Semi's on the highway

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  #1  
Old 02-23-2011, 07:57 PM
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Cool Semi's on the highway

Maybe it's just me.... I've been out of the country for a couple years and maybe things have changed...

I left TV for Chicago, last week, for a week. I drove interstates most of the way and noticed that the Semi drivers are not as "professional" as they once were. Often times, they drive in the left lanes without passing anyone; they drive in the left lane when it specifically states no semi's in that lane. If there is someone on the side of the road, they move over to the left, no matter who is next to them and often times almost causing an accident. Many times, I see them hangin' over the lane markers or running off on the shoulder of the road.

I used to have a lot of respect for these guys/gals....

Maybe it's just me .....
  #2  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:29 PM
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Not you ! I drove to Indiana during the same period you were on the road and noticed much of the same, but many instances of where it was obvious the driver was nodding off. There were many of times where we just wanted to get off of the interstate. I too have never noticed it like this in the past.

I too spent some time in Europe and do not remember anything like this on the autobahns or equivalents.
  #3  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:23 AM
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I've noticed the same thing. Used to drive an RV across country years ago and felt the truckers were a big help especially when passing them. I would reciprocate and flash the lights to let them know it was safe to pull in to the right lane. Toward the end, I noticed fewer and fewer truckers would let me know when I could pull in after passing and when I would let them know if was OK fewer would flash their lights as a Thanks.

I also noted that I would flash lights to let them know it was safe and they would just continue on in the left lane even though there was no one to pass in front of me. They would stay in the left lane even though there was traffic behind them. I spoke to a friend who was a long haul trucker and he told me that some of the newer drivers brought their aggressive car techniques onto the road in their trucks. He bemoaned the declining number of real professional drivers.

On the other hand, I have also seen cars hogging the passing lane and impeding trucks even though they are not passing anyone. So it works both ways.
  #4  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:45 AM
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OK, let me suggest to you why you're seeing this.

It is because of the demise of the Union Driver. Unionized drivers have and had many safety provisions in their contracts to deter company owners from demanding unsafe practices for profit.

They were also paid fair wages irregardless of their employers under charging customers for market share or the amount of goods delivered on their rigs which can be hampered by inefficient customer receiving practices or overburdened roads leading to the customer or other factors.

Today's drivers are increasingly being paid on productivity and profit percentage which can be impacted by conditions of the road and the inefficiency of their delivery site which drive up the costs, and impact the net share the driver receives for his efforts. They need to get that freight expedited off their trucks to get to their new freight pick-up point in order to earn a decent day's pay. Many companies are also paying a bonus if the driver get to his destination by a certain time.

Many companies are also paying driver's by the load. You particularly see this in non-union construction work. Driver's of non-union dump truck/trailers are racing around all day in order to haul that one more load that may make or break their day.

Because of this and the fact that even the non-union truckers who earn by the hour are generally paid less in total wage and benefits than a comparable unionized worker for work that is not easy, there is a far greater worker turn-over than in the past "glory days" of the unionized truck force. Therefore you have a high percentage of inexperienced drivers on the road rolling 40 tons of truck down the road behind you and you family in your mini-van and hoping he can make a move to swing around you, legally or illegally.

I don't have a solution as it seems the day of the fairly paid and compensated union workforce is in rapid decline and favor, but it is what it is.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RichieLion View Post
OK, let me suggest to you why you're seeing this.

It is because of the demise of the Union Driver. Unionized drivers have and had many safety provisions in their contracts to deter company owners from demanding unsafe practices for profit.

They were also paid fair wages irregardless of their employers under charging customers for market share or the amount of goods delivered on their rigs which can be hampered by inefficient customer receiving practices or overburdened roads leading to the customer or other factors.

Today's drivers are increasingly being paid on productivity and profit percentage which can be impacted by conditions of the road and the inefficiency of their delivery site which drive up the costs, and impact the net share the driver receives for his efforts. They need to get that freight expedited off their trucks to get to their new freight pick-up point in order to earn a decent day's pay. Many companies are also paying a bonus if the driver get to his destination by a certain time.

Many companies are also paying driver's by the load. You particularly see this in non-union construction work. Driver's of non-union dump truck/trailers are racing around all day in order to haul that one more load that may make or break their day.

Because of this and the fact that even the non-union truckers who earn by the hour are generally paid less in total wage and benefits than a comparable unionized worker for work that is not easy, there is a far greater worker turn-over than in the past "glory days" of the unionized truck force. Therefore you have a high percentage of inexperienced drivers on the road rolling 40 tons of truck down the road behind you and you family in your mini-van and hoping he can make a move to swing around you, legally or illegally.

I don't have a solution as it seems the day of the fairly paid and compensated union workforce is in rapid decline and favor, but it is what it is.
I don't have a solution as Richie says. I was given a junk truck to drive a lot of times and paid by the mile and if I was not rolling I was not making money. The other situation I would find myself in was give a "Hot Load" that had to be there at a certain time and it was almost impossible to do; if you did not take the load, you was fired. It is a tough job and life in today's market. Glad I gave it up years back.
  #6  
Old 02-25-2011, 11:53 AM
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To add to my thoughts above I've found this story of non-union jitney bus drivers in N.J. who get paid by the passenger. These drivers operate and at the same time are constantly on their cell phones to other drivers advising each other of potential passengers on their side of the route. They then, as they're talking on their cell phones cut off other drivers, race in the passing lanes, and cut back to pick up passengers all the while still holding and talking on their phones.

Some of what I write is in the following article and some from personal observation. What I didn't know was the method of compensation for these drivers. Can you believe the stupidity of paying by the passenger and not by the hour? This is what's happening with the decline of the unionized blue collar work force.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/1169..._to_jaill.html
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RichieLion View Post
To add to my thoughts above I've found this story of non-union jitney bus drivers in N.J. who get paid by the passenger. These drivers operate and at the same time are constantly on their cell phones to other drivers advising each other of potential passengers on their side of the route. They then, as they're talking on their cell phones cut off other drivers, race in the passing lanes, and cut back to pick up passengers all the while still holding and talking on their phones.

Some of what I write is in the following article and some from personal observation. What I didn't know was the method of compensation for these drivers. Can you believe the stupidity of paying by the passenger and not by the hour? This is what's happening with the decline of the unionized blue collar work force.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/1169..._to_jaill.html
is this about unions or truckers ???? being non union doesnt make one inferior!!
  #8  
Old 02-25-2011, 04:55 PM
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is this about unions or truckers ???? being non union doesnt make one inferior!!
All I'm saying is the union driver is compensated for his labors in a way that doesn't encourage him to drive unsafely on the road. He doesn't get a paid bonus if he speeds to his next stop and arrives before a certain time. He doesn't get paid a percentage of the cartage fees charged to the shipper of the freight.

If he's a local driver he gets paid by the hour, with overtime pay after 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week depending on his classification and contract. There is no advantage to him driving above the speed limit or passing slow moving vehicles unsafely.

If he is a line-haul driver (road driver), he gets paid by the mile and also gets paid by the hour, besides, if he has long wait times for his load at the connecting terminals.

This is also not taking into account his health and welfare package and pension package that he's entitled to. It doesn't have anything to do with road safety, so I'm not itemizing that.

The point is that more non-union driver's are increasingly being paid in regard to their productivity in regard to the amount of deliveries they get off their rigs in a certain amount of time. They are being encouraged to hurry, hurry, hurry on the same roads in which you are driving with your families.
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  #9  
Old 02-25-2011, 07:42 PM
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In many cases the union drivers work for a large trucking company and they in tune have governs on their trucks to keep them under the speed limit. Also the larger companies have safety inspectors driving the highways of the country monitoring their drivers. Change a lane without using your turn signal and a letter is added to your personal folder. Get too many letters for violations and you will be fired.

I worked for the largest LTL (less than truckload) truking company in the country and on occassion I would have lunch with the VP of labor relations. I mentioned to him at one time that on my most recent trip to Florida I would see many Fed-Ex trucks just flying past me on the interstate and I going 5 to 10 over the legal limit. He stated that most of those are non-union contract drivers and they do what ever it takes to get the freight from one point to another.
  #10  
Old 02-26-2011, 07:25 AM
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Some of you speculate a union/non-union connection... It seems that most folks have zeroed in on speeding as the main issue.

I was not so concerned with speed, as I was with the left lane riding and abrupt lane changes. In general, truck speed was close to the posted limit.

Driving back to TV today, so I'll have another 1,000+ miles to observe...
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