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You DO NOT Want To Be a Trucker! Ask Me How I Know...
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 Posted: Tue May 8th, 2007 09:19 pm
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Lord of Midian

 

Joined TALKCalgary: Sat May 5th, 2007
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So.

What have I learned after wasting 10 years of my life in transportation? (5 years a courier/messenger, and 5 years a heavy truck driver.)

Very simple: This is an industry built entirely on lies and/or at best, uninformed untruths from "civilians"--what us truckers call anyone who drives anything with less than 6 wheels/under 4500kg GVW--who, although they make decisions for what is arguably the most important "blue-collar" job in our society, they have never even sat in a large truck themselves! That certainly hasn't stopped any of these fat and happy chair-warmers from making decisions that just screw us all the harder, longer, for less.

It doesn't stop there. Every law in society controlling trucks just makes our jobs harder and more stressful. Example: the Hours-of-Service regulations. You are  allowed to drive 13 hours in a 24-hour period, after which you must take 10 hours off (it's been changed recently, so don't quote me on that one). You must also log all your time, and what you do with it in a log-book....Well: us truckers call these things "comic books," "liar-logs," "cheat-sheets," "bulls#%@ bibles,"...you get the point. In order to be able to do the job and get your load where it's going on time, you have to, at the very least, stretch the laws, and often break them into pieces, risking huge fines in the process.  All this for a set of laws that, basically, tells you when you're too tired to drive...Thanx, CMVSE (Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enforcement, the guys at the scales), but I--yes, even though I grant you, I am a trucker!--have enough brains to know when I'm too tired to drive safely, and it often hasn't been when you've told me.

I've tied that tail (the very condensed version, trust me) onto this, to help illustrate the point: we are regulated in terms of time, but we are paid in terms of distance; maximum number of legal driving/duty hours vs. X-number-of-cents per mile, respectively....Does anyone not see an inherent conflict here? I'll spell it out for ya, mates: Anything that slows you down on a given trip takes away the number of miles you can go in that legal time-frame, which means you are now working harder, for less of the same pay! Can ya gimme "Hell-yeah", ladies and gents? What a deal! What a life! WHAT A BAD, BITTER JOKE!!!!

Now, exacerbate this swindle with the additional:

1) Waiting time at loading/unloading points: Many companies don't pay drivers at all for waiting time, and the vast majority of the rest will only do so after the first 1 or 2 hours. Every other job, in every other industry pays you for all the time you are at work. Believe it or not--even in Alberta!--there are laws that mandate this, and--quelle surprise!--they sometimes even get enforced! Yes, even here! Why, then, as a trucker, are you expected to immediately down-grade the class of your citizenship to the point that your time--which, as shown above, is not legally yours to give away in the first place--is now free?????!!!  This is further exacerbated by the fact that trucking companies are too craven chickens--t to try and charge their customers for waiting time. So the s--tpump--eerrrr, I mean shipper--knows he can usually get away with wasting as much of your time as he pleases....Believe me, kiddies, they do know this, and they just rub it in your face and laugh while so doing. I am sure most of them know that you are not being paid for at least some of this time, too.

1a) Of course, they, and their little lapdog trucking company still expect you to get their crap to wherever in the desired time-frame, so you make the time up by logging it differently. Loading/unloading, by the law, must be logged as "On-Duty/Not Driving" in the comic-book. Trouble is, doing this takes away from driving time--especially under the new laws--so, to get back that driving time, you log it as either "Off-Duty" or "Sleeper-Berth" (typically the latter, it's believable/plausible) time. I got news for ya: that's falsification of the log, which is considered a legal document; biiiig fines if you get caught. Of course, the enforcement people know you/we do this, but as long as the times you log square with times on bills of lading, fuel receipts and weight-tickets, and you're still "legal" (snicker, nudge, wink) they usually let it go...alot of these guys are ex-truckers themselves, especially in USA....

So. The point so far: You are expected to break laws, risk fines and compromising your driving record, so you can.....work harder for less! WHY THE **BLEEP** DO WE DO THIS??! WHY THE **BLEEP** DO WE LET THEM MAKE US DO THIS???!! All for wages that have been deliberately stagnated for at least as long as I've been alive! All so you can let the people, who, without you, would be literally nowhere! All so you can show your 2nd-class citizenship with pride, FOR LESS! Way, to go, my soon-to-be-ex fellow truckers! Keep it up, you craven, bootlicking cowards, you're doing a great job!

More ways to keep the swindle going:

2) Truck speed-limiters. You should consider yourself lucky in this day and age if you can find a truck that can even let you do 110 kph. By far the most of them are ~100 +/- 5 kph. So, even where legal and safe to do so, you can't pick up some extra speed to try and chop a little time off. In Western Europe most trucks are cut at 90 kph, but their long-haulers have been being paid by the hour for years. **BLEEP**, if I was hourly long-hauling, I'd never go faster than 90 either, and yes, my right foot is heavier than most. Christ, I only wish; bring it! Well....we, like, don't get that. Nor, I guarantee you, will we, because the shippers and the truck company owners would lose waaaay too much profit, and--CRITICAL POINT: lose their ability to undercut the competition in order to invite more business. In fact, speed-limiters plus pay-per-distance only invites more and worse. It gives the shippers an excuse to say "Well, if you really can't get it there faster, we'll just pay that much less..." The truck company owners being the proven cowards that they are, just beat themselves up to drop the rates even further, and guess who makes up the difference? That's right, you the driver, and your now-even-more-pathetic excuse for a paycheque!

This is not even scratching the surface, mates. All this, PLUS: most of society viewing us as scum and pigs--and treating us accordingly--when, every material object they have in their happy, brainless little lives was brought to where they could easily get it BY A TRUCK. Do you think Wal-Mart et al could even exist without trucks and truckers? Yeah, I thought so.

All this...for less, and less, and less money, so the ones profiting off us can have more, and more, and more...Again, there's so much more to this, but I'll just give you this foul little taster as a warning:

STAY AWAY FROM TRANSPORTATION. Trust me, it's never going to get better for drivers. The interests vested in the current status quo are too numerous, too large, and have been far too entrenched, for far too long. It will take a very, very long time for me to work through the scars to my honour, pride, self-respect and dignity this industry, this lie, has inflicted upon me...I daresay most of them are likely permanent.

Look at it this way: I wouldn't be going back to school fulltime--at age 34--to train in a totally different career path if there was any future, or even any point in driving for a (non-)living.

Thanks for 10 years of nothing, Alberta transportation. Please die soon, OK?

Last edited on Tue May 8th, 2007 09:27 pm by Lord of Midian

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 Posted: Fri May 11th, 2007 02:42 am
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Puck

 

Joined TALKCalgary: Tue Apr 25th, 2006
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What gets me is that you guys don’t strike. I was in France a few years back when the French drivers decided they had taken crap from the operators for long enough. They held strikes across the country and brought many roads to a stand still. It didn’t take long before the transport firms were forced to take the drivers seriously and renegotiate better terms of employment. If the French can do it why can’t we?

If you ask me Canadians have become far to down trodden by employers across the board. Take Calgary for instance, the cost of living has gone sky high in the past few years yet most employers are still giving single digit pay rises. This means in real terms that wages are getting worse for people every year. Last year house prices alone went up over 40% pushing the average home cost to over $430,000 yet people in our department received  a 7.4% pay rise. By contrast our company profits went up by over 76% last year. Now in an effort to keep pay down the Alberta government is actively recruiting foreign workers who are prepared to work for little more than minimum wage. 

Yes the truckers are being taken as suckers by employers but no more than everyone else living in Calgary.

One last thing if you think you have it bad consider the poor **BLEEP**s working for Calgary Transit, they really have the short stick. Not only do they have the city treating them as trash, but they have to work split shifts and contend with all the lowlife scum who use transit.

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 Posted: Tue May 15th, 2007 08:28 pm
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Lord of Midian

 

Joined TALKCalgary: Sat May 5th, 2007
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Puck wrote: What gets me is that you guys don’t strike. I was in France a few years back when the French drivers decided they had taken crap from the operators for long enough. They held strikes across the country and brought many roads to a stand still. It didn’t take long before the transport firms were forced to take the drivers seriously and renegotiate better terms of employment. If the French can do it why can’t we?

If you ask me Canadians have become far to down trodden by employers across the board. Take Calgary for instance, the cost of living has gone sky high in the past few years yet most employers are still giving single digit pay rises. This means in real terms that wages are getting worse for people every year. Last year house prices alone went up over 40% pushing the average home cost to over $430,000 yet people in our department received  a 7.4% pay rise. By contrast our company profits went up by over 76% last year. Now in an effort to keep pay down the Alberta government is actively recruiting foreign workers who are prepared to work for little more than minimum wage. 

Yes the truckers are being taken as suckers by employers but no more than everyone else living in Calgary.

One last thing if you think you have it bad consider the poor **BLEEP**s working for Calgary Transit, they really have the short stick. Not only do they have the city treating them as trash, but they have to work split shifts and contend with all the lowlife scum who use transit.


 All too true. But at least Transit has a union, and given recent events, it's not completely in managment's pocket the way damn near everyone else who is anyone in this town seems only too happy to be. That said, I would never want to drive a passenger vehicle for exactly the reasons you state, among others. There's enough bulls--t dealing with inanimate cargo...

It has been my experience of the industry that at least 50%--likely closer to 75%--of all drivers are perfectly willing to let the companies walk all over them without so much as a squeak of protest. And if you even mention words like "unionise" they all stridently bellow about what a "communist" you are (half of these pathetic loobies waving US flags while so doing, but don't even get me started!). Organised labour in this country has been being subverted/destroyed for a loooong time, and I see no possibility of improvement anytime soon. As stated, most of the people getting screwed the worst are the most ardent supporters of same! DUH! (I don't get it:?)

As long as truck companies continue to make the kind of money they are making off this--and as long as, for every one like me leaving, there are at least 5 newly-minted suckers just rarin' to step up, it will never change, and it's not supposed to.

Proof: You might have noticed the preponderance of trucks--even city-cabs--with automatic transmissions in the last couple years. Shifting these things--as in unsynchronised "crash-boxes" for the uninitiated--is an art form, it takes a while to learn, and no two trucks are identical even if spec'ed so. Eliminate the need for that much more skill, and you now have a wider pool of dumb-asses to choose from. A two-bit crook named **BLEEP** head of **BLEEP** Travel (High River, Ab.), my first long-haul job--even admitted this some time ago, in, I believe, Truck West. Says it all right there! This is an in-exact quote, but basically, he said if he could lower the standard, that's more potential drivers--which gives him the excuse to keep his laughable rates down (among the lowest I've seen anywhere for long-haul) that much longer. Do you think he's the only one? I highly doubt it....

Proud to be an Ex-trucker....:dude: 

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 Posted: Mon May 21st, 2007 06:11 pm
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Puck

 

Joined TALKCalgary: Tue Apr 25th, 2006
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Mana: 
I don’t wish to imply that everyone using transit are lowlife. But you have to admit that transit has more than its fair share of undesirables using the service. Perhaps you should ask yourself this, would you feel safe riding transit at night alone? I know I wouldn’t. Even the CPS warn people not to travel alone on transit at night. My point was that transit drivers have to put up with a lot. In my opinion far too much for the pittance they get paid.   

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 Posted: Wed May 23rd, 2007 12:36 am
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OutWest

 

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Calgary night time transit is tame. Vancouver's is horrible. Carry a gun if you take skytrain to Surrey

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 Posted: Mon May 28th, 2007 08:29 pm
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Lord of Midian

 

Joined TALKCalgary: Sat May 5th, 2007
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It has been my experience that the "undesirables" in this town are the ones in the suits, whose incomes are in the upper tax brackets...the higher the payscale, the more "undesirable" they are...

We who have to work for a (non-)living in this **BLEEP** town typically know better than to attract the attention of such, not that that prevents them from preying on us regardless...

Unionisation--that word comes from "unity," the concept of many acting as one in pursuit of common goals/interests--long, long, past due here....

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 Posted: Fri Dec 31st, 2010 03:44 pm
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test forum

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 Posted: Wed Jun 13th, 2012 04:23 pm
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happycat

 

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:shock: But what about us poor immergrants and poor students who have no cars? I'd love a car again, even a beater.... But Alas I'm a broke A. :_(...

It's a real bleep having to go all the way to the Seed, (a warehouse along the 40th Ave-Tim Hortons (where the kids go for their Fast and Furious racing). Because I just take the Barlow overpass south and boom I'm home. Instead I have to take the Long bus ride to a C-train station, then grab the Ctrain to Cityhall, then South. Then the infamous 96.... Argggh.

I usually find people's stuff on the C-train however, flashsticks (data sticks), Cells, especially book bags.... So there's a plus there... (one mom gave be this weird vocano shaped cake), although some punk stole the kid's stuff. sucks.

 

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 Posted: Wed Jun 13th, 2012 04:32 pm
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happycat

 

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Mana: 
As for thinking truckers are low life scum. If they're transporting a cargo of contraband (drugs-weapons,warhead grade uranium, or a very unhealthy quantity of Nitrate, fertlizers (not intended for the fields), and of a shipment of humans, very young humans then yes. If the cargo is just average legal materials (ie food, hot pants, autos, spongebob toys, and anything else the vampires from "From Dusk Till Dawn" (where they robbed truckers at their bar-temple) then all is good.

Like that movie convoy, All "ducky" did was drive fast, while Sheriff Lyle was a real, A.H.

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