Three times I have signed on with trucking companies, two times I have said "nope, I'm gone".
The one place that I didn't leave simply stopped returning my calls in regards to road testing me - they were the first place I found. I was a ride along for a week with that company and they "forgot" about me. Funny thing is, I still get form letters of appreciation from them in regards to my dedication and hard work helping make them one of the leading transport companies in Canada. I should probably attend the holiday party to see if they've figured out that they never hired me.
The second company that hired me was going to fake my internship paperwork and sent me out in my very own truck alone after the 2nd week of "training". Their only complaint was that I wasn't taking advantage of situations where I could maximize my speed in order to make the best use of my time. I like not having traffic violations, so I told them "I'm gone, bye!" after 8 days. There was another reason why I had had enough with them and it was because we had an undersized tire on a trailer we picked up from a yard. By the time we got halfway to our destination, the tire had ground itself down to the steel belting! We called dispatch and they advised us to drive *through downtown* with a tire on the verge of exploding to the tire place rather than have roadside assistance come to us. That was the last straw for me. - I am not endangering the lives of innocent people around me in a highly populated area to make dispatch happy. We later called them back and said, :"oops, the tire blew" (even though it didn't) and had roadside assistance come to us. But I was already livid and beyond the capacity for reasonable discourse. I swore I would never drive a truck again after that.
But, I relented and decided to give it one last go of it!
The third company that hired me had me sign a 2 year employment contract and told me that their training program was 12 weeks of direct instruction from a trainer in the cab with me. Within a couple of days, dispatch started putting us on team loads despite my protests and very legitimate concerns regarding doing so. How can a trainee be monitored and advised when the trainer has to try and get sleep while the trainee drives his max hours? The answer is, "he can't, won't and doesn't". My trainer's plans to train me were constantly being undermined by dispatch and I don't think it was a case of accidental assignment of loads to a trainee. The way dispatch talked down to me when I shared my concerns proved that I suspicions were correct; especially when the threatened me with "if this load doesn't make it on time, you will have to wait 36 hours for the next load". I told my trainer that the only reason I would tolerate driving team is because I wanted to get the loads done and get back into Canada so I could go home, and also because I didn't want to make his life any more difficult than it had just become. But for all intents and purposes, I was no longer working for the company. I was only driving to get us both home.
Then driver planning got in touch with us to see about how I was doing and when I would be ready to go back out after my meager few days off! I told not to worry about scheduling me because I was done with the company and I would not be returning. The planner asked why, and I said that I really didn't appreciate being put into a team driving situation while being such a very new and inexperienced driver. I thanked him for his time and wished him well. Apparently the owner was listening in on the conversation and decided that I had offended him and his company by wrongfully accusing his company of putting me in a team driving situation. He tried to bully me and proceeded to tell me that since I have zero experience in the trucking industry, I don't know what team driving is. I replied, "We are not having this conversation, sir". He kept badgering me and every time I replied with the same sentence until he slammed the phone. I may be a new driver, but I'm not a young kid anymore and stopped being intimidated by others, especially bosses/owners a long time ago. I'm 48 and have lived a pretty difficult life.
I couldn't wait to get to my car and get out of there! &nbps; Of course, my recruiter wanted me to come to the office and talk things over and maybe come to a compromise, but I shut him down too. Once trust/faith is lost with me, I never go back.
Would I drive a truck again? Not if I have to accept being a road slave and a whipping boy for surly shippers and receivers. The pay is not worth it, the being away from family is not worth it! and the disturbing lack of camaraderie among drivers is definitely not worth it! There is no fraternity in the world of trucking, just fellow slaves trying to slit the throats of brother and sister slaves to make maybe a penny more, or just to be mean spirited. Any hope of drivers banding together to fight for a better working conditions and pay is just a pipe dream at this point! Everyone is in the industry for themselves and they are tired, sick and miserable. I'd rather be broke, jobless and bereft of a future and be able to see my family, than to help such a horrible industry survive!
Thank you for your time and enduring a rant that would probably be dismissed by my peers as nothing more that the pathetic whining of a big baby not getting his way. Trucking showed me, rather quickly, that I do indeed like and value myself more than I had thought.
It's a shame I spent all that money and worked so hard to get my license?
Thank you again,
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REASONS WHY NOT TO BECOME A TRUCK DRIVER.
Reasons not to be a truck driver!