Shippers and receivers, for many, are the most stressful part of the job. Why? Because there are a few that stick out like the flaming bag of dog poo you put on your enemy’s door step when your were children. And, just like your enemy, stomping out the flames only makes it that much worse. So, we are stuck with them. But, at the same time, they’re stuck with us. Maybe if this article goes viral enough, they could switch shoes with those of us who have to put up with them.
I would like to remind everyone that will be reading this of one thing. No matter how bad, ugly, or inhuman they treat you; stay professional. It makes them think if no one cops an attitude, but instead, acts out passively. “Be scared of the silent one” is a great rule to live by here. Don’t throw a tissy. Be professional, courteous, and shut your yap!
Hi Wal-Mart. You are my biggest gripe in this article, for many reasons. First, you won’t allow idling while loading or unloading, despite what the temperature is, at many of your facilities. You’re not alone in this, but you are the major issue I repetitively hear about. If it’s 120, don’t idle. If it’s 2, don’t idle. As a matter of fact, you kicked one of the drivers that follows me off your property. You actually had him escorted off distribution center property. It was exactly 2 degrees, he had been there for hours on end, and you escorted him off for trying to idle his truck. To Wal-Mart and all the other companies that think this is the proper treatment of a truck driver, I want you to do me a favor. Let me turn off all your power for every time you make us turn off ours, regardless of weather, for weather doesn’t matter when it comes to us, and see how long it takes until we’re allowed to idle. Or, talk to IdleAir, and provide free IdleAir for the drivers to show gratitude for their hard work.
Did you know that if you bring a load to Wal-Mart you have to pay them to unload you? Yet, the ICT crew of Wal-Mart that unloads you gets no money. In household, you pay lumpers to load/unload. The lumpers actually get that money. Once again, Wal-Mart is not the only one guilty of it, but they stick out. If you order the freight, it’s your freight. If you want your freight moved, it’s once again YOUR freight. Why don’t you quit charging drivers for the freight you need. Had a buddy of mine (kind that’ll give the shirt off his back for anyone) deliver onions to a Farmer’s Market. They wanted to charge him to get into the Farmer’s Market with the freight. So, he snuck in a back way like most of us would do. Then, they tried to charge him for offloading their freight. He refused to pay fees for this venture of theirs. So, he made them an offer they couldn’t refuse: they would unload their freight or he could do a hard right and a hard left and unload it himself, for free either way. Once they figured out this friend was serious, they decided they didn’t need the payment..............and he wasn’t welcome there ever again. With companies like this, they want you to pay for them to unload their freight, and they want you to pay if you’re even ten minutes late. But, a good amount, want to pay $1.00 per mile.
In flatbedding, they schedule a truck an hour, unless you’re at a steel mill, shingle manufacturer, pipe yard, or wind site. Now, if you drive tanker, dry van, or refrigerated trailer, you know what those at steel mills, shingle manufacturers, pipe yards, and wind sites go through. They schedule 100 trucks per hour. Smart people would know, even at their best, it takes an hour minimal to load or unload a truck. So, are these 100 truck per hour shippers and receivers dumb? No, but they didn’t excel in basic arithmetic if they think their system is a good system. So, what happens here?
1. You sit there for hours at a time praying your number will be next.
2. You can’t leave or you forsake your load. So, have plenty of food and urine collection devices handy.
3. You have to show loading, or you have to show taking a 10 hour break. If you show loading and run out of hours, they will not care and force you to leave.
4. Detention will half the time not be paid. Although there are already laws in effect to protect your right for detention, the shippers and receivers ensure that the contract does not allow detention for company and driver (don’t be late though, for it could cost you the driver $1,000’s).
If you’re late to the shipper or receiver, the rates can be steep per hour. The rates, which will come out of the driver’s pocket, can vary from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per hour. Now, if said shipper or receiver is late, it’s “part of the industry.” This is an unfair oneway street for all drivers and companies.
Tarping. There are many companies that get impatient with having to wait for a
flatbedder/heavy hauler to tarp. They will force you out the gate so they can go home while you’re out in soaring high or freezing cold weather ensuring that their freight is protected. Also, they wish to not bare liability if you’re injured. Do not leave the liability fearer’s property without a written and signed piece of paper stating that they are forcing you to tarp their freight off property, and they understand that while preparing their load for transit, they are responsible for any and all injuries that may occur. Why you might ask? Simple!
1. If you get injured off property, you will not be found as quickly and a simple bone break (if bone goes through your leg) could turn into massive blood loss, which, therefore, is a major situation.
2. They need to be responsible for the safety and sanctity they expect you to provide for their freight.
So, you can only haul 42,000 pounds? Too bad. What you can weigh legally is what they pay for. The extra is free. Do they work for free? No. Then why should a trucker? An independent of mine had me show him how to do LTL (less than a truck load) freight. Only one problem. One stop was supposed to be 8,000 pounds. They loaded (literally) an extra 12,000 on him. That extra was needed for the second stop. The shipper found out rather quickly pay for the extra load that would be placed on there otherwise, along with the rate he would have to pay for load cancellation, or take it off. Then there’s the ones who are only 5,500 over, whom, when the driver asks them to take the 5,500 off so they can scale legal, cancels the load. Why do they cancel the load? The driver got “attitude.” My opinion? Run it how we want you to, leave a scar on your DAC and ruin your CSA, or get off our property.
Lastly, do not get stuck at shippers/receivers such as Smuckers or the Kraft plant in Champaign, IL. If a tornado comes, you need to fend for yourself. Even the guard will run past you to get to a safe haven, while telling you to remain in your trucks and come out when they tell you to. Thanks for caring if we live jerks!
Shippers and receivers, get your act together! We don’t want this circus and don’t need it. Start caring what the truckers do to get your freight where you need it or put a rail yard in your back dock. Get it?
Till next time, keep the sunny side up!