we are now with Uber and Lyft passing car ownership and expense to the driver (who is learing very little).

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Response to catrose (Reply #24)

Mon May 28, 2018, 11:08 PM

37. Most drivers don't own their own rigs

Most of the guys who DO have their own have them contracted to a carrier.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #37)

Mon May 28, 2018, 11:22 PM

39. The article I saw (which naturally I can't find now)

talked about payments for the truck being taken out of the paycheck. Here's the one I could find quickly, which says there's more owner-operators and lease operators.
link

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:24 PM

26. Do Truckers have to pay expenses out of the $80K?

because gas and maintenance can really add up over thousands of miles making their take home pay much lower.

America really needs more cargo train service and less long-haul trucking. Trucks can unload stuff from the train station and take it to it's final destination.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #26)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:56 PM

34. It happened when Jimmy Carter was trying to out republican the republicans

He went along with the plan to deregulate trucking and it put a somewhat efficiently managed trucking industry in the shit can. Regulated trucking could have been reworked to make it better but instead, it was given to the wolves of wall street and it was then history. Most of the trucking today is non-union and you can't make squat compared to the number of hours you have to put into it.

Mostly business would rather deal with spotty service as opposed to having to deal with unions, and that is just the way it is

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Response to nolabels (Reply #34)

Tue May 29, 2018, 09:42 AM

52. +1

 

Most people don't know or would rather forget that the road to de-regulation hell started with Carter.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #26)

Tue May 29, 2018, 02:28 AM

41. Yes. All the trucks are pounding the hell out of the roads.

Rail is the cheapest way to get heavy freight to its destination.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #41)

Tue May 29, 2018, 06:23 AM

44. The railroads are most efficient at getting a large amount of the same thing from one single point..

to another single point.

While it is indeed much less expensive to move a container or a semi trailer across country by rail, it is by no means as fast nor is it as convenient, as a truck can pick up from almost anywhere and deliver almost anywhere.

The rail roads can not offer the same service.

And your "Yes" is wrong.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #41)

Tue May 29, 2018, 03:08 PM

59. Unless you're building all the malls and stores at the railroad depot you're going to need trucks

to get the stuff to its final destination.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #26)

Tue May 29, 2018, 06:19 AM

43. NO! Company drivers, which is what the article is referring to.....

meaning drivers who drive company owned trucks, do NOT have to pay for fuel and other costs out of their own pocket. If the company owns the truck, they pay the expenses to operate it.

And BTW, All the freight that is economical to move by rail, ALREADY IS. And until such time as there is a rail siding behind every gas station, convenience store and strip mall, the amount of freight moved by rail will not dramatically increase.


"Trucks can unload stuff from the train station and take it to it's final destination."



Ummmm...this isn't the 1860's. That's not quite how it works;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodal_freight_transport

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #43)

Tue May 29, 2018, 09:02 AM

50. Please tell me about trucks in the 1860's

Both your link and your video show a container going from a train to a truck.

If the company is paying $80,000 and all expenses, then what is the problem?

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #50)

Tue May 29, 2018, 02:44 PM

54. Based on your "rolling eyes" smiley.....

I'll assume you have all the answers.


"If the company is paying $80,000 and all expenses, then what is the problem?"

Yeah...what could POSSIBLY be the problem? I await your astute insight with great eagerness.

"Trucks can unload stuff from the train station and take it to it's final destination."

Clearly typed by someone who has a firm grasp on the ins and outs of the transportation industry.



And FWIW, here's "trucking in the 1860's" :





The name "Teamster" comes from those old wagons being drawn by a team of horses or mules.




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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #54)

Tue May 29, 2018, 03:02 PM

57. You posted a link and a video showing stuff going from trains onto trucks

And the OP says there's a trucker shortage. You're the expert. Why don't you provide real answers instead of snark?

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:32 PM

28. 51000 short out of 3.5 million drivers isn't that horrible

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:43 PM

32. I couldn't do it. It's very dangerous, and it's unhealthy.

To sit on your rear end for, what, 12 hours a day? And go into a hypnotic stare at the lines in the road. And have to drive on icy roads, in snow, on mountains. I couldn't do it. You have to stop and have your truck weighed and cargo checked. Cops harass you. Horrible job. I'd end up killing myself and maybe others in an accident.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #32)

Mon May 28, 2018, 10:45 PM

33. My dad knew a ton of retired drivers and they had back issues.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2018, 12:34 AM

40. I'm typing this on my 30 min break sitting in the cab of a Navistar LT

And if I had the time I would type out the essay needed to correct all the misinformation on this thread, but I donít have the time just now.

Suffice to say, there seems to be a lot of confusion and lack of understanding about the industry I have been a part of for most of my adult life. But this has been the case on DU for as long as there have been threads about trucking!

So perhaps Iíll write up an OP when I get home in about 6 hours in an attempt to clarify where the author of the article as well as many of the commentators on this thread seem to be laboring under a misapprehension.

And for what itís worth, hereís a short curriculum vitae;

Drove my first tractor trailer in 1978, before deregulation
3 years driving in South Florida
Started Over The Road in 1987 before the national 55 limit was lifted
Closing on 2 million accident free miles which have encompassed all of the lower 48 and 3 Canadian Provinces in all seasons and terrain.
12 years in the motor racing industry. (This is the reason I donít have over 3 million miles, as those gigs only averaged 30 - 40K miles a year)
10 years open-rack auto transport.
7 years general freight which includes my current gig (US Mail contractor)

And just for the record, no newb to the business is going to make anything CLOSE to eighty grand, unless he falls into the sweetest deal there is.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #40)

Tue May 29, 2018, 08:57 AM

49. Are you still at it?

 

I'm glad your willing to make some correction for the misconceptions about the industry.
Having worked together years ago pulling loads out of Flat Rock MI I can vouch for ya.
After retiring I became a licensed CDL Instructor. Trucking Companies have been in a panic to find drivers for a decade now. They always inflate the pay and benefits. All and all I never had any regret for getting into trucking.
After you pay your dues and learn the ropes it's a cool job.

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Response to Snotcicles (Reply #49)

Tue May 29, 2018, 02:33 PM

53. Yeah, still at it!

I'll have to drive till I drop dead. After I left F.J. Boutell I hauled cars till 2004 when I got back into motor racing. That lasted 2 years when the company was on the verge of going belly up. Became a Stock Broker in 2006 and back to car haul in 2010. Been hauling mail for 3 years now.

I'm a Teamster here but this local does not participate in the pension plan. The company offers a 401(k) but the Mutual Fund choices suck, so I don't participate. I use an IRA instead.

As far as typing anything up;

So perhaps Iíll write up an OP when I get home in about 6 hours in an attempt to clarify where the author of the article as well as many of the commentators on this thread seem to be laboring under a misapprehension.


The operative word being "perhaps"! I've got a 12 hour trip tonight I have to leave for in an hour followed by the same thing the day after.

Sort these wankers out, willya?!?

BTW, I looked into becoming an instructor down here in Jax, FL. They offered $12/hour! That would have been a 50% cut in pay! Not bloody interested.

Good to see you, old man!

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2018, 08:27 AM

47. I would love to be a truck driver.

But i get super anxiety over thinking about having to turn left from a parking lot onto a busy road. Scary! How do they do it! Also, backing up to unload! Ugh. I'm getting nervous just typing this.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2018, 08:32 AM

48. And that is why long distance self driving trucks will arrive before self driving cars.

 

The trucks will drive long hauls themselves .. And Drivers will take over the last 25 to 30 miles

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Tue May 29, 2018, 09:08 AM

51. "get little respect from car drivers..."

Hate to veer off topic, but that line caught my attention. Are there really that many idiots who don't respect a 40 ton vehicle that can instantly destroy/ kill /maim with a tap?

My personal rule is to avoid driving next to (and especially in front of) all trucks.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #51)

Tue May 29, 2018, 02:50 PM

55. Short answer? Yes

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #51)

Tue May 29, 2018, 02:54 PM

56. That's why they have warnings printed on the backs of trailers . . .

Saying that it's generally not a good idea to try and turn right inside of a tractor-trailer that's also trying to turn right.

Plenty of people out there who are basically dumbasses.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #51)

Tue May 29, 2018, 03:04 PM

58. Behind a truck is dangerous too

there are youtube videos showing where cars are can be in the blind spots of trucks, and there are very large blind spots.

I find it best to give them as much space as possible.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #58)

Tue May 29, 2018, 03:24 PM

60. Give them space and when you pass them do it quickly and efficiently. Don't drive next to them

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