Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Perish the thought! Drivers want to actually make money?

Image courtesy of cooldesign
Today’s trucking environment is riddled with the blame game. Fingers are pointing and fur is flying over who is responsible for the problems in the industry.

Enter Jerry Moyes of Swift who professed in a couple of other industry publications to know exactly what’s wrong with the industry.

Here’s the exact quote:

I’ve been in this business for 45 years and the number one problem has always been drivers. It’s not going to change.”

If that’s the first time you’ve read that, I’ll bet that your blood pressure went through the roof. I know mine did.

Now, to be fair, Moyes went on to offer a solution to this problem. (You’ll love this.)

And, I quote: “For us to solve this, we’ve got to give them a lot more money.”

Makes you want to smack yourself upside the head and wonder why on earth you didn’t think of that, right? No. It doesn’t.

Mr. Moyes has either just punched into the REAL problem of driver treatment and driver pay, or he is just paying lip service. I lean toward the latter option because of the how he suggests driver pay should be increased.

The way he uses the word “we” in the “we’ve got to give them a lot more money,” is kinda like the way my kids use the word “we” when it’s time to clean a litter box, take out the trash, or mow the yard. We really means anyone but me.

Driver pay does need to go up. It really is that simple.

I just won’t be holding my breath waiting for the royal “we” to put their money where their mouth is.

26 comments:

  1. I guess that is why so many drivers leave Swift after 2-3 years to get a better paying job.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is more than how much drivers get paid. It is also how we get paid. We need hourly pay for our downtime. That would "encourage" the more effecient use of drivers' time. Which in turn would make the whole system more effecient. To anonymous-if Swift would be able to keep drivers 2+ years it would be way better than the industry standard.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are drivers out there that make well over six figures. That's right they're called Pilots. They're paid so well because they have to be smart enough to navigate both the skies and the regulatory environment put in place by the same Federal DOT. If you want drivers that will get the job done while keeping themselves and the company out of trouble, you're going to have to pay. Simple as that. You get what you pay for. Until that happens, you'll get more of the same.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hear Hear, very well stated!!! I'm an hourly driver, and my company refuses to give any kind of raise, but at the same time, insists on increasing our contribution to our health benefits.
      These companies want it both ways, blame the drivers, than expect them to keep taking it on the chin, so they can continue to show a profit. Pretty sad when I was bringing home more six years being paid by the mile than I am being paid hourly, putting in the same hours. That about sums up the industry these days. I learned to drive when I was a kid, I learned the old way, and old school owner operator, who taught me the right way to do things.
      Not like most of these idiots coming out of these schools, that drive trucks like they drive cars, 80mph tailgating the car in front of them. Accident waiting to happen.

      Delete
    2. i think that is a very demeaning coment,i think the drivers out there today are doing a good job,and they deserve better pay period.and we need to get rid of drivers who keep put other drivers,the drivers who keep pointing out the falts of others,and start pointing out the possitive things drivers do,any driver that would be willing to do the job as a long haul driver deserves respect and a fair wage,no matter who there are.

      Delete
  4. When they (the FED's or whoever in DC) change our jobs from being unskilled to SKILLED, I personally don't think anything is going to change no matter how much complaining we do.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think all drivers should be paid by the hour that they work,I think all trucking companies should charge the customer once they arrive to the shipper an average transit time an paid through the unloading process.You will find the drivers will work more legal an stay closer to the 14 hours they are allowed, not to be rushed as much to make more miles

    ReplyDelete
  6. let jerry moyes and swift transportation put his money where is mouth is.his company is at the botton of all carriers for pay and driver benifits so jerry youneed to raise pay to at least 50 cents per mile to start and more for experanced drivers and full benifits and the rest of companys will follow so jerry are you going to put yor money where your mouth is ????????????????????????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you say sounds good and all but if he cannot charge more to the shipper them he will just put Swift under and then all his drivers would be making fifty cents a mile but have no miles to drive because they would be looking for work.

      Delete
    2. David, if Swifty, and the JB Hunts, And big Orange USA Truck, and the others would stop hauling for next to nothing, they could pay their drivers more. I love to see them advertising 98cents a loaded mile for O/O. Anyone who would haul for that now day's is not going to stay in business long. I would sell my truck first.

      Delete
  7. Don't forget brokers. I'm a Broker and many other brokers give us a bad name. We're squeezed by both the client and truckers, with one trying to ship cheaply and the latter trying for a fair rate. Now what a fair rate is still evades me, as it changes from carrier to carrier and state to state. Still, without drivers none of us would be in business. If I have to side, it's with fair drivers. Now maybe we need a flexible standard of what fair is.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well in the last 5 years my costs of living on the road have doubled, has my pay? No. Regulations keep changing waiting times do not. I have been driving since 1982 now i want to quit. Its getting worse every year and is hard to jutify being here.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The thinking of the trucking companies is paying more money to drivers won't get them anything in return. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that higher pay wont cut down on turnover, or accidents or increased productivity or anything else - so why pay more? Moyes is right that the problem is drivers, but it's not drivers individually, its drivers collectively. Until drivers can recognize their common interests and organize their negotiating power - nothing will change.

    ReplyDelete
  10. After 18yrs of driving all I see is big company execs using drvrs as pack mules to lace their pockets.hey drvrs let's get broker training take a couple of free business courses from small biz admn book our own freight surround ourselves with a great team and knock out some of these big companies because I don't care how they say it or show it they are still our enemies and believe me they do everything they can to keep us unknowledgeable about what's really going on.As long as they know all we do is complain and moan among each other they win.drvs and the good brokers out there let's take back our industry.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There's actually several problems here. First, it's the Fed. Govnmt. They have treated us like animals for many years now, because they can.
    Second, the shippers and receivers. They too (although some are decent) treat us like nobody's. Example: "Tornado!! Everybody inside..except you guys." "Bathroom? Sorry, employee's only. You may not be an employee here, but we still expect you to act like one, except for that."
    Third, the general public no longer respects truck drivers because that's what they're taught by the Governments and the media. We're rolling killers, remember?
    Last but not least, our all mighty employers, always out to make a buck anyway they can, all the while dealing with the never ending "new" rules the feds play with.
    Let's see..how many times did I mention the word "FEDS" ?

    ReplyDelete
  12. that is the mentality that runs the trucking industry,thats the reason we are in this mess,the CEO,s all need to be OTR10 yrs to be in their position.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We need cheaper fuel prices so I can afford to hire a driver.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Somebody needs to ask Jerry what magical way he will be able to raise driver pay, while he goes in and indercuts other companies rates!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I make six figures but again I'm union I don't think union is the fix but more drivers being organized would help shut down the hwy down for a week and see if they will change there minde. Sometimes we as drivers need to sacrifice for the sake of others. Just saying .....

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow...he must be kidding. Drivers fault....Yeah right.The problem is rates and companies like Swift that will hire anyone.As a O/O Its the companies like Swift,England ,Knight ,Etc. That get all the goverment funding so they are able to drop the rates.And will hire any driver and has no problem paying them nothing.And the drivers are first year and are to stupid to speak up.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I actually worked for Swift in flatbed for about 8 months. 2002-2003 time frame. Had to go to school to get the CDL, and that in turn, dovetailed with driving for Swift. It was like working for free 24/7. That is how they do it-they put people right out of school and pay 300 a week as a trainee. Its a revolving door. I still have the CDL and medical card, but because I have not driven in so long, it's like I never did and cant get a job. Probably the hardest, most stressful job I ever had-and I'm in telecom. JMONDAK@HUSHMAIL.ME Queen Creek, Arizona.

    ReplyDelete
  18. In the 38 yrs. I have driven trucks I have seen a lot of changes in the trucking industry, when I started the loads were stacked on the floor or trailer and unloaded at the other end by the driver, then pulled off the trailer by the driver with a manual pallet jack, or back breaker as I called them. if you were lucky enough to have the load on pallets when you got to the reciever they would have you take them off your pallets and stack the load on their pallets. I have been the victim of being told that the drivers had to go out back behind the trees if I needed a restroom..been treated badly by shippers and recievers like they considered me to be unfit to be in their presence. Companies pay the as little in wages as they can get away with, their attitude is if the driver drops dead they can just put another trained monkey in the seat.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree, drivers should be paid for their time. Use to get paid 15 minutes after arriving, now it's 2 hours on site, before the clock starts. I get paid ok (never enough) to get there...but it would make a driver feel wanted to be paid for wait time. Afterall, we are babysitting their equipment, and hauling their freight. And our 14 hour clock keeps on ticking. If we could shut that off, while waiting that would be a good thing too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The problem is the industry itself. I have never seen one that allows the customers to dictate so forcefully what they are going to pay. I want you to haul my things, but I don't want to pay for this extra service, I want this discount and I only want to pay X dollars for this other special service, even though that means you'll end up paying ME to use that special service based on the cost of that service to the carrier. You don't go into a restaurant and tell them you want to order a 5-course meal but only will pay for 3 of them. You'd get kicked out. Or sent to the kitchen to start washing dishes. And then on top of it, at any time during the agreement (I use that term since in reality it isn't an actual "contract" as it claims) a shipper can pull out and go with another carrier who offers a lower price. If profit margins weren't razor thin at times, we could afford to pay drivers what they deserve. I know you have to watch so as not to be accused of price-fixing, but I think carriers go too far on their own to bend over backwards to accommodate unreasonable price expectations of some shippers (& 3PLs). When they do this, it only hurts themselves and the industry. Obviously, something is broke in this industry for so many carriers to have gone out of business over the past few years. Yes, I know the economy gave a one-two punch to the industry... but because some carriers tried to gain market share over profit and offered up totally unreasonable pricing they only served to run themselves into the ground and hurt other carriers as well. It's time someone in this industry wised up and starting running things like the business it should be. (I realize there are other factors, such as the onset of CSA which has caused a few carriers so far to be forced out of business as well, but that's a whole other ballgame and those who do not take safety seriously should be taken out of service.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. i no a driver that drives about 80 to 90 hrs a week with two log books just to make $1000.00. i did the same in 1990 when i started to drive . it is a shame that nothing has changed

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment here.